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Rajni faces fan ire on Cauvery

Chennai, Oct. 6: Tamil superstar Rajnikanth has come under fire from a section of his fans and the Tamil film industry for his reluctance to participate in the tit-for-tat agitation on the Cauvery issue at Neyveli on October 12.

The actor said he would participate in the rally if the protest was meant only to secure Cauvery water from Karnataka. “But I will not participate in the rally if it results in blood being spilled,” he added at Meenambakkam airport today before his departure for New Delhi, where he planned to call on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to urge for an immediate resolution of the issue.

Following Kannada star Raj Kumar’s participation in a march in Bangalore recently protesting against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the South Indian Film Artistes’ Association, based in Chennai, is now bracing for a counter-show to demand that the public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation stop electricity supply to Karnataka.

The agitation is spearheaded by some of the big guns of the Tamil film industry, including actor Kamalahasan, director Bharathi Raja and actor and DMK MP Sarath Kumar.

Raja said the plight of Tamil Nadu’s farmers in the Cauvery delta is too serious to be ignored, particularly after Karnataka’s refusal to abide by the directives of the Supreme Court and the Cauvery River Authority to release waters to Tamil Nadu.

“We are determined to go ahead with the agitation at Neyveli,” he added.

Rajnikanth was initially against the Neyveli agitation and appealed for a “rational approach” to the issue. Inter-connecting rivers in peninsular India could be a viable solution, the actor said, adding that he would take up the issue with Vajpayee. However, the superstar announced last night, that he was not averse to participating in the agitation.

With his arrival in the capital, Rajnikanth’s participation in the rally is once again under a cloud.

Most political parties have come out in support of the Neyveli agitation. Chief minister Jayalalithaa is scheduled to meet leading Tamil film personalities here tomorrow.

All-party meet

Jayalalithaa has convened an all-party meet here on Monday to discuss the Karnataka Cabinet’s announcement that their state was not in a position to implement the Supreme Court’s latest directive on the issue.

Karnataka’s “roguish conduct” required the Centre to issue a directive under Article 256 of the Constitution, asking the state to comply with the apex court’s orders or dismiss the state government under chief minister S.M. Krishna “in case of continued intransigence and recalcitrance,” she said.

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