Tamil Nadu opposition leader J Jayalalithaa again took up the Mullaiperiyar dam issue to attack the DMK-led state government on Friday, saying a public meeting announced by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in connection with it was nothing but deception.
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa referred to the announcement as a "shameful act". "If Karunanidhi wants the people of Tamil Nadu to believe he has truly been let down by the central government, then he should withdraw his DMK party's support to the union government immediately," she said.
On Wednesday, DMK leader and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had said a public meeting would be held in Madurai to condemn the manner in which a union minister had conducted himself on the Mullaiperiyar dam issue.
The minister in question is believed to be union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh who has allowed a survey by Kerala along the Mullaiperiyar river. Kerala's neighbour Tamil Nadu is opposed to any moves to build a new dam on the river as it believes its water supply will be affected.
Jayalalitha said about DMK's Madurai meeting: "This is tantamount to conducting a condemnation meeting against one of his own DMK ministers in the minority DMK government headed by Karunanidhi himself.
"The people of Tamil Nadu will not accept this drama of deception being staged by Karunanidhi."
"He had diluted the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils by way of enacting various dramas. Now, he is going to enact the same kind of drama in the Mullaiperiyar issue also."
She said the Supreme Court's refusal to stay the centre's approval and the carrying out of a survey for a new dam across Mullaiperiyar river "comes as no surprise. The petition had been filed only for the sake of filing. The apex court has faulted Tamil Nadu for failing to furnish all the particulars required to make out its case for stopping the survey".
She said during her tenure as chief minister, the state made a powerful presentation of its case so that the Supreme Court in 2006 allowed the storage level to be raised from 136 ft to 142 ft. Soon after the order, the DMK came to power that year.
"Till this day, the storage level has not been raised even an inch beyond 136 feet. Now, by making a haphazard presentation before the Supreme Court, the Karunanidhi government has also let slip the opportunity to stop the survey from being conducted by Kerala, preparatory to constructing a new dam," Jayalalithaa charged.