The move of the union government in which it said the Supreme Court cannot form a Cauvery Management Board without Parliament’s nod, has come at a time when the BJ was slowly creating a firm vote base in the State. Leaders like Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, Tamilisai Soundararajan, L Ganesan, H Raja Vanathi Srinivasan and others have emerged as prominent faces of the saffron party in Tamil Nadu and are also easily recognised by the people. This was not the case some years ago when big tickets like the late Jana Krishnamoorthy (former national president of the BJP) and V Maitreyan were at the top of the affairs in the State BJP unit. However, their hard work and that of the present crop helped the party in finding a significant footing in the state’s political arena.
All the brownie points scored by the party in the past on other issues like jallikattu, fishermen’s issue over fishing near Sri Lanka etc., and Modi’s charisma are set to take a beating now with the latest petition of the Centre on the CMB formation. It is an unaccepted truth that the BJP commands a big following among Brahmins in Tamil Nadu and after Modi, this has gone up substantially along with attracting massive youth support. But a key question among everyone in Tamil Nadu is why the State BJP leaders did not approach the Prime Minister over the issue and seek his intervention.
Vanathi Srinivasan, vice president of the State BJP, says that they took up the issue with the top brass and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan also met the Central ministers. But, the media did not publicise it much. She also admitted that the state unit did not put as much pressure as was done by the Karnataka delegation.
When asked about the allegation that the PM had succumbed to the pressure of the BJP leaders and ministers from Karnataka, Vanathi stoutly rejected it and said that the party never took a biased stand and the decision on the petition was taken after considering several factors.
To a specific question on the future of BJP in Tamil Nadu and the civic polls in the backdrop of the CMB issue, the BJP leader said she was confident that the people of the State would not take a decision based on a single issue. She said that they would consider the other problems in which BJP stood with the people of Tamil Nadu. She said this would help them boost their prospects in the civic polls.
On the water sharing issue, Vanathi said that the present situation has highlighted the need for the nationalisation or interlinking of rivers. As far as this issue is concerned, unfortunately, only those states which receive water from others have extended support. So, the Modi-led NDA government is working hard to get a consensus.
All said and done, the effect of the Centre’s petition will be known in the civic polls and in the days to come.