With less than a week left for the Indian Premier League to begin, some political groups in Tamil Nadu have demanded that no match should take place in Chennai for the Cauvery Management Board has not yet been set up.
A group of political parties, including Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK), Viduthalai Thamizh Puligal Katchi, Thamizhar Vidiyal Katchi and Social Democratic Party of India, called for a press meet on Wednesday to make this demand.
TVK leader Panruti T Velmurugan said, “In order to condemn the Centre which shows no regard for the livelihood and the identity of the Tamils, we request that the IPL should not take place here – at a time when Tamilians are bursting with anger. If the BCCI conducts the IPL here, and the Tamil Nadu government and the Tamil Nadu police support it, then all those who eat the food produced by farmers will buy tickets and go inside the stadium and protest in a democratic way. Tamil Nadu government, BCCI and the IPL management should not push us to that level. If all our notifications on this matter are ignored, we are ready to come to the streets (to protest).”
With the expiry of the Supreme Court mandated six week deadline for setting up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), parties in the state have been protesting against the Centre. A state bandh has been called on April 5.
Velmurugan further stated, “Adding insult to the injury, the Centre has sought clarification on setting up the CMB. It has cited elections in Karnataka and the law and order situation in the state, and has asked for a three-month extension. Completely disregarding the sacrifice of over 1,600 farmers, Tamilians are being treated as second-class citizens. The (Narendra) Modi government doesn't even consider Tamilians as Indians. It is propagating hatred towards us. That's the reason for not setting up the CMB. Previously, when the Supreme Court asked for responses within a week, the government has given it.”
He also threatened to conduct a massive protest against Karnataka and the Centre in front of NLC India Limited in Neyveli, demanding that Tamil Nadu should not supply power if it doesn't get water. “All Tamil nationalist and Dravidian parties will come together and protest together. We will also lock down every central government office across Tamil Nadu to show our protest to the Centre.”
Popular Tamil host and music composer James Vasanthan extended his support to the ban. Some Twitter users too said they would boycott the matches in support of the Cauvery issue.
I will not be attending any #IPL matches this season & will not participate in any IPL related shows on TV until #CauveryMangementBoard or equivalent is formed.There r some things in life bigger than a game & I believe that this is a time to stand with our farmers.— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) April 4, 2018
To support TN Farmers, why not we avoid Chennai IPL Cricket by not visiting Chepauk Stadium. It is possible only celebrities like you!— RajendrenG (@RajendrenG2018) April 4, 2018
The Chennai Super Kings are back in action two years after a betting scandal banned them. The first match at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram stadium is set to take place on April 10 against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Last week, over 500 members of TVK protested in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district, and targeted the Ulundhurpettai toll booths.
Refusing to “pay the Centre” until the CMB was set up, protesters smashed the toll plaza, broke barricades and also smashed the glass where the toll collectors sit.