Hunger strike, train blockage, shops closed in TN over Cauvery issue

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Chennai, April 3 (IANS) Tamil Nadu on Tuesday saw hunger strikes, blocking of trains, and traders downing their shutters in protest against the Central government’s failure to set up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) despite a Supreme Court order.

The ruling AIADMK held a day-long hunger strike across the state with Chief Minister K.Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam sitting on fast here while in districts, the protest was led by other ministers and party leaders.

The protest, that began at 8 a.m., concluded 5 p.m.

Speaking at the venue, Palaniswami blamed rival DMK for the state not getting Cauvery waters.

He said the DMK government in the state did not renew the water sharing agreement with Karnataka in 1974 which in turn resulted in the current situation.

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Meanwhile DMK leader M.K. Stalin termed AIADMK’s hunger strike as a drama.

Stalin said instead of condemning the BJP-led Central government for not constituting the CMB, the AIADMK has practiced low-level politics by blaming his party and the Congress for the Cauvery issue.

He said the AIADMK fast is a drama just to show that they too protested for Cauvery water.

The DMK and its allies, who have also called for a shut down strike on Thursday, continued their protests by blocking suburban trains.

Some of the protesters were taken into custody, the police said.

Abiding to a call by the traders association, several shops across the state were closed.

The top court in its February 16 verdict had reduced the Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water from 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), which was less than 192 TMC allocated by a tribunal in 2007.

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On the other hand, Karnataka’s share of water was increased by 14.75 TMC.

The Centre has failed to set up the CMB within six weeks of the apex court’s February 16 order.

The deadline ended on March 29.

Tamil Nadu political leaders say the Bharatiya Janata Party was acting in favour of Karnataka, which is opposed to the CMB and where Assembly elections are due.



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