Chennai, Apr 5 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi today put the Hogenakkal water project on hold till after the upcoming Assembly Elections in Karnataka.
"I hope that a popular government will understand our just demand and abide by the 1998 agreement to implement the scheme," Karunanidhi said.
"If the situation continues even after the polls there, we will tell the world that Tamils, even at the cost of their lives, will not be people without self respect. We will wait till a popular government is in place there. I expect the co-operation of the new government for the scheme," he added.
The development came after senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna said that the state government was ready to move the Supreme Court on the Hogenakkal issue if need arises.
Krishna said he was not concerned whether the DMK will get upset or the ruling UPA coalition will get affected by the move.
"We are not really concerned whether the DMK is going to be upset or it is going to have an impact on the Central Government. All that we are concerned is how does this project affect Karnataka in terms of the water sharing agreement between Karnataka and the Tamil Nadu," he told a private television.
On Friday, Tamil film star Rajnikanth launched an intense attack on his native Karnataka by condemning the assault on Tamils by pro-Kannada outfits over the Hogenakkal project on the Cauvery river.
The Tamil film personalities conveyed their support to the State Government for the ongoing dispute with the Karnataka Government over the project.
Earlier, Krishna and Union Shipping Minister T.R Baalu met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh separately to seek the Central Government's intervention on the issue.
Krishna urged the Prime Minister to convince the Tamil Nadu Government to postpone operationalisation of the project till the ensuing polls in Karnataka.
Baalu, on the other hand, said Karnataka should have no objection to the drinking water project that is coming up on Tamil Nadu's border with Karnataka.
He also claimed that the Centre had given a no-objection certificate to the project as far back as 1998, and described its obstruction by vested interests in Karnataka as deplorable.
A recent statement by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi over the project undertaken by his government has evoked strong protests in Karnataka.
Krishna alleged that Karunanidhi had used some harsh language against the people of Karnataka. However, Karunanidhi denied this allegation.
The Rs. 1334-crore Hogenakal drinking water project is expected to provide water supply for the people in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.
Hogenakal, a beautiful natural boundary between the two states is fast becoming an election issue.
The project is located on the 64 kilometres long Palar River, which flows through the thick forest of Chamarajnagar and joins with the Cauvery River. While northern bank belongs to Tamilnadu, the southern bank falls in Karnataka.