Chennai, Apr 9 (PTI) Protests demanding setting up of the Cauvery Management Board intensified across Tamil Nadu today, with opposition DMK asking Tamils to wear black shirts and sarees during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on Thursday.
Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the 10th edition of DefExpo, a spectacle event that will project India’s defence manufacturing capabilities.
The event will be held at Thiruvudanthai in neighbouring Kancheepuram district.
During his one day visit, the Prime Minister will also attend the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Cancer Institute in Chennai.
DMK led the protests, with the party’s Working President M K Stalin undertaking his third day of a mega rally over the Cauvery.
In his address at Puthur in Thanjavur district, Stalin faulted both the BJP government at the Centre and the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu for what he termed “betraying” the people of the state and the farmers on the Cauvery dispute.
He recalled that his party had decided to stage a black flag demonstration against the Prime Minister, who will be also be participating at the Cancer Institute event in the city.
“People should wear black shirts and sarees to express their feelings,” he said.
Those who did not have these black clothes should wear black ribbons, he added.
Stalin, who reiterated his demand that the Centre should form the CMB to implement the February 16 final verdict of the Supreme Court, said the Centre should withdraw its petition, asking for clarification on various issues for formulating a “scheme” to implement the decision of the top court.
Meanwhile, in Tiruchirappalli, farmers and individuals staged a human chain protest, demanding formation of CMB.
Members of a pro-Tamil activists picketed a toll plaza in the district.
Protests were also held in Erode.
At Udhagamandalam, TNCC president S Thirunavakarasu however said one should not blame the Karnataka government over the Cauvery issue as it was the ‘total failure’ of the Centre to constitute the CMB, as directed by the Supreme Court.
“It was the total failure of the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board and it is not right to criticise the Karnataka government over the Cauvery issue,” he told reporters at the airport.
He was en route to Gudalur to observe a fast on communal harmony.
In its February 16 judgement, the Supreme Court had raised the 270 tmcft share of Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water.
The apex court granted six weeks time to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement, which modified the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award.
Following the verdict, Tamil Nadu has been urging the Centre to set up the CWMB and CWRC to ensure it received its due share of water from the inter-state river.
The six-week period ended on March 29.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.