DMK Chief MK Stalin to Lead Protest Against Govt as Tamil Nadu Reels under Severe Water Crisis
Earlier on Saturday, the ruling AIADMK performed 'yagna' in temples across the state while the opposition DMK staged 'empty pot' demonstrations.
People queue up to fill their vessels in Chennai on Saturday. (PTI)
Chennai: As Tamil Nadu reels under its worst water crisis, the ruling AIADMK on Saturday performed 'yagna' in temples across the state while the opposition DMK staged "empty pot" demonstrations, urging the government to take steps to address the issue.
DMK President MK Stalin also announced his party will on Monday lead a protest against the state government, demanding a solution to the city's water problem. The party urged its leaders and workers to participate in the protest in large numbers.
Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar took part in a 'yagna' at a Shiva temple here and planted saplings in the premises of the shrine.
He told reporters that performing yagnas was "an expression of faith", hoping that god will answer their prayers for rain. DMK leader and former city mayor Ma Subramanian, who led an agitation here, hit out at the AIADMK, saying executing plans with rationale alone could help address the situation.
"Conducting such rituals have no utility," he told PTI.
As Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani took part in a 'yagna' at Patteeswaram temple in Coimbatore district, hundreds of DMK cadres staged a protest, seeking the minister's resignation for his "failure" to create the necessary infrastructure for water supply.
Meanwhile, DMK Treasurer and senior leader Duraimurugan threatened to launch a protest against supply of water to Chennai from Jolarpettai by train.
Taking on the DMK, Velumani said transport of water from Jolarpettai would not reduce supply in the Vellore district.
Meanwhile, former Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai took part in prayer in another city temple. Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan participated in a puja at Pachamalai Murugan temple in Erode district.
Cooperation Minister Sellur K Raju took part in special prayers in Meenakshi and Subramania Swamy temples at Madurai.
He said Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam have asked the 50 district party units to hold prayers in temples for rains.
"Even as they tasked us to hold pujas, rains have started in Chennai and Madurai too will get showers," Raju said, adding divine power has helped.
Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar and Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu took part in prayers in Aadikumbeshwara and Pasupatheeshwara temples at Kumbakonam and Karur, respectively.
Food Minister R Kamaraj and Social Welfare Minister V Saroja took part in pujas at Tiruvarur and Nammakal districts.
Meanwhile, former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran and DMK senior functionary P K Sekar Babu staged a demonstration with empty pots, demanding that the government ensure drinking water supply to the people.
Former minister and DMK leader K N Nehru led a protest in Tiruchirappalli District.
Similar protests were held across Tamil Nadu with raising of slogans-- "Vendum Vendum Kudineer Vendum" (we want water) and "Edappadi Arasai Kandikirom" (we condemn Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy's government).
The DMK had on Wednesday said it would hold protests across the southern state on Saturday to urge the AIADMK government to take steps on a war footing to address the acute water crisis.
The main opposition also slammed the state government on the water issue for what it called "negligence" and "administrative failure."
The DMK, meanwhile, announced Saturday that its chief M K Stalin would lead a protest demonstration here on June 24.
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