Traffic flow was hit on Anna Salai in Teynampet for over an hour on Monday, as around 200 members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) attached to the Metropolitan Transport Employees Thrift and Credit Cooperatives Society Limited blocked the stretch.

The union members were protesting the alleged discrimination in the filing of nominations for the Tamil Nadu State Cooperative Societies Election Commission.

Around 9.15 a.m., CITU members gathered in protest, saying they had not been allowed to file nominations to contest in the elections by nominees of another party, in order to make it advantageous for the latter.

The traffic jam left office-goers and other road users in the lurch, as they were forced to manoeuvre through the remaining available space on the crowded road.

“It is unfair for protesters to put road users to discomfort,” said S. Rajesh, a motorist who works in an IT major in the city.

Police rushed to the spot and held negotiations with the agitators. However, when the protestors did not relent, police arrested and later released them.

Meanwhile, elections were also held on Monday for fishermen’s and fisherwomen’s cooperative societies. There were skirmishes between contesting groups in Kasimedu and Ayodhyakuppam. According to police, two groups of fishermen had come to file their nomination papers for the election and a fight broke out between the groups. The warring contestants were from two different political parties.

A policeman in Kasimedu police station said the men later settled the dispute after the police sent them away.

In Ayodhyakuppam, two warring factions tore up nomination papers. “We sent them away telling them that the nomination would be held on another day,” said a constable at the Marina police station. Fishermen said these problems arose between two factions of one political party.

“From the State government, fishermen get Rs. 1,200 per year, Rs. 2000 per family during the 45-day fishing ban and Rs. 4,000 during the monsoons. The seven members in each society that has around 1,000 members get a share from this money. While one portion of the money is spent on functions both political and non-political, the members also get to retain one portion,” said a fisherman.

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