Mullaperiyar: SNDP treads cautiously
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The Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam has adopted a different view on the ongoing Mullaperiyar Dam controversy, calling for restraint and efforts to maintain friendly ties with Tamil Nadu.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan said there was no doubt that the Yogam was concerned about what would happen if the dam collapsed, but at the same time, the State should try for an amicable solution with Tamil Nadu.
However, what was happening at present was unfortunate, with the State’s Ministers themselves leading a campaign that was whipping up public emotions unnecessarily, leading to violence and in turn, huge losses for all sections of the people in various ways. Keralite traders in Tamil Nadu, particularly Coimbatore, were facing huge losses while the State itself was heading for a severe crisis with respect to availability of vegetables and several other essential goods.
Singling out Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph for what he called “absolutely irresponsible politics”, Mr. Natesan said Mr. Joseph should quit his post if he was sincere about his arguments.
Instead of maintaining restraint, the minister himself had talked like a “possessed man”, and was responsible for the law and order situation spiralling out of control, the SNDP leader alleged, stating that there was a larger political conspiracy behind the current controversy. The Kerala Congress (M) and Mr. Joseph were trying to increase their influence on Idukki and Kottayam districts and also with an eye on the forthcoming Piravom by-poll.
Pointing out that neither Mr. Joseph nor K.M. Mani had talked about the Mullaperiyar dam when a priest Joy Nirappel had been fasting there for over 1,500 days, Mr. Natesan said the sudden concern could not be seen as anything but a political conspiracy, which also had vested interests playing to bring down Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
There was no collective responsibility on part of the State Cabinet, he said, adding the Yogam would meet protestors at Chappath Junction and Vandiperiyar, including Fr. Nirappel, on Tuesday to declare moral support for the protests. At the same time, the Yogam would continue to demand an expert view on the dam’s safety aspects and for peaceful talks with Tamil Nadu, he added.