The Thamizhaga Vazhvumurai Katchi, a pro-Tamil party in Tamil Nadu, has issued a veiled warning to the Chennai Super Kings team who are part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and are currently practicing in the city.
"Players should understand that we are upset. At a time when we are battling for our rights, we don't want this game of gambling to take place here. We know that the cricket players are staying at the old Adyar hotel for practice. For all those cricket players who understand Tamil and are watching this, please understand our feelings. Lakhs of youth in Tamil Nadu are in great anger. You will leave the hotel for shopping or site seeing. If there is even a small untoward incident, beyond the democratic forces, if you face any problems- Velmurugan, TVK or those protesting for Cauvery rights are in no way related," Velumuragan, leader of TvK, said in a conference at the Press Club in Chennai.
Many political groups in Tamil Nadu have been demanding that Chennai should not host any IPL matches in solidarity with farmers agitating for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board/scheme. On Sunday, actor turned politician Rajinikanth said that CSK player should wear a black badge to show their support to the cause.
However, after this, he went on to claim that he was not threatening any player.
"They all are foreign players and players of Hindi origin. They might not be aware of this issue. We have no avenue to tell them about the cause we are fighting for. Hence we are appealing to them to support our cause," he said.
TvK is one among several organisations and political parties who have raised objections against IPL being held when the city is fighting for the Cauvery Management Board, stating that it will take away attention from their cause. Actor Sathyaraj and well-known director Bharathiraja too attended the press meet held by the TvK and other groups in Chennai on Monday.
Following this, the politician also promised that his cadres will buy tickets to watch the match and hold a "democratic" protest inside the stadium.
"We will do that just like how our cadres registered protest in Mumbai yesterday on the Sterlite issue," he added, referring to the protest against the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi.
On April 1, over 500 members of the Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) hit the streets in protests in Tamil Naduâ€™s Villupuram district, and vandalised the Ulundhurpettai toll booths, smashing barricades and glass.
The MA Chidambaram stadium is supposed to host a total of 7 matches this IPL season.