DMK working president MK Stalin and former Union Minister TR Baalu were detained in Tiruvarur today during a state-wide bandh called by Opposition parties in support of drought-hit farmers. However, the effect of the bandh is partial at best as, autos, taxis and state-run buses are plying as usual, according to a Times of India report. The AIADMK-run government in the state had yesterday stressed that normalcy will not be affected even if the bandh is called.
The police, on its part, had said that all steps have been taken to ensure maintenance of law and order in the state, including the deployment of security personnel. Several Opposition parties like DMK, Congress, CPI(M), CPI, VCK, IUML and some trade unions, farmers groups, the film fraternity and other organisations have expressed their support for the bandh.
However, the state government has maintained that essential services will not be affected because of the bandh. It also said that the people will not be impacted by the shutdown as all steps have been taken so that they are not impacted in any way.
The government also said that buses of the state-run transport corporations and trains will ply as usual and essential services including supply of electricity will be normal.
Opposition parties had called for a bandh after a meeting of Opposition parties on April 16, that included DMK, Congress, CPI(M), CPI, VCK and IUML. As per the DMK, the bandh has been called to urge the Centre and state governments to fulfill farmers’ demands.
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On Sunday, Tamil Nadu farmers who were on strike in the national capital for close to 40 days, had called off their strike hours after meeting state Chief Minister E Palaniswami – they had later clarified that this was only for a temporary period and that they will resume their protest if their demands are not met soon. During the meeting, the CM assured them of all possible help in the matter. He had also assured them off of speaking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to waive off their loans.
(With inputs from PTI)