Bangalore, Apr 6: JD (S) President H D Deve Gowda today termed as a 'conspiracy' the Tamil Nadu government's decision to put on hold the 'controversial' Hogenakkal project. Talking to newspersons here, he alleged that "the Tamil Nadu's decision to stall the project is a conspiracy hatched by the Congress against the people of Karnataka." ''The Congress has asked its key ally in the UPA government to temporarily halt the project only to save the government at the Centre and befool the people of Karnataka,'' he alleged.
He accused the Tamil Nadu government of 'unilaterally' deciding to complete the project at any cost, triggering reactions across the state. Mr Gowda demanded a joint survey of the controversial Hogenakkal falls area, which he claimed legitimately belonged to Karnataka.
''Karnataka's fate in connection with Hogenakkal issue is akin to Sarabjit Singh, the innocent Indian, who is facing death penalty in Pakistan. His position is the same as Sarabjeet, whose death warrant is signed but hanging has been postponed till a democratically elected government in Islamabad takes a final decision,'' he said responding to Tamil Nadu government's decision to stall the project until a popular government takes charge in Karnataka.
He said ''friendly people of the state did not want to deprive the people of Tamil Nadu of their legitimate rights. All they are demanding is justice and equitable distribution of natural resources between two riparian states.'' Unfortunately, justice had been denied to the people of the state from a long time, before the independence and even after the independence, he said.
''People of Karnataka have been the victims of discrimination and step-motherly treatments at the hands of the Centre,'' he alleged.
Mr Gowda said the 'struggle' to get the state's rights in terms of Cauvery dispute would have to continue but he appealed to the pro-Kannada organisations to remain peaceful.
''We should guard the amity between people of the two states. There is no need to burn buses or force stop screening of Tamil movies,'' he added.