Monday, 7 April, 2008

Cheating Kannadigas!

S Shiva Kumar writes for Meri News
THE INDEFATIGABLE Deve Gowda sees in Tamilnadu’s decision to put the Hogenakkal integrated water supply scheme on hold a conspiracy. According to him, the Congress and its major ally, the DMK are the parties behind the conspiracy aimed at cheating the people of Karnataka. The JD(S) supremo has more or less said what the has been saying ever since hostilities erupted between the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu, as his following statement reveals: "A tacit understanding has been reached by the Congress in Karnataka and the DMK in Tamilnadu not to proceed with the project till elections in the state are over, realising the potential damage the project could have on Congress party's prospects in the polls”.

The stalled project, touted as "major relief" and a "great victory" by some leaders in Karnataka, is nothing short of making a mockery of the people and aimed at diverting the attention of lakhs of water-starved farmers in the state”. The ‘some leaders’ Deve Gowda refers to is in fact only one leader, viz., S M Krishna, the former chief minister of Karnataka who claimed earlier that he had urged the Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi to stall the project till elections were completed in Karnataka.

Gowda’s party will, in the circumstances, launch a signature campaign. It will collect two crore signatures and present them to President Pratibha Patil after the conclusion of the Karnataka assembly elections and seek justice to the state on the Hogenakkal project. But why is the JD(S) boss spewing venom on fellow-Vokkaliga S M Krishna? Krishna has taken all the credit for prevailing upon Karunanidhi to put the Hogenakkal project on hold. But how does it amount to the Congress and its major UPA ally, the DMK, cheating the people of Karnataka? In Deve Gowda’s lexicon, whoever cheats him or gets the better of him has cheated the people of Karnataka.

Meanwhile, Tamilnadu chief minister Karunanidhi got himself into a hole by stating that his decision to temporarily put off the Hogenakkal project was to discuss the issue with a new Karnataka government and to prevent escalation of violence in both the states. This made it easier for Jayalalithaa to pick holes in Karunanidhi’s arguments (vide, “Hogenakkal issue: Jaya blasts Karunanidhi”, dated April 6, 2008). According to her, Tamilnadu is under no obligation to seek clearance from Karnataka for the project since Hogenakkal is part of the state. The scheme envisages use of Cauvery water that flows into Tamilnadu. When the Karnataka government is implementing the Bangalore drinking water scheme, why should Tamilnadu be prevented from implementing its own drinking water scheme?

Karunanidhi tried to defend himself by stating "I never said the project had been shelved. I only said we would discuss the issue with an elected government since there is no government right now in that state.... I had said that we shall put off the scheme for a month”. To Jayalalithaa’s allegation that he put off the project without discussing the issue in the house or with the political parties, he explained that time was running out and any further delay on his part could have led to escalation in violence. He emphasised that he decided to stall the project keeping in view the welfare of the people of both the states.
In reply to the allegation of his ally and PMK founder Ramadoss, who criticised the delay in implementing the project though it was approved ten years back, (vide, “Hogenakkal issue: Jaya blasts Karunanidhi”, dated April 6, 2008), he reiterated that one could expect quick decisions from a government but not hasty decisions. He explained at length why the implementation of the project was delayed. He quoted the various reasons beyond his control that led to the delay.

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