Chennai, Aug. 22: Days after speaking in two voices during the no-trust motion in the Lok Sabha, the DMK teamed up with the Congress and Left parties to protest Jayalalithaa’s filing of cases against four state Opposition leaders.
The DMK took to the streets today to protest the decision to charge party chief M. Karunanidhi and three Opposition leaders under Section 5 of the Essential Services Maintenance Act for “instigating” lakhs of government employees to go on strike last month.
The state unit of the BJP objected to the DMK’s joining forces with Opposition parties since it is part of the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre.
But Karunanidhi brushed aside the protest, saying his party had severed ties with the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP over a year ago and the NDA was “non-existent” in the state.
Opposition supporters protested across Tamil Nadu against the cases that have been filed against Karunanidhi, state Congress Committee chief E.V.K.S. Elangovan, CPI secretary R. Nallakannu and CPM secretary . Varadarajan.
Protests were staged before the state guest house at Chepauk here this evening, and in front of district and taluk headquarters in other parts of Tamil Nadu.
The Opposition leaders arrived in an open jeep here to join hundreds of protestors who were shouting slogans against the Jayalalithaa government for “foisting false cases”.
The Congress and the Left are perplexed that the DMK has not yet quit the NDA but say today’s protests are a shape of things to come, for the chief minister has an “amazing capacity” to get the Opposition together “on the same platform”.
The launch of the “anti-Jayalalithaa campaign” comes a day after the DMK, the MDMK and the PMK opposed the proposed central bill banning cow slaughter.
The parties did not join in today’s protests but extended “moral support” to the DMK over the issue.
DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan and party treasurer Arcot . Veerasamy as well as state Congress leader S. Balakrishnan participated in the Chennai protest along with the Opposition leaders.
A section of the state Congress had reservations initially about teaming up with the DMK since it had voted against the Congress-led no-trust motion in Parliament.
But it went ahead after Congress general secretary Kamal Nath gave the green signal from Delhi, saying state and central issues “should not be mixed up”.