The Karnataka Chief Minister, after a surprise meeting with his Tamil Nadu counterpart, M Karunanidhi in Chennai on Thursday, declared his Government has decided to unveil a statue of the classical Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore shortly.
Tamil Nadu will reciprocate the gesture by installing a statue of the 16th century Kannada saint-poet Sarvajna in Chennai, for which the State Government in Chennai has identified the land in the city, bringing the curtains down on a decades-old row with linguistic overtones between both the States.
Karunanidhi has "agreed to come over to Bangalore" soon for unveiling the statue of Thiruvalluvar, author of the world classic 'Thirukkural' in Tamil, the Karnataka Chief Minister, after calling on the former at his Gopalapuram residence here, said.
Though Yeddiyurappa had come to Chennai for a medical check-up, he told reporters later that he thought it "his duty" to call on the "elderly" Karunanidhi, in a rare show of bonhomie between the Chief Ministers of both the States which has locked horns for several decades now over the sharing of the Cauvery river waters.
The BJP Chief Minister also disclosed that the Karunanidhi Government here has allocated land for putting up a statue of the Kannada poet Sarvajna, born of an inter-caste marriage and famous for his pithy three-liners called 'Tripadis'. The 'Sahitya Akademi' has published a book on Sarvajna.
Yeddiyurappa said he did not discuss the Cauvery waters issue with the DMK Chief in the backdrop of the delayed Monsoon in Karnataka's catchments areas this year. The 'Mettur Reservoir' in Tamil Nadu, which is usually thrown open for irrigation on June 12 every year, is yet to be opened this year due to poor inflows into the dam.
However, Yeddiyurappa, to a query, was hopeful that Karnataka's concerns over the Hogennakkal water supply project, taken up by Tamil Nadu on its side of the Cauvery River, would be resolved after mutual talks between the two States.
Terming the meeting between the two Chief Ministers as a "good gesture", the BJP's Tamil Nadu President, MrL Ganesan, who accompanied the Karnataka Chief Minister, told HT that the tête-à-tête had ended the prolonged controversy over installation of Thiruvalluvar statue in Bangalore.