Actor Rajinikanth on Sunday urged fans and cricketers of Chennai’s Indian Premier League team, the Chennai Super Kings, to wear black arm bands during matches during the ongoing tournament to support Tamil Nadu’s demand for the constitution of a Cauvery Management Board. The actor joined a day-long protest by the Nadigar Sangam, a Tamil film industry body, in Chennai on Sunday, The Hindu reported.
A match between the Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders is scheduled to be held in Chennai on April 10.
Other actors such as Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Vishal, Sivakarthikeyan, Udhaya and Aarthi Ganesh, music composer Shankar Ganesh and director RK Selvamani were part of the protest, according to Eenadu India.
The Opposition in the state had observed a statewide shutdown on Thursday to demand the Cauvery board be set up. They had alleged that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government failed to convince the Centre to constitute the board, which is expected to ensure that the Supreme Court’s February 16 ruling on the allocation of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is implemented. The deadline to set up the board ended on March 29. The Centre later asked for a six-week extension, given that Karnataka elections will be held in May.
“Tamil Nadu is demanding in one voice, set up the Cauvery Management Board,” Rajinikanth told reporters, according to News18. “I urge Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] to take necessary steps.”
“There is just one thing Tamil Nadu wants, and it is the Cauvery Management Board,” the actor said, according to NDTV. “If this is not formed, the Centre will be the reason for Tamil Nadu’s anger and unhappiness.”
He said the actors were not protesting for “someone who has 500 acres of land”. “We are here to protest for those farmers who have sometimes even less than an acre of land,” he said. “Please show them as the face of protests, show people their tears, and even Karnataka will see their grief.”
He added: “It is an embarrassment IPL is being held at this juncture when Tamil Nadu is protesting for Cauvery Management Board. But, Chennai Super Kings team and the fans could wear black arm bands at least.”
The annual Indian Premier League started on Saturday with a match between the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in Mumbai.
On Saturday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin began a march from Mukkombu near Tiruchirappalli to protest against the Centre’s stand on the Cauvery dispute, The Indian Express reported. People from Tamil Nadu who live in Delhi also held a protest march in the city on Sunday demanding that the Cauvery Management Board be set up immediately.