Chennai: Two main opposition alliances, the DMK and PWA, which were fighting against each other in Assembly elections have come together to participate in the bandh in the delta districts urging the Centre and state governments to take steps for release of Cauvery water from Karnataka.
The DMK headquarters in a statement specifically said the bandh was called by the CP(I)M and CPI and the DMK would support the agitations. The principal opposition party asked its cadres to take part in large numbers in the bandh and road blockade condemning ‘the complacent attitude of the state and Central governments’ on the Cauvery issue.
PWA constituents MDMK and VCK had already announced their support to the bandh and other related agitations on August 19. In effect, the cadres of DMK, MDMK, VCK and Left parties, with their party flags, will come together in eight districts — Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Tiruchy, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai — against the BJP and AIADMK governments.
After the defeat in the Assembly elections, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi called for a ‘socialist, secular and democratic alliance’ to fight the BJP. The VCK, one of the constituents of the People’s Welfare Alliance, had passed a resolution, in its executive committee meeting, calling for a ‘broad-based secular alliance for Parliament elections’ against the BJP.
However, VCK leader Thol. Thiurmavalvan watered down the resolution later after stiff opposition by the Left parties against joining hands with the DMK and Congress.
CPM state secretary G. Ramakrishnan recently accused the DMK of supporting ‘neo-liberal economic policies’ of the Congress and BJP and asserted that alliance for the Lok Sabha polls would be based on economic polices, besides opposition to communalism. Following the CP(I)M’s opposition, Thirumavalavan said the alliance proposed by his party was not for elections, but to create a platform for struggle against communalism.
The leaders of agricultural wings of the CP(I)M and CPI met DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday to seek support for the bandh. DMK appears to have deftly seized the opportunity to join hands with the PWA parties on a key political issue and build opposition unity in the state.
Over 2,000 DMK men held in Chennai
Nearly 2,300 DMK cadre were arrested in the city on Wednesday after they burnt the effigies of Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal protesting against the suspension of party MLAs, including leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin, from the House.
The DMK members protested at nearly 60 locations, including outside party headquarters Anna Arivalayam, across the city and its suburbs and raised slogans against the AIADMK government's attitude towards Opposition parties.
They also burnt effigies of Mr Dhanapal. After attempts to prevent burning of effigies failed, police took them into custody. Several hundreds of DMK workers were also arrested from other parts of the state while they tried burning the effigy of the Speaker....