In a surprising decision, the newly-appointed state BJP president of Tamil Nadu K Annamalai announced that the Tamil Nadu BJP unit would protest against the decision of the Karnataka government to go ahead with the Mekedatu project.
According to the reports, K Annamalai, the IPS officer-turned-politician, addressed a press conference on Thursday to speak on various issues pertaining to the activities of BJP in Tamil Nadu. During the press conference, the BJP leader said that while dealing with inter-state issues, the Tamil Nadu unit of BJP should question the Central BJP and neighbouring Karnataka BJP.
Chennai | Newly appointed Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai has said that they will build Mekadatu Dam. In spite of being in the same party, we will stage a fasting protest on Aug 5 against the Karnataka govt over this: BJP’s Tamil Nadu president K Annamalai pic.twitter.com/LA27qg9vH2— ANI (@ANI) July 29, 2021
The Tamil Nadu BJP has also planned a one-day fasting protest on August 5 in the Cauvery Delta region to protest against the decision of the Karnataka BJP government to start the Mekedatu drinking water project. More than 10,000 farmers and BJP workers are expected to join the protests.
Reportedly, BJP state chief Annamalai has informed all the state office bearers about focusing on local issues and directed that the state BJP start functioning as a state party ahead of the upcoming civic polls.
“Karnataka cannot construct the dam as per the legal norms, and the union water resource minister has assured that Karnataka will not be allowed. This message should be taken up to the masses,” Annamalai said to BJP workers.
What is the Mekedatu project?
Mekedatu is a deep gorge situated in Karnataka at the confluence of the river Cauvery and its tributary Arkavathi. The Rs.9,000 crore project intends to store and supply water for drinking purposes for Bengaluru city. The project also aims to generate around 400 megawatts (MW) of power.
The Karnataka state government first approved the project in 2017. The drinking water project, which is being planned to end the water woos of Bengaluru city, has received approval from the Ministry of Jal Shakti, however, it is waiting for approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
The Mekedatu project will submerge nearly 63% of the forest area of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.
However, the government of Tamil Nadu and all the political parties in the state, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, have opposed the proposed Mekedatu project by Karnataka in the Cauvery river. The two states have a long time dispute on Cauvery water sharing, and the project has further escalated tensions between the states.