Chennai: Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK will have to fight it out against a resurgent BJP-AIADMK combine as far as the Cauvery water issue is concerned, with the two parties upping their ante against the M.K. Stalin-led state government in the issue.
BJP state president, K. Annamalai who was on a padayatra ‘En Mann, En Makkal’, had touched upon the Cauvery water subject throughout his walkathon and dwelled on the point that even after being a part of the opposition INDIA alliance, the Congress government of Karnataka was opposed to the Tamil Nadu government.
Annamalai also said that the whole issue started after the Congress government assumed office in Karnataka and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar who is also the state party chief and water works minister, announced that Karnataka will not share a single drop of water with Tamil Nadu.
It is to be noted that Congress is part and parcel of the DMK alliance in Tamil Nadu and had even won 8 seats from the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, riding on the popularity of Stalin and DMK.
AIADMK state general secretary and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) also lashed out against the DMK government and Stalin over the failure of the state to convince its counterpart in Karnataka in releasing Cauvery water allotted as per Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) guidelines.
The AIADMK leader also said that Stalin must have a one-on-one meeting with the Karnataka counterparts and solve the issue.
In Tamil Nadu, the DMK government under Stalin is popular with several people-centric schemes, including school breakfast, health care at door steps, skill development, environmental protection scheme as well as entrepreneur development projects.
The DMK and its allies are planning for a clean sweep in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as in the 2019 polls and planning to win all the 39 seats.
However the Cauvery issue has dented a blow to the fortunes of the DMK and its allies in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The AIADMK and the BJP have tasted blood and they know putting more preassure on the DMK, Congress alliance will help the alliance catapult the fortunes of the opposition in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls as Cauvery is a sensitive issue and if the DMK does not bring out a solution properly, then there could be backlash in Tamil Nadu in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Sources in the DMK told IANS that if the Congress-led government of Karnataka is not budging from the position it has taken regarding Cauvery, then DMK does not have any other option but to snap ties with the Grand Old Party.
While the INDIA alliance and national-level opposition are all true, the DMK and Stalin wanted a clean sweep for from Tamil Nadu and any move that would torpedo that would not be to the likening of the DMK.
The AIADMK, which is now much weakened due to the dismissal of senior leaders like O. Panneerselvam, V.K. Sashikala, and TTV Dhinakaran, is facing a major crisis.
However, if the issues between the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments continue, there could be issues between DMK and Congress which would be advantageous to the BJP- AIADMK combine in Tamil Nadu.
R. Arumukham, a Salen-based political analyst, told IANS: “The Cauvery issue can lead to a major game changer as far as the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are concerned. At present, the DMK is in a highly advantageous position and it can repeat the 2019 performance.
“However, if Karnataka and Shivakumar do not change their position, then DMK has no other option but to snap ties with the Congress in the state.”