Al­low demo­cratic protests on Ma­rina: Vel­mu­ru­gan

Threat­ens to stage demon­stra­tions un­til CMB is formed

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - Staff Re­porter

Fol­low­ing the Madras High Court ob­ser­va­tion that protests could be al­lowed on the Ma­rina beach if they were peace­ful in na­ture, Tamizhaga Valvuri­mai Katchi leader P. Velu­mu­ru­gan on Mon­day urged the State gov­ern­ment and the po­lice depart­ment to al­low peace­ful and demo­cratic protests.

The court made the ob­ser­va­tion re­cently while hear­ing a case by farmer leader P. Ayyakannu.

Point­ing out that he had al­ready pe­ti­tioned the po­lice for per­mis­sion to hold protests on the Ma­rina beach un­til the Cau­very Man­age­ment Board is formed, Mr. Vel­mu­ru­gan said, “If per­mis­sion is re­fused, the cadre of Tamil Vazhvuri­mai Koota­maippu (an um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion of 150 Tamil out­fits) will protest against big pri­vate in­dus­tries that use so much wa­ter, es­pe­cially MALCO which uses 10 TMC wa­ter from Met­tur Dam.”

‘Hash­tags hi­jacked’

He claimed that the main­stream Dra­vid­ian par­ties — DMK and AIADMK — were un­able to ig­nore the protests started by him. “I started the #IPLGOBACK, #MODIGOBACK slo­gans, which were ac­cepted by a ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple and be­came pop­u­lar. This is why the Op­po­si­tion party tried to ap­pro­pri­ate these slo­gans af­ter four days,” he said.

He made it clear that he was not op­posed to the Dra­vid­ian move­ment but only to the Dra­vid­ian par­ties that have been in power. “I iden­tify with many as­pects of the move­ment. I am not like other (Tamil na­tion­al­ist) lead­ers. But I have prob­lems with the Dra­vid­ian par­ties which have com­pro­mised with the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment and ceded the rights of the State. M.K. Stalin could have done all this when he was the deputy Chief Min­is­ter; he could have en­sured the for­ma­tion of CMB.”

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