DMK-sponsored bandh to affect normal life in TN

DMK-sponsored bandh to affect normal life in TN

The day-long bandh announced by principal Opposition DMK and its allies is likely to affect normal life in Tamil Nadu on Thursday with the largest traders' body and majority of the transport unions participating in the shutdown.

Shops and restaurants will be shut and government buses operated by drivers' affiliated to trade unions other than that of the ruling AIADMK will stay off the roads from 6 am to 6 pm across the state.

The DMK and its allies gave the call for protest against the Union Government's delay in constituting Cauvery Management Board despite a "clear direction" from the Supreme Court to formulate within six weeks of its judgement on February 16. PMK, which has considerable clout in northern Tamil Nadu, and several farmers' associations are also supporting the bandh.

To make the shutdown "success", the Tamil Nadu Traders' Association, which had earlier decided to shut shops on April 11, abandoned its plans and put its weight behind the DMK.

Chennai's Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) is expected to run skeletal services since drivers affiliated to the trade union of the ruling AIADMK are likely to report to work. Inter-state bus services are also likely to be affected due to the bandh with Karnataka already suspending services to Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

However, government offices, including those belonging to the Central Government, would continue to work on Thursday. DMK workers are likely to gherao railway stations and squat on the railway tracks on Thursday morning, but Southern Railway has beefed up security across its network to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.

While the bandh is on Thursday, the DMK will once again hold discussions with its alliance partner for the second time in four days on the next course of action. After the meeting, the party is likely to announce "Cauvery Rights Retrieval Walk" from Tiruchirapalli to Chennai to be undertaken by its working president M K Stalin and other top leaders.

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