DMK president M. Karunanidhi, a strong proponent of the Sethusamudram Project, on Tuesday reacted strongly to the State government’s submission against the project in the Supreme Court, accusing Chief Minister Jayalalithaa of betraying the interest of Tamil Nadu.
PMK leader S. Ramadoss said it was highly condemnable that the State government was seeking to destroy a project aimed at boosting the growth of the State.
Mr. Karunanidhi in a statement said the Chief Minister had given a burial to a project that was expected to give fresh life to the economy of Tamil Nadu.
“It is not a betrayal of interest of the State?” Mr. Karunanidhi said in a statement.
He said for 150 years scientists and experts studied the project and the Centre also went through it thoroughly.
“It allocated hundreds of crores and now the Chief Minister had come to a conclusion that the project was not necessary and filed a petition in the court,” he alleged.
The DMK leader said Ms. Jayalalithaa adopted double-standards on this issue since the DMK and other political parties vociferously advocated the project and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government went ahead with its implementation.
“She played double-game because she did not want the DMK and other parties to take the credit. Now she had dropped the project,” Mr. Karunanidhi said.
He said the objective of the project was to ameliorate the livelihood of people in southern districts and their socio-economic conditions. Now the AIADMK Government has closed it at a single stroke.
Recalling the AIADMK’s election manifestoes advocating the project, Mr. Karunanidhi wondered how could Ms. Jayalalithaa who earlier wanted to remove the sand bunds in Adam’s Bridge, suddenly changed tack and talked about ‘Rama’s Bridge’ and wanted to project the site as an ancient monument.
Dr. Ramadoss said when the Central government led by A.B. Vajpayee announced the project Ms. Jayalalithaa sought to take the credit for it. “But she started opposing it after its implementation,” he said.
The PMK leader said “Rama’s Bridge” was an imaginative concept, and religious issues should not be allowed to come in the way of the nation’s progress.
“The government should not pay heed to imaginary stories and should withdraw the petition against the project in the Supreme Court,” he said.