Chennai: Nine opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) formed human chains across the state on Monday to protest against the centre’s delay in constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

While DMK working president M.K. Stalin led the stir at Pudukkottai, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi led a demonstration in Chennai.

Stalin, who is also the opposition leader, said the centre should stop playing with the emotions of the people of the state after looking at the scale of protests.

On Sunday he alleged “the state government is singing paeans to the centre."

Participating in the agitation apart from the DMK were the Congress, Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Dravidar Kazhagam, Indian Union Muslim League and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi. The demonstrations were held in all district headquarters.

Protests were held in neighbouring Puducherry too.

VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan, who led the protest in Krishnagiri, said, “Tamil Nadu will continue to protest until the Cauvery Management Board is set up."

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have seen widespread protests over the Cauvery issue since 1 April. While protests led to a day-long shutdown earlier this month, they also forced the Indian Premier League cricket matches to be moved out of Chennai to Pune. Massive black flag demonstrations and protests marked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tamil Nadu to inaugurate DefExpo 2018 on 12 April. The outpouring of dissent found reflection on social media too, with #GoBackModi trending with over 500,000 tweets.

Opposition leaders in the state have alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the centre was delaying constituting the CMB due to the Karnataka assembly election on 12 May.

Karnataka is against the formation of the CMB.

In the last three weeks, farmers’ associations, students’ organizations, lawyers, individuals and various other outfits have agitated, with road and rail blockades and attempts to lay siege to central government buildings.

The opposition parties under the DMK conducted a five-day long Cauvery Rights Retrieval March across the Cauvery delta region. T.T.V. Dhinakaran, who heads the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), has also been holding demonstrations across the state.

On 9 April the Supreme Court pulled up the central government for not framing a scheme for effective implementation of its 16 February order on Cauvery water sharing between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry and directed the centre to submit the scheme by 3 May.

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