Karunanidhi begins day-long fast on Sethu issue

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Chennai, Oct 1 (UNI) A virtual bandh like situation prevailed in Tamil Nadu as Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi today began a day long fast demanding speedy implementation of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP).

Leaders of the alliance partners of the DMK, including TNCC President M Krishnasamy, PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss, leaders of left parties, DPI General Secretary Thol Thirumavalavan and Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani, sat on a fast along with Mr Karunanidhi in front of the State Guest House in Chepauk area here.

The DMK-led DPA had earlier called for a bandh today but it was stayed by the Supreme Court yesterday in a special sitting on a SLP filed by the opposition AIADMK, seeking to declare the bandh as unconstitutional.

Similar fasts were held in all the districts and taluk headquarters of the State in which functionaries of the DMK and its allies participated.

Asserting that the apex court order was not binding on them, a majority of the trade unions stuck to its earlier decision to struck work today.

Normal life in the State came to a grinding halt as buses were off the roads. Shopkeepers downed their shutters and several schools have declared a holiday.

Public transport services were badly hit as a majority of trade unions, including the Labour Progressive Front, affiliated to the DMK, CITU and All India Trade Union Congress, decided to observe a day's strike.

However, train services were maintained with the Southern Railway operating both the EMU services and the long distance services.

Some of the airlines had also announced cancellation of the flights due to poor public patronage as several people cancelled their tickets after a bandh was called for.

The tinsel world also expressed their solidarity to the Chief Minister on the issue by announcing cancellation of film shooting for the day. Cinema halls have also cancelled the morning and afternoon shows.


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