Farmers call for Tamil Nadu bandh on Mar 28 over Mekedatu dam row

Farmers call for Tamil Nadu bandh on Mar 28 over Mekedatu dam row

Farmers' bodies here have called for a Tamil Nadu bandh on March 28 over the Mekadatu dam row and several political parties have expressed their support for it.

"Representatives of several political parties, including DMK, DMDK, VCK, PMK, and MMK have expressed support to the call for bandh," President of Coordination Committee of All Farmers Associations, P R Pandian told PTI.

BJP state unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said her party was not in favour of a bandh, however, it would not oppose it as it was a decision of all farmers associations.
The decision was taken at a meet held yesterday in which party representatives participated, Pandian said.

CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan said his party would support the bandh as the proposed construction of dams across Cauvery in Mekadatu will severely affect Tamil Nadu.
Yesterday, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to advise Karnataka not to build new dams across the Cauvery at Mekedatu as it would affect Tamil Nadu.

"The statewide bandh call is to press the Centre to stop the proposed construction of new dams in Mekedatu and to urge it to set up the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority," Pandian said.

Also, the Cauvery Delta region should be declared a protected farm zone. "Representatives of all political parties should call on the Prime Minister on this issue," he said. PMK chief Ramadoss expressed his party's support to the bandh and urged the Tamil Nadu government to support it.

"Only if the bandh succeeds can we demonstrate to the Centre that Tamil Nadu is united on the Cauvery issue," he said.

The bandh call comes after weeks of protests by various farmers associations and politial parties over the Mekedatu row. The protests gathered pace after Karnataka allocated Rs 25 crore for the project in its recent budget.

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