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Karaikal reveals Stalin’s game in Neduvasal

It is an ongoing protest against a hydrocarbon extraction project that begins around 8.30 am each day and ends by 7 pm.

Published: 06th March 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th March 2017 11:55 PM   |  A+A-

It is an ongoing protest against a hydrocarbon extraction project that begins around 8.30 am each day and ends by 7 pm. Quite like the dharma yudha in the epics that would end at sundown and begin the next day, the crowd drawn from 100 surrounding villages peaks around 11 am at Neduvasal in Pudukottai district and disperses at night. But unlike the ancient battles where the victor would pack up and celebrate, Neduvasal continues to be on the boil.

This despite the fact that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami a few days ago assured a 11-member delegation that nothing would be done that went against the will of the people. The government also clarifi ed that the mandatory approval for the project from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has not yet been sought, nor has there been any public hearing, so there was no cause for worry.

The delegation that met Palaniswami had DMK’s K Dakshinamurthy, a former panchayat president of Neduvasal and the man who spearheaded the agitation, as a member. The team appeared satisfi ed with the negotiations and wanted to call off the agitation, but was told off by the hardliners in Neduvasal. Contrast that with Karaikal, which too has a similar project. After Puducherry CM Narayanasamy said much the same thing as Palaniswami, the place went quiet.

Even actor Kamal Haasan congratulated Narayanasamy. So, why is Neduvasal simmering? Many would believe it’s because of a DMK undercurrent. Neduvasal is part of the Alangudi Assembly constituency, which elected DMK’s Siva V Meyyanathan as its legislator. The other day, Meyyanathan said he would fi ght against the project “till the last drop of my blood”. And DMK working president M K Stalin weighed in, saying: “I have realised the farmers will continue the agitation till the Centre scraps the project.” Posturing apart, note how Stalin tried to change the goalpost. No such stoking is happening in Karaikal since DMK is part of the ruling coalition in Puducherry.

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