Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, DK Shivakumar, on Wednesday, January 24 said the much-awaited Mekedatu project would be completed during the term of the present Congress Government itself.
Speaking after inaugurating the Mutthina Mullusoge project in Periyapatna taluk, he said, “Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has accused that the Congress Government is not serious about the Mekedatu project. We will complete the project within our government’s tenure, but will Mr Gowda, who is close to the Prime Minister, get us the Centre’s approval for the project?”
“Mr Deve Gowda is casting aspersions on us unnecessarily. We are fighting legally to get approvals for the Mekedatu project. The Supreme Court has already instructed the Water Management Tribunal not to obstruct construction of a dam at Mekedatu,” he said.
“River Cauvery is our mother and we are all alive due to her blessing. Yet, none of the 26 MPs from the BJP are pressurising the Centre to approve the project. Why isn’t Mysuru BJP MP Pratap Simha approaching the Prime Minister to obtain approvals for the Mekedatu project,” he asked.
“We have already instructed Revenue officials of Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Mysuru and Bengaluru Rural districts to hand over revenue lands to those who will lose their lands to the Mekedatu project. The Forest Department officials have also been asked to start the tree census exercise,” he said.
The Mekedatu project will store about 66 TMC of water. The dam is a balancing reservoir to release water to Tamil Nadu when there isn’t enough water in Harangi, Kabini, KRS and Hemavathi reservoirs.
“Awakened by our Mekedatu yatra, former Chief Minister SR Bommai earmarked Rs 1,000 crore for the project. There are no funds for that now. Why isn’t the JD-S questioning the BJP on this?” he asked.
“We have implemented all the five guarantee schemes as promised while the BJP and the JD-S have not kept their words,” he said and recited his now-famous poem “Five guarantees have made the hand stronger; petals of the lotus have withered; and the woman with the bunch of paddy has dropped her harvest.”
“Looking at the stellar success of the Congress’ guarantee scheme in Karnataka, Prime Minister Modi has jumped on to the bandwagon by launching his own ‘Modi ka guarantee’ campaign,” he said.
“Some people are doing politics of emotions while we are doing politics of livelihood. Livelihoods are more important than emotions. We are also Hindus and we also practice our traditions. The BJP is capitalising on ‘mantrakshathe’ while we believe that our schemes are the ‘mantrakshathe’ for the problems of the people. Annabhagya is the ‘mantrakshathe’ for hunger, Yuvanidhi for unemployment, Gruhalakshmi for women’s difficulties, Shakthi for women’s mobility and Gruhajyothi for darkness,” he explained.
“We have walked the talk. Vote for us in the upcoming parliamentary elections, we will launch many more projects to make the lives of our people better. We will pay back your trust in us with good work,” he said.