Chennai: At a time when the simmering Mullaperiyar issue refuses to die down, the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's comment has added fuel to the fire. Chidambaram dismissed the safety concerns in Kerala as a mere electoral gimmick in the run-up to the by-polls in Kerala's Piravom district.
"Fears about the dam collapse has more to do with the upcoming Assembly bypoll in Kerala," Chidambaram said.
He further set political temperatures soaring by saying that the decision pending in the Supreme Court will ultimately favour Tamil Nadu.
The Home Minister's comment has driven a political wedge in the Congress - and left the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala red faced.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was quick to hit back.
"This is a very grave matter, one thing we can do is file a complaint with the high command," Chandy said.
Across the political spectrum in Kerala, there is outrage at the Home Minister's comments with a growing clamour for his resignation. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his way back from Russia hoped that a dialogue between the two Chief Ministers would be possible.
For people in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Mullaperiyar dam has become a point of contention, and till an amicable solution is reached, politics over water will continue.