Talking to reporters after the meeting, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president KS Alagiri said, “Justice is on our (Tamil Nadu) side. Constructing a dam across Cauvery River in our catchment area is illegal and unjust. Just because Cauvery originates in Karnataka, it does not mean that it belongs entirely to them (Karnataka). Cauvery runs in Tamil Nadu and drains into the Bay of Bengal. Tamil Nadu has the same rights over Cauvery river as Karnataka.”
Stating that they would find a legal remedy if Karnataka constructs a dam in violation of law, Alagiri, when asked about different stands for different states, said, “When it comes to inter-state disputes, welfare of the state is important. Nation does not arise then. Let us not be confused. Though we are a national party, we will only voice the views related to TN’s welfare. Our policies don’t vary state-wise, river water dispute is not a national issue. Our stand is correct. We firmly oppose the construction of the dam,” he added.
Echoing similar views, BJP legislature party leader Nainar Nagendran said, “Tamil Nadu BJP will fully support every decision taken by TN government in the interest of the state farmers.” Asked about the Karnataka BJP’s stand on the issue, he said, “Yediyurappa is Karnataka Chief Minister. When it comes to TN people’s welfare, we must fight for TN people and not for other state people. State BJP will stand by the welfare of Tamil Nadu people.”
Significantly, the river row has also forced leaders to differ with their bosses in neighbouring states. A week earlier, Congress senior and Tamil Nadu Minorities Commission chairman Peter Alphonse differed with Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and tweeted, “With all respects to you Shivakumarji, your stand is against law, natural justice, inter-state relationship. Lower riparian rights are well protected legally. If you are right India will lose all its water from China, Tibet, Nepal and Bangladesh,” taking objection to his stand that TN’s permission was not needed for constructing Mekedatu dam.