Nagercoil (Tamil Nadu), April 25 (IANS) Work on setting up a big seaport in Colachel in Kanyakumari district will begin once the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu end, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan has said.
Radhakrishnan also feels that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will do well in the May 16 elections.
“Necessary work on setting up the Colachel sea port will start after the assembly elections. The detailed project report is yet to be ready. We are serious about the project,” the minister of state for road transport and highways and shipping told IANS in an interview here.
According to him, the port was nearly a six-decade-old demand of the Kanyakumari people.
“The port will provide direct employment to 10,000 people and change the economic face in the region. The Congress and the DMK are betraying the people by opposing the port,” Radhakrishnan said.
The lone BJP member in the Lok Sabha from Tamil Nadu, Radhakrishnan, elected from Kanyakumari, is confident that the party will win in all the six assembly constituencies in Kanyakumari district.
The BJP is contesting in 156 assembly constituencies, of the total 234. The balance is shared with its allies.
“In the Lok Sabha election of 2014, Radhakrishnan led in all the assembly segments. The mood favours the BJP now,” a party official told IANS.
Radhakrishnan defended the logic of promising that the Tamil Nadu BJP would take steps towards getting the BJP-run central government to set up a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) to oversee the sharing of Cauvery river water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka once it takes power in the state.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times urging the central government to set up the CMB to manage the sharing of river water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
“The Cauvery river water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is a long pending one. The governments in both the states – AIADMK and DMK in Tamil Nadu, Congress and BJP in Karnataka – did not sort out the issue by talking with each other,” Radhakrishnan said.
“When we come to power in Tamil Nadu, the issue will be sorted out amicably. We are confident that in 2017 there will be a BJP government in Karnataka,” Radhakrishnan said.
He did not agree that BJP lost the momentum it gained in Tamil Nadu during the Lok Sabha election with the DMDK, PMK and other parties in its fold by its soft approach towards the ruling AIADMK.
“The AIADMK and DMK created an illusion in the minds of people that the BJP will go along with the former in assembly elections. Our leaders met Jayalalithaa in her capacity as AIADMK leader and not as Tamil Nadu chief minister. They met her for floor coordination in parliament.”
Asked to rate the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, Radhakrishnan said: “The past 50 years is the darkest period in Tamil Nadu under the AIADMK and DMK.”
According to him, Prime Minister Modi will campaign in Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari will be one of the places where he will address an election rally.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)