A day after Tamil Nadu assembly's jallikattu bill overturned the ban on the bull taming sport, two of the biggest trade associations in the state have asked their members not to sell products manufactured by Pepsi and Coca-Cola from March 1, 2017.
"We have more than 15 lakh members in our organisation. We have told all our members not to sell Pepsi or Coca-Cola products," Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam President Vikram Raja told TNM.
The News Minute had earlier reported that several protesters at Marina had demanded a ban on these products. The agitators alleged that these companies were exploiting the state's water bodies to manufacture aerated drinks while farmers were facing severe drought.
Two associations, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam and Tamil Nadu Traders Federation have made this announcement. The head of the Tamil Nadu Traders Federation Vellaiyan told TNM that it was not a ban, but they were merely asking all their members not to sell.
Vellaiyan said, "We have told members not to sell these products at all. This includes every single product manufactured by these companies. There are 6000 smaller associations which come under our Federation. We do not have the authority to ban it, so we are asking members not to sell it. Many reports have found that such products contain pesticides and are poisonous to one‚Äôs health. It is a duty of a government to ban these products, but since the government is unwilling to do so, we decided to do it,‚ÄĚ said Vellaiyan.
He added that they had been protesting for long but the government had sided with corporates.
‚ÄúDuring the jallikattu protest, we saw many youngsters talking against foreign products, and we figured out that we have public support. Tamil Nadu is not getting water from Cauvery or Mullaperiyar, the only water we have is from Thamirabarani even that water is being taken by these companies,‚ÄĚ said Vellaiyan.
Though the associations have taken this position, it would be interesting to see if they can actually refrain members from selling these products. The two companies manufacture a wide range of products including soft drinks, juices, bottled water, chips and oats.