Karnataka MPs protest inside Parliament complex, demand construction of Mekedattu Dam on Cauvery river
To counter the protest by Tamil Nadu's AIADMK and the DMK, MPs from Karnataka, including from the Congress and the BJP, came together and demonstrated in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex.
New Delhi: Karnataka MPs cutting across party lines on Thursday staged a protest inside Parliament complex seeking construction of the Mekedattu dam on the Cauvery, an issue opposed by Tamil Nadu's DMK and AIADMK that have been disrupting proceedings in both Houses.
To counter the protest by the Tamil Nadu parties, MPs from Karnataka, including from the Congress and the BJP, came together and demonstrated in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex.
The two Tamil Nadu parties have been holding placards and protesting in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to voice their opposition to the Mekedattu project, for which the Centre has already given Karnataka clearance to prepare a detailed project report (DPR).
The parties have been stalling Parliament proceedings for more than a week, demanding justice for farmers who are expected to be affected by the proposed construction of Mekedattu dam. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Thursday.
Outside, MPs from Karnataka shouted slogans like "We want Mekedattu project" and held up placards that read "Karnataka wants discussion not disruption", "Politics create problem, Mekedattu gives solution" and "We want Government of India to respect Supreme Court verdict".
Over a dozen MPs participated in the agitation, including Shobha Karandlaje, Prahlad Joshi and G M Siddeshwara from the BJP, Jairam Ramesh, DK Hariprasad, Rajeev Gowda, DK Suresh and Dhruva Narayan from the Congress as well as JD(S)' Shivarame Gowda. Union Ministers Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ananth Kumar Hegde and Ramesh Jigajinagi were not present in the protest.
"Our Tamil Nadu friends should show some sympathy towards us. We are asking for surplus river water from Cauvery that gets wasted flowing into the sea. That water will be stored for the drinking water purpose only. It is Karnataka's legitimate demand," former prime minister and JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda told reporters after the protest.
Deve Gowda, who could not join the agitation due to a prior engagement, said Karnataka MPs were forced to stage a protest to counter the agitation being carried out by Tamil Nadu parties for last few days.
On Wednesday, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy discussed the Mekedattu project with Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari, who assured him that a meeting of chief ministers of both the states to resolve the issue at the earliest would be called.
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