COIMBATORE/ERODE : Samba crop or not, season of protests is definitely on. While farmers in Thanjavur seek intervention of all sorts — they had some luck on the divine side as the rain god smiled late on Sunday, thus helping them prepare the fields for direct sowing — political parties are preparing ground for their September 3 protests in Coimbatore.
While the DMK and Puthiya Thamilagam have been vocal against Kerala’s move and have announced agitations over the Kerala government’s move to build a gravity dam across the Siruvani, a sub-tributary of Cauvery, in Attappadi, the national parties such as the Congress, CPM, CPI and BJP have stopped short of commenting on the sensitive issue.
Speaking to Express, Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan blamed the State government for not taking a proactive stance on the issue. “We will not participate in any of the struggles, but will support the farmers. The Tamil Nadu BJP unit has written a letter to Union Ministry of Water Resources and we have also tried to meet Minister Uma Bharti... The state government should have acted immediately over the issue and stopped the proposal from progressing this far. The government should organise an all-party meeting and send a delegation to hold talks with its Kerala counterpart.”
A top TN Congress functionary on condition of anonymity said, “We are discussing the facts and are seeking legal opinion these days. But, we are supporting the Tamil Nadu farmers. The Kerala government has to stop their Siruvani dam plan. We have plans to organise a protest in Walayar in a day or two.”
Meanwhile in Erode, the Congress SC/ST wing announced that it will take part in the DMK’s stir on September 3. The wing president and former MLA K Selvaperundagai said if the dam was constructed, the entire Kongu region would be hit without adequate water for drinking and irrigation purposes.
Though the Left Democratic Front is ruling Kerala, their counterparts in the neighbouring state are yet to make their stand clear on the issue. “We are yet to take a decision. An expert team from the party are analysing the ground reality. After checking the facts, we will convey our position,” CPM state secretary G Ramakrishnan said.
CPI State secretary R Mutharasan said the party strongly condemned the act of Kerala government. “We do not support the construction of dam in the Siruvani. But, as of now, we do not have any plan to organise a protest or demonstration,” he said.