BENGALURU: On a day Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai led a one-day fast against the Mekedatu project, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai called all protests “politically motivated”. The tug-of-war between the BJP Tamil Nadu chief and BJP government head in Karnataka has put the party in a tough spot over the ambitious drinking water project.
“There won’t be any compromise on Mekedatu. It is being misused for politicking in Tamil Nadu. Whichever the party, Mekedatu is used to play politics. Everybody knows the project is for drinking water, hydroelectricity and sharing during times of distress. I am confident the detailed project report will get necessary clearances. We will start work as soon as that is done. All protests are politically motivated and we won’t take them seriously,” Bommai told the media on Thursday morning.
Speaking to TNIE, Annamalai, a former IPS officer from Karnataka cadre, said that while he won’t comment on Bommai’s remark, the entire Tamil Nadu unit of the party was with him on the matter. “We are very clear on our stand. It is not contradictory. It is not a dictatorship. These are two parties and two different states... as BJP Tamil Nadu we are fighting for our farmers. Would you say the Union Minister’s statement in Parliament on Mekedaatu was contradictory? He went by the law and made the statement. As CM of Karnataka, Mr Bommai has the privilege to say what he wants. But as a policy, I will not react to individual remarks,” Annamalai said.
The war of words between the BJP government in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu unit of the party has put the BJP in a precarious position. “As a party, people’s welfare is our priority. We want a win-win situation for both states. We have to arrive at a middle point. It should neither be viewed as a political matter nor as an emotional issue. It has to be practical. Mekedatu hopes to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and people from across the country -- even Tamilians -- living in Bengaluru. Karnataka should not make it an aggressive and emotional issue, and Tamil Nadu should not make it a political and emotional issue,” said CT Ravi, BJP National General Secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu, and MLA from Chikkamagaluru.