Tamil Nadu state Congress president KS Alagiri on Monday voiced his objection to BJP leaders holding a fast against the construction of the Mekedatu dam on the Kaveri river. “They should conduct the fast before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence in Delhi if they are so concerned about the well-being of farmers,” Alagiri said.
Attending a rally organised to welcome new members into the Tamil Nadu State Congress, Alagiri took a jibe at state BJP chief K Annamalai who staged a hunger strike on Thursday against the BJP government in neighbouring Karnataka over the dam. Annamalai had said that the dam would spell ruin for the lives of the farmers in the Kaveri Delta region. “He [Annamalai] is deceiving farmers by conducting his fast in Thanjavur,” said Alagiri.
The one-day fast last week was where Annamalai trained his guns on those opposing his party’s move. He also appealed to leaders in neighbouring Karnataka. “I take this opportunity to appeal to all brothers and sisters of Karnataka and to all political parties not to precipitate,” he wrote on Twitter.
I along with senior leaders from TN BJP participated in a one day fast in Thanjavur in solidarity with our TN Cauvery area farmers on the Mekadattu issue. I take this opportunity to appeal to all brothers & sisters of Karnataka & to all political parties not to precipitate 1/3 pic.twitter.com/V22bbO5ohj— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) August 5, 2021
Annamalai attacked Alagiri and said he was “humiliating” with his reactions on the issue. The BJP leader criticised actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan over his alleged silence on the Mekedatu dam issue.
Annamalai then targeted the DMK government in Tamil Nadu. He said MK Stalin’s regime was paying more attention to improving revenue from t liquor sales rather than thinking about farmers.
“We condemn the opposition parties for asking the government to go ahead with the project. We will not allow its construction," he had said.
Interestingly, this is a BJP-against-BJP situation where the Tamil Nadu BJP unit is campaigning against the decision of the ruling BJP government in Karnataka. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that his government would not back off from the dam under any circumstances. “During times of water distress, this project will be very useful for both the states. Whoever is protesting there (Tamil Nadu) is doing petty politics,” Bommai said.