Parties, outfits line up Cauvery protests in TN

Parties, outfits line up Cauvery protests in TN


The battle of one-upmanship on the Cauvery issue was on its full display on Sunday with the DMK, led by its Working President M K Stalin, holding a flash protest in Chennai along with his allies and several other outfits announcing total shutdowns and protests in Tamil Nadu on different dates.   
The flash protest that culminated in Stalin and his alliance partners being arrested by the police came two days before the ruling AIADMK is to hold a day-long fast demanding the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.
In fact, Stalin and his allies surprised everyone by reaching Valluvar Kottam on Sunday afternoon after they announced that they have decided to observe a day-long shutdown on Thursday on the Cauvery issue.  


Separately, an influential traders' body announced that it would shut shops across the state on April 11 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to be in Chennai, as a symbolic protest to convey the sentiments of the people.

A farmers' body has given a call to gherao the Tiruchirapalli Airport on Tuesday, while chemist shops across the state will be shut on Monday.


At a meeting of like-minded parties convened by the DMK on Sunday, Stalin discussed the course of action to be adopted by the Opposition bloc with TNCC chief Su Thirunavukarasar, Dalit outfit VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan and others on the issue that has again reached the Supreme Court.
"The DMK and its allies have decided to observe day-long shutdown in Tamil Nadu on April 5. We request the ruling AIADMK to support the bandh so that a message that the people of the state are united is sent across. The parties have also decided to undertake Cauvery Rights Retrieval Walk from the Delta region," Stalin told reporters before heading to Valluvar Kottam for the protests.



As Stalin sat on the protest, it led to a chain of events with senior DMK leaders holding flash protests across the state with Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi participating in one of the agitations. When Stalin and others were arrested by police, their supports squatted on the roads lead to traffic jams.
In protests that turned violent, cadres of a fringe outfit, Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi, led by its leader T Velmurugan, a former MLA, were arrested by the police for vandalising the NHAI toll gate in Ulundurpet on the Chennai-Kanniyakumari National Highway.
Political analyst N Sathiya Moorthy feels the Centre's inordinate delay in moving the Supreme Court seeking clarification what it meant by scheme has led to "competitive politics" among political parties.  
"The Centre should have approached the Supreme Court immediately after the verdict on February 16. Its delay has led to a groundswell of support in Tamil Nadu," he told DH.



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