The battle between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the Hogenakkal integrated water project has reached the Prime Minister's Office and threatens to become an electoral issue in the upcoming Karnataka assembly polls.
With emotions running high in the face off between the two states on the issue, Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur, Union Shipping Minister TR Baalu and former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna separately apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the prevailing situation on Wednesday. They sought the PM's intervention on the issue, though on different counts.
"We want the prime minister to exert influence on Tamil Nadu to wait till a new government is in office in Karnataka," said Krishna who had earlier briefed Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the issue that threatens to become an electoral issue in the three phased assembly polls in Karnataka.
While Tamil Nadu is keen on the Hogenakkal integrated water project, Karnataka is resisting it with the Cauvery water dispute still pending and its own claim over Hogenakkal. Apprehensive of the impact of the issue in the May polls, the Congress state leadership will meet in Bangalore on Thursday to firm up its stand on the controversy that couldn't have erupted at a more inconvenient time for it.
While Governor Thakur explained the situation to the PM in the wake of protests by pro-Kannada group, Baalu presented Singh with a copy of the resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu assembly. He urged Singh to advice the Karnataka government not to oppose the implementation of the 1,334-crore Japan Bank for International Cooperation funded water project.