A year after it witnessed statewide protests over Jallikattu and farmer suicides, Tamil Nadu is set to witness another round of protests over a host of issues. While several political parties, including the ruling AIADMK, have planned agitations over the Cauvery water dispute and the Centre’s delay in implementing the Supreme Court’s order to constitute a water management board, ongoing protests against the Sterlite industrial plant in Tuticorin and a neutrino project in Theni are gaining momentum.
The state government, which had held several rounds of talks with opposition and requested them to be patient on the Cauvery issue, is embarrassed with the Centre approaching the apex court for more time to implement its verdict on the water sharing dispute, citing several reasons, including Karnataka polls.
AIADMK has now announced a hunger strike, from Tuesday, to protest against the Centre’s delay in forming the Cauvery water management board. District functionaries of AIADMK are going to lead the hunger strike and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam are unlikely to join.
T T V Dinakaran, who floated an outfit called Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, will lead a farmers’ march on the Cauvery issue to Trichy airport Tuesday, said one of his associates. “Not less than 5,000 farmers will participate in the march,” he said.
While DMK and its allies called for a shutdown over the issue on April 5 in Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy and all major and minor towns, a bandh called by trade unions, AITUC, CITU, LPF and INTUC, the same day are likely to bring state transport services to a halt. DMK working president M K Stalin appealed all sections in the society to take part in the shutdown.
MDMK leader Vaiko is leading a 10-day padayatra from Madurai to Cumbum to create awareness about impacts of the Centre’s neutrino project in Theni.
In Tuticorin hundreds of people and social activists joined an agitation demanding the shutdown of a Sterlite industrial plant. While the demand has been long-standing, the fresh round of agitation was triggered by a reports of the company’s plans to expand.