To keep the momentum, a protest would be staged in Cumbum on June 16 against the Kerala officials for not letting Public Works Department engineers from carrying out repair works at the dam.

The Kerala government was continuing to prevent free movement of construction materials required to fill up holes in the Mullaperiyar dam, said Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko here on Thursday.

Be it a water dispute or an environmental issue that affected people of Tamil Nadu, the MDMK stood in the forefront and turned it into a people's movement, he said.

Speaking at the party workers' meeting, ahead of the Anna birth anniversary celebration plans at Karur district, he said that in the larger public interest, the MDMK had always underlined the need for justice in the Periyar reservoir row with leaders in Kerala.

“By accusing neighbours, it does not mean that we are against people there, but we are only voicing our concern and standing up for rights. Only after the MDMK party voiced the need for raising the water level that many others joined in,” he said.

To keep the momentum, a protest would be staged in Cumbum on June 16 against the Kerala officials for not letting Public Works Department engineers from carrying out repair works at the dam.

The MDMK, which had stepped into its 18th year, had witnessed several ups and downs within the party and from its political opponents. Irrespective of whether the party won in a big way in general elections or lost, with the support of its dedicated rank and file, the party would bring in laurels in the coming years and serve the people, he said.

Flays Centre

Lambasting the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre for its lackadaisical attitude, Mr. Vaiko said that by remaining passive, leaders in the Union government had let down the people of Tamil Nadu on the all-important Periyar reservoir issue.

When the Justice Anand Committee visited the dam, eight holes were bored as part of inspection. However, the Kerala government refused them to be filled up with cement for strengthening the structure.

Only when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister announced that she would send a posse of police personnel, the Kerala government fell in line and permitted to carry out the repair work. The Centre, which was expected to intervene, had chosen to be a mute spectator. It was highly condemnable, he said.

On the MDMK's decision on the upcoming Presidential election, Mr. Vaiko said that the party would take a final call when the names of the contestants were announced by the UPA and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) respectively.

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