Nation Politics 28 Jan 2018 DMK threatens to int ...

DMK threatens to intensify protest

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jan 28, 2018, 6:12 am IST
Updated Jan 28, 2018, 6:12 am IST
His party would wait for a couple of days to see if the State government acted on their plea, before intensifying the protests without permission.
DMK working president M. K. Stalin
 DMK working president M. K. Stalin

Chennai: The DMK which staged an agitation on Saturday has threatened to intensify its protests across Tamil Nadu, and fill jails from Monday if the ruling AIADMK government did not withdraw bus fare hike immediately.

Participating in his party’s State-wide agitation in front of the Chepauk guest house here, DMK working president and leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly, M. K. Stalin, demanded Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to immediately withdraw the hike or step down. “The Chief Minister had said the hike was effected with anguish. If so, it should be immediately withdrawn or else, you (Mr. Palaniswami) have got no option left but to resign,” Mr. Stalin said.

 

His party would wait for a couple of days to see if the State government acted on their plea, before intensifying the protests without permission. In other words, the DMK would stage “jail bharo” agitation, he said. The January 19 increase in bus fares had come as a “jolt” to the ordinary people, he said and added that many of them such as daily wage labourers were now forced to spend a large part of their earnings towards commuting in buses.

“I had written to the chief minister four days ago, asking him to withdraw the hike, and that the matter should be discussed in the State assembly for which the House should be convened. But they are only giving accounts of losses (suffered by transport corporations) but have no time for remedial measures,” he said addressing his party members.

 

He recalled that during the DMK rule of 2006-11, his father and then CM M. Karunanidhi had never effected such a hike, despite repeated pleas from officials of the transport department. Mr. Karunanidhi would decline their plea saying State-run transport corporations were not meant to make profit and that any losses should be borne keeping in mind the interests of the people, Mr. Stalin said. After a gap of six years, the AIADMK government had hiked the fares on January 19 by about 20 to 54.54 per cent.

DMK’s allies viz. the Congress, IUML, MDMK and the Left parties participated in the agitation and raised slogans denouncing the AIADMK government for the steep hike and demanded that it should be rolled back immediately as it imposed additional burden on the people. DMK Rajya Sabha Member Kanimozhi led the agitation in front of the Chennai Collectorate, in which MDMK chief Vaiko. Mr Stalin’s son and actor Udhayanidhi Stalin, who had recently hinted of entering politics, led the agitation at suburban Tambaram and said he would be seen more in political platforms. The demonstration was held in all the district headquarters led by respective district secretaries of the party.

 

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