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Tamil Nadu lines up bandh

Chennai, Oct. 7: Tamil Nadu will observe a dawn-to-dusk bandh on October 9 to protest against Karnataka’s refusal to release Cauvery waters to the lower riparian state and condemn the S.M. Krishna government’s “high-handed attitude in undermining the country’s unity and the sanctity of the Indian Constitution”.

Announcing this here tonight after an all-party meeting at the secretariat, chief minister Jayalalithaa said the bandh was only the “first step” towards demonstrating to Karnataka, the Centre and the country at large that Tamil Nadu stood united in condemning the irresponsible actions of the upper riparian state.

The decision to call the bandh was unanimous, the ADMK chief told reporters, adding that apart from the political parties, fraternal and farmers’ organisations will join the agitation.

The bandh “will be observed peacefully without causing any inconvenience to the general public or harm to any private property”, she said. Essential services are exempt from the purview of the strike.

Though the state’s main Opposition, the DMK, boycotted the all-party meeting today, party chief M. Karunanidhi had already declared, earlier in the day, that the DMK would support any “constructive action” to secure the interests of Tamil Nadu’s farmers.

Karunanidhi said the DMK was boycotting the all-party meeting because the ADMK leader was frequently becoming too personal in her attacks on the DMK on this issue.

“We should, in the meanwhile, act decisively in some way that will manifest our feelings on the issue. We must demonstrate that we all think and act alike on this vital issue,” Jayalalithaa said at the all-party meeting.

, adding that the Prime Minister would return from his foreign tour only on October 13 and the contempt petition against Karnataka would come up in the Supreme Court again on October 24.

The Congress, the BJP, the CPI, the CPM, the PMK, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Dravidar Kazhagam, two factions of the Muslim League, the Congress Jananayaga Peravai founded by former finance minister P. Chidambaram were among the 37 parties and organisations that took party in today’s meeting.

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