Special Correspondent

TIRUCHI: Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam has announced an indefinite blockade of all trains to and from Kerala passing through Salem from August 25 until the Centre clears the inauguration of the Salem Railway Division, scheduled for September 14.

He said he would lead the relay rail roko at the Salem junction. “We will not allow any train bound for Chennai, New Delhi and other destinations from the Palghat division of Kerala to go via Salem. We will block Kerala-bound trains too,” he told reporters here on Wednesday.

“Where is the need for further talks when the Union Government has already approved the creation of the division,” he wondered, dismissing Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s plea to the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and MPs to break the impasse.

Mr. Arumugam said he had apprised Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi of his agitation plan.

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