Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement vouching for the safety of Mullaperiyar dam issue still holds good as he had not completely taken it back, but only part of it, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee said here on Monday.

“He did not take back the whole statement, but only part of it. But his view that the dam is safe still remains,” TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan told reporters here, when asked about the minister’s remarks, which drew flak from all political parties in Kerala.

On Dec 17, Mr. Chidambaram had stated at a function in Chennai that Kerala’s apprehension over safety of Mullaperiyar dam as unnecessary and that the coming assembly bypoll in Piravom in Kerala was the real reason for rising tempers over issue.

He withdrew it the next day after criticism from political parties in Kerala, saying he had like other speakers made a passing reference to the bypoll, which was unnecessary and that it was not his intention to hurt anyone.

Mr. Gnanadesikan also harped on various problems faced by Tamil Nadu fishermen, who have complained of increasing number of attacks against them, allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel.

“During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit here last month, I requested him to appoint a special officer to look after Tamil fishermen’s issues with neighbouring Sri Lanka,” he said.

“National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon who was present also endorsed my idea. We hope we will soon get an officer appointed,” he added.