Chennai, Apr 6 (PTI) As opposition to IPL matches to be held here grew over the Cauvery issue with AMMK leader Dhinakaran appealing to cricket fans to shun it, the Tamil Nadu government today assured security for the event.
Ruling AIADMK’s rival and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader Dhinakaran appealed to cricket lovers to shun IPL matches scheduled to be held here to ‘strengthen the voice of farmers’ seeking setting up of Cauvery Management Board.
His appeal comes days after pro-Tamil outfits opposed holding IPL matches,saying it was not needed when farmers were struggling holding protests for the Cauvery Management Board.
Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister and senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar said “if they (IPL organisers) write to us seeking security, we cannot say that we will not provide security.” Apparently pointing to the ambience of continuous agitations over the Cauvery issue in Tamil Nadu, Jayakumar, however, told reporters “the Board (Board of Control for Cricket in India) will realise the situation here in Tamil Nadu and they will decide whether to hold the matches or not.” Dhinakaran in a tweet said, “I appeal to cricket lovers to boycott the IPL matches to strengthen the voice of farmers in the protest to retrieve rights on Cauvery.” Seven IPL matches are scheduled to be held here between April 10 and May 20.
He said the IPL matches were to be held at a time when people are holding protests every day to partake in the grief of farmers.
The entire state has risen against the alleged “injustice perpetrated on us by the State and Central governments on the Cauvery (issue), the lifeline of Tamil Nadu,” he said in his twitter handle.
Dhinakaran, a rival leader for the welfare legacy of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran and late J Jayalalithaa, is continuing his political fight against the ruling AIADMK regime, led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
He is set to embark on a series of protests covering the Cauvery basin regions of Tamil Nadu beginning tomorrow over the river water issue, to “condemn the State and Central governments” for not setting up the Cauvery Management Board.
On April 7, the protest will be held in Dharmapuri district and on April 10 at Salem.
Agitations led by him will also be held at other locations, including Erode (April 12), Namakkal (April 16), Karur (April 18), Tiruchirappalli (April 21), Thanjavur (April 23), Tiruvarur (April 25), and Nagappattinam (April 27).
Nephew of jailed leader V K Sasikala, Dhinakaran launched a new party last month and named it after late Jayalalithaa, affectionately called ‘Amma’ (Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam) by her followers.
DMK Working President M K Stalin said “we are not saying that it (matches) should not be held. The organisers should realise the problems of people and act accordingly.” On April 4, Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi chief and sitting MLA M Thamimun Ansari asked if IPL matches were needed when “farmers are shedding tears and people are yearning for drinking water.”
Asking the Tamil Nadu government to deny the nod for the matches, he had said if the matches were held,his party cadres and “Cauvery Rights Retrieval Committee,” volunteers would storm the stadium and stop the game.
Pro-Tamil outfit Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi chief T Velmurugan also had appealed to the organisers of IPL matches to not hold them in Chennai.
If it was done, his party and friendly Tamil outfits would stage a “democratic demonstration” inside the stadium by buying tickets, he had said.
“We are not against cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, or cricket fans,” the TVK chief, whose party cadres recently vandalised a toll plaza in an agitation at Villupuram district on the Cauvery issue had said.
Meanwhile protests, including road and rail roko by various outfits, including pro-Tamil organisations, seeking constitution of the CMB, continued in Tamil Nadu.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.