B.S. Satish Kumar

BANGALORE: The former Prime Minister and national president of the Janata Dal (Secular), H.D. Deve Gowda, on Sunday said the recent developments in connection with the Hogenakkal project looked like a “stage-managed show” of the Congress with help from its ally, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Mr. Gowda termed the episode “a conspiracy hatched by the Congress” to gain a distinct advantage in the coming Assembly elections in Karnataka. “I wish to call the bluff of the Congress party. Realising the potential damage the project could have on the Congress party’s poll prospects, a tacit understanding had reportedly been reached with the key ally in Tamil Nadu not to proceed with the project till the elections are over. With the project resulting in a serious law and order situation in both the States, the Congress sought the support of the DMK to stage-manage a situation to cool tempers.”

Addressing journalists here, Mr. Gowda said the NDA government at the Centre (in 2002) had done a similar act by amending the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act to appease its ally. The amendments related to the functioning of the Water Disputes Tribunals. Further, in 2007, after the CWDT award, all attempts to raise the issue in the Lok Sabha were stonewalled by the “DMK Ministers again with the tacit support of the Congress.”

Mr. Gowda, who has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Hogenakkal issue, said Dr. Singh should immediately intervene in the matter and order a joint survey of the Hogenakkal area. A joint parliamentary committee should be constituted to look into the issue.

The project should be implemented by the Centre as a national composite project with Tamil Nadu being permitted to use the water while Karnataka could get a share of the power generated.