Led by party chief Vaiko, MDMK cadres on Sunday staged a black flag demonstration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi shortly before he arrived in Madurai, accusing him of betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu.
Members of various outfits opposing 10% reservation for economically weaker sections in general category also took part in a black flag protest. The protest took place at Periyar Bus Terminal in the heart of the city, located 10km away from PM’s programme venue.
The protesters released black balloons. They raised slogans against the Prime Minister for acting against the interest of Tamil Nadu on Cauvery and other issues
The protesters refused to disperse when police instructed them to do so and continued with the protest. Police said the protesters were detained.
The Prime Minister arrived at the airport in Madurai about 30 minutes later and laid the foundation stone for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences nearby.
The MDMK cadres claimed that the centre had accorded "permission to projects like neutrino and hydrocarbon extraction" which, according to them, would have an adverse impact on the livelihood of the farmers and also affect the common people.
On the Cauvery issue, they alleged that the Centre was supportive of Karnataka's bid to build a dam at Mekedatu across the river by giving permission for preparing a detailed project report.
The MDMK cadres, however, said the protest was not against the AIIMS.
Slogans like "go back Modi," and counter hashtags "Madurai thanks Modi," and "TN welcomes Modi" trended on micro blogging site Twitter.
Tamil Nadu unit BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan and Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan strongly condemned MDMK for staging the protest ahead of the prime minister laying the foundation for a big project beneficial to the state.
WIth PTI inputs