Superstars-turned-politicians Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan at the Cauvery protest in Chennai.
- Rajinikanth joined protest against delay in setting up of Cauvery Board
- The superstar warned centre of large-scale protest if board not formed
- He said IPL players, spectators should wear black bands in protest
Superstars-turned-politicians Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan along with top Tamil actors assembled in Chennai today to protest the delay in the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board by the government, as directed by the Supreme Court.
Before heading to the venue of the protest meet, Rajinikanth told reporters outside his home that holding Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in the city was an "embarrassment" at a time when the state was protesting over the Cauvery issue. He also said that IPL players and spectators should be allowed to wear black bands to register their protest.
Attacking the government which is being blamed by parties across the state for dragging its feet over setting up the Cauvery Board, the 67-year-old actor warned that the centre would earn Tamil Nadu's wrath if the board was not formed on an urgent basis. "There has already been a delay," said the actor, who announced in December that he will launch his political party and contest all 234 seats in the assembly elections.
Rajinikanth demands the centre to act on urgent basis.
The artistes, including top actors like Dhanush, Vijay, Suriya, Sathyaraj, Sivakumar, Nassar, Vishal, Karthi and Sivakarthikeyan, are expected to sit in protest at Chennai's Valluvar Kottam, a popular point for protest meets and demonstrations, till 1 pm.
Stirs, rail blockades, bandh, hunger strike by political parties and agitation by farmer groups demanding immediate action to safeguard Tamil Nadu's interest in the Cauvery waters row have been witnessed across the state.
To draw the centre's attention, a group of farmers in Trichy partially buried themselves in sand on Friday. With garlands around their necks, the farmers battled the blazing sun as they wrapped themselves in the hot sand.
On Thursday, Tamil Nadu's main opposition party - the DMK - along with the Congress, CPI(M) and CPI held a day-long bandh in the state. They have been accusing the central government of delaying the constitution of the board as they don't want to upset voters in Karnataka where Assembly elections are due next month.
The ruling AIADMK had also called for a hunger strike on Tuesday. "The hunger strike is to condemn the central government for not forming the CMB," the AIADMK said in a statement.
The Supreme Court had on February 16 asked the centre to form the Cauvery board to implement a scheme for sharing water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for 15 years. The centre is yet to form the board -- the deadline to set up the board lapsed on March 29 -- following which Tamil Nadu government filed the contempt petition against the centre. The top court will hear the petition tomorrow.
"We understand Tamil Nadu's problem. We will see that Tamil Nadu gets water, and will solve the issue," a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra said.