Rajnikanth denounces K'taka on Hogenakkal issue

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Chennai, Apr 5 : Tamil film star Rajnikanth has launched an intense attack on his native state Karnataka by condemning the assault on Tamils by pro-Kannada outfits over the Hogenakkal project on the Cauvery river.

"I strongly condemn the happenings in Karnataka. All the politicians should resolve their differences. They should combine together to solve this problem. It is a very sensitive problem. This is a national problem. It is a question of nation's unity and integrity," said Rajnikanth. Artists and producers of the Tamil film industry on Friday observed one-day hunger strike against the controversy around the Hogenakkal project.

Rajnikanth, Kamal Hasan and scores of technicians participated in the hunger strike, which was called by the Tamil Film Chamber of Commerce. They said that it was not the first time when the Tamil film industry was targeted.

The Tamil film personalities conveyed their support to the State Government for the ongoing dispute with the Karnataka Government over the project.

Filmstars believe that it is the Tamil film industry that bears the burnt of the political issues of the two states giving scope to differences.

Meanwhile D. Raja, National Secretary, Communist Party of India (CPI), demanded that the Central Government intervene to resolve the differences.

"In such a situation, I appeal that there should not be any attempt to instigate the emotions. There should not be anything provocative leading people to violence and hatred. There should be restrain on all concerned sides. The Central Government will have to intervene in this situation. It cannot remain a mute spectator forever," Raja said.

On Wednesday, Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister SM 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.

ANI

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