AIADMK top leaders O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday against supporting Karnataka's endeavour to build the Mekedatu dam and also sought expedition of the Godavari-Cauvery link project. Briefing reporters in the national capital, AIADMK co-coordinator Palaniswami said that during the meeting, the party requested that the Union government must not support Karnataka's endeavour to build the Mekedatu dam. About 16 districts depend on Cauvery River for its drinking water needs, besides farmers and the Prime Minister's attention was drawn to this aspect, he told reporters.
Expeditious implementation of the Godavari-Cauvery link project was urged since Tamil Nadu is a water deficit state and this initiative would help address its water requirements, Palaniswami said, flanked by party coordinator Panneerselvam. The Prime Minister was also urged to take action to stop the continuing harassment of Tamil Nadu fishermen by "Sri Lankan Naval personnel" who take away their fishing nets, damage boats and arrest them.
On claims of dissatisfaction of cadres with the top leadership and if there was scope for a change in the AIADMK leadership, he denied it, saying there is no discontent among workers. "No worker is dissatisfied. The AIADMK is a disciplined party," he said and recalled that his party-led alliance went on to bag 75 seats out of the 234 segments in the recent Assembly polls.
Recently, VK Sasikala, confidante of late party supremo J Jayalalithaa has been conversing with a section of party workers and her loyalists over phone. Sasikala, who was eased out of the party, has repeatedly said that she will step in to put the AIADMK house in order. Asked if they discussed Tamil Nadu's political scenario with Modi following DMK assuming power in the state, Palaniswami replied in the negative, adding that the DMK has been in power only since May.
The meeting was only to impress on the Prime Minister, the welfare schemes and projects needed by the people of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK would work to continue to work for the public, whether in or out of power, he said.
This is the first time the two top AIADMK leaders have visited Delhi and called on the Prime Minister after losing power in Tamil Nadu. A party release in Chennai said a memorandum was handed over to the Prime Minister to stop Karnataka from going ahead with its Mekedatu dam initiative since the project, if implemented, would result in desertification of Tamil Nadu's Cauvery delta districts.
Supply of more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Tamil Nadu,steps to protect fishermen, implementation of the Godavari-Cauvery river link project and implementation of several road projects sanctioned by the Centre during the previous AIADMK regime were among the other requests made.