The Kongunadu Munnetra Peravai on Tuesday appealed to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to lift the ban on toddy tapping in Tamil Nadu by passing legislation immediately.At a press meet, KMP general secretary E R Eswaran said the time had come for the State to allow toddy tapping as it would become a major poll issue in the 2011 Assembly elections.He said the fledgling Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam, which contested 12 Lok Sabha seats on its own in the Kongu region, secured six lakh votes and proved its strength politically to the DMK and AIADMK fronts.
According to Eswaran, who contested from Coimbatore, his party had pushed the DMDK to the fourth position in all seats of the region and he himself had secured 1.28 lakh votes.The KMP would be ready to back any political party that showed interest in lifting the ban on toddy tapping and worked for the welfare of the lakhs of farmers in the State.Easwaran said his party had targeted the Congress in the polls for its stand against toddy tapping and the result was there for everyone to see - defeat of the party’s candidates in the Kongu region.He added peravai members would meet the CM soon and demand that the ban on toddy tapping be lifted as per his poll promise. He hoped the CM would initiate action as soon as he returned to TN from Delhi.
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association has said that the farmers will continue to tap toddy and face the police action legally. In a statement issued in Coimbatore on Tuesday, Association president Vazhukkuparai Balu and secretary P Kandasamy requested the police not to prevent the farmers from tapping toddy till CM took a decision on it. They pointed out that Karunanidhi and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi had assured to consider permitting toddy tapping during the election campaign. Meanwhile, DIG M Ramasubramanian in Erode has warned that take stringent action would be against all those indulging in illegal toddy tapping in the region. He told reporters on Tuesday that “Our silence during election should not be misinterpreted as licence to indulge in an illegal act.”