Members of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) observed a fast in front of the Collectorate in the city on Tuesday demanding constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). C. Ponnaiyan, former Minister and organising secretary of the party, led the agitation organised by the Salem urban and rural district units of the party.
Mr. Ponnaiyan told reporters that successive governments at the Centre and in Karnataka have betrayed the interests of the Tamil Nadu farmers since 1967. Only about five lakh acres had been under the Cauvery irrigation system in Karnataka in the past. On the pretext of holding negotiations, Karnataka had increased the area to a whopping 45 lakh acres, he said. Successive regimes in Karnataka gave scant regard to the 1924 and 1974 Cauvery accords and the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, directive of the Supreme Court.
Leading a fast at Kulakkarai Grounds in Namakkal, State Electricity Minister P. Thangamani said the agitation aimed at establishing the rights of the State.
Most medical shops downed shutters in Salem and Namakkal to demand the constitution of the CMB. Traders affiliated to Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peraramaippu also shut shop in protest.
Staff Reporter in Erode adds
Led by Minister for School Education K.A. Sengottaiyan, Minister for Environment K.C. Karuppannan and MLAs from across the district, AIADMK members observed a fast at Veerappanchatiram bus stop.
While all medical shops were closed, the shutdown by the Federation of Traders Associations evoked poor response. Except for the shops in textile areas, others remained open. The traders said all shops would be closed on April 5, owing to the shutdown call by the Federation of All Trade and Industry Associations of Erode District.
Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK) general secretary E.R. Eswaran said in a release that his party would support the bandh called by Opposition parties in the State on April 5.