Karunanidhi joins issue with Rahul on river linking

Chennai: Coming out strongly against AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi for his stand against interlinking of rivers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Sunday said the proposal mooted by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was part of UPA's Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

Interlinking of rivers had also been part of the UPA's CMP, Karunanidhi whose DMK is a key ally of Congress-led UPA in Centre, wrote in party mouthpiece Murasoli referring to Rahul Gandhi's remarks during his recent tour of the state that interlinking of rivers would have 'severe' environmental implications.

"There is an opinion at the national level that linking river at the national level perhaps is the only parmanent solution to the water scarcity problem in the country," he wrote.

Pointing out that it was Indira Gandhi, who had set up the National Water Development Agency in 1982 and vested it with the job of exploring feasibility of interlinking of rivers, he said, adding, the UPA's CMP had stated that the government would make a comprehensive assessment of the project's feasibility starting with the south-bound rivers.

"During the National Development Council meeting held in 2007, I as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had asked the Centre to take steps in implementing the river linking project, which was mentioned in their CMP," he said.

Bureau Report