Cross sections of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday called on a shutdown, while Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam sat on a fast at Chennai, after the central government failed to constitute Cauvery Management Board (CMB) in the time stipulated by the Supreme Court.
While shops were open in Chennai, the majority of the shops in suburbans and southern parts of the state, especially in the Cauvery Delta region, were closed. Ve Gondarajulu, State Treasurer of the Confederation said that the trade loss due to the one-day protest would be around Rs 50 billion.
The ruling party AIADMK is observing a fast at Chepauk in Chennai, whereas across Tamil Nadu, ministers and important leaders are observing hunger strike in the districts.
Despite DMK working president MK Stalin’s appeal to postpone the Bandh to April 5, traders went ahead with the stir as announced earlier.
A M Vikramaraja, president of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peramaippu (Confederation of Traders' Associations) said that around 2.1 million shops are closed to protest against the Centre's inactivity on forming the CMB.
Shops in the bustling market of T Nagar has been given a partial exemption from the shutdown, he said. There will be a meeting of all the traders' organisations to decide on further action, and it would support the bandh called by the DMK and other parties on April 5 as well.
The Tamil Nadu Hotels Association is also supporting the shut down with their 1,00,000 members. While small hotels were shut, major chains like Saravana Bhavan are opened.
Petrol Bunk Owners' Organisations are expected to take a decision on joining the bandh on Thursday, in a meeting scheduled Tuesday evening.
S A Ponnusamy, founder and president, Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Employees Welfare Association said that though the stir is from 6 am, he had asked the dealers to join the bandh call by 9 am. However, state run Aavin milk supply was not hit.
One of the largest vegetables and fruits wholesale market in the country, vendors at Koyambedu also joined the bandh. “All shops in the Koyambedu market will be shut till 5 pm. The vendors also will observe a one-day fast ,” said M Thiyagarajan, president, Koyambedu Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers Traders Association.
In locations such as Broadway in Chennai, and Madurai, most of the shops were closed in the morning. The Band was successfull in Thanjavur and neighbouring districts, which comes under Cauvery Delta.
T Natarajan, general secretary, Chemists and Druggists Association, Chennai, said association members would keep pharmacies open, but wearing black badges.