Protests against the delay by the centre in setting up the Cauvery Managament Board (CMB) intensified on Tuesday, with a section of traders, milk suppliers and pharmacists shutting shops and political leaders joining the protests.
The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) observed a day-long hunger strike across all districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his deputy O. Panneerselvam joined party members on Tuesday morning at Chepauk in Chennai for a hunger strike.
Vanigarsangangalin Peramaippu (traders’ association) leader A.M. Vikiramaraja on Monday announced a bandh will be observed on Tuesday. The Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Employees Welfare Association and Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association had extended their support to the stir. The vegetable and flower market at Koyambedu, one of the largest wholesale markets with over 3,500 shops, remained shut.
The opposition parties led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have called for a bandh on 5 April, which will see traders’ association, along with various transport unions extending their support.
The DMK, which continued its protests for the third day on Tuesday, blocked roads and trains at various places across the state. AIADMK’s rebel leader, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, who tried to lay siege to Trichy airport, was detained by police.
Farmers’ association leaders P.R. Pandian, P. Ayyakannu and others were also detained by police in Trichy.
Meanwhile, South Indian Artistes’ Association (Nadigar Sangam) announced that it would protest on 8 April in Chennai. The agitation would be against the centre for not implementing the Cauvery Management Board and also for the closure of a copper smelter in Thoothukudi.
The people of Thoothukudi have been protesting against Sterlite Industries, a unit of London-based Vedanta Resources Plc, for more than 50 days. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the contempt plea of the Tamil Nadu government against the centre for not constituting the Cauvery Management Board within the stipulated time of six weeks.
On 16 February, the apex court directed Karnataka to release 177.25 thousand million cu. ft (tmcft) of water to Tamil Nadu. This reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water by 14.75tmcft from 192tmcft allocated by a tribunal in 2007.