BJP, DMK lock horns over posters on Avinashi Road in Coimbatore

The DMK poster pasted on the pillar of the elevated corridor on Avinashi Road in the city.

The DMK poster pasted on the pillar of the elevated corridor on Avinashi Road in the city. | Photo Credit: M. PERIASAMY

High tension prevailed on Avinashi Road near Government Polytechnic College on Thursday night as BJP cadre staged a protest and removed posters of the DMK from at least three pillars.

The police removed 30 protesters by 11.45 p.m. The police had to divert the traffic flow towards airport junction via Codissia Road and VIP Road due to the protest.

The dispute between the BJP and the DMK over occupying the space on the pillars of the elevated corridor on Avinashi Road in Coimbatore for pasting posters escalated on Wednesday night when supporters of the former were prevented from sticking posters by the latter.

BJP cadre attempted to paste posters on the pillars near CODISSIA Road and DMK workers allegedly did not allow them to stick posters. The crowd dispersed after senior police officers held talks with them.

BJP functionaries alleged that posters printed on flex board sheets sponsored by the DMK have been occupying the pillars from airport junction to GKNM Hospital junction for the past several weeks. The posters project flagship schemes of the DMK government, their achievements and new schemes.

BJP Coimbatore district president Balaji Uthamaramasamy said that the DMK failed to keep its word given at the all-party meeting convened by the District Collector on July 28.

“The meeting was convened after we petitioned the Collector demanding removal of the posters. Though the Collector gave 10 days time to remove posters, the DMK did not do it. We further petitioned the Collector demanding removal of the posters but no action was taken. DMK workers led by former MLA N. Karthik prevented BJP workers from sticking posters on Wednesday night,” he alleged.

Sources in the DMK said that the posters were pasted on the pillars ahead of the scheduled visit of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on July 15. However, the visit was cancelled after Mr. Stalin tested positive for COVID-19. The party’s plan was to maintain the same posters till the scheduled visit of Mr. Stalin on August 23.

“We have not kept flex boards on the sides of the roads posing a threat to motorists. The party is also not using flag poles on roadsides to welcome leaders. The posters on the pillars are about the welfare schemes of the government. It is not causing any inconvenience to anyone. The BJP is simply trying to create law and order tension by deliberately pasting their posters on ours,” said Mr. Karthik.

Mr. Uthamaramasamy said that the BJP will wait till Thursday night and the cadre will “clean” the pillars if the DMK or the police do not remove the posters.

“The BJP is ready for a no-poster policy as the party itself is known for launching the Swachh Bharat Mission,” he added.

The poster’s pasted by the DMK have also covered the warnings painted by the Highways Department on the pillars cautioning motorists about the ongoing elevated corridor works.

The police have brought the issue to the attention of the Collector and the Corporation Commissioner.

Consumer rights activist K. Kathirmathiyon said that the city will look clean if public places and properties are devoid of posters. “Political parties should take a united decision on this matter. The ruling party should set an example by not sticking posters. Then only the government can enforce a no-poster policy,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 12:06:52 pm |