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Actors Vijay, Nassar protest in Chennai over Tamil Nadu-Karnataka Cauvery water issue

Several popular Tamil actors are protesting over Cauvery water management issue, which has been a bone of contention between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Among the actors who staged protest on the issue on Sunday were superstar Joseph Vijay (popularly known as Vijay) and noted veteran actor M Nassar.

Protests have continued unabated in Tamil Nadu over Centre’s alleged failure to set up a Cauvery Management Board. On Thursday last, a bandh was called across Tamil Nadu over the issue. Both road and rail traffic were hit, primarily in Chennai, during the bandh.

In a bid to put pressure on the Centre for swift action on formation of board, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam also went on a hunger strike Tuesday last.

Taking the law enforcement agencies by surprise, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam sat on the hunger strike at 8 am on Tuesday and continued the same till 5 pm. They were joined by several party members while hundreds gathered to protest against Centre’s alleged inaction. In several districts too, junior ministers and other AIADMK leaders held protests.

The hearing of state government’s contempt petition in Supreme Court over the issue is on April 9. The Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud had said, “We understand Tamil Nadu’s difficulty of not getting water. We will resolve the issue.”

On February 16, the Supreme Court had in a verdict reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water from 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), which was less than 192 TMC allocated by a tribunal in 2007.

On the other hand, poll-bound Karnataka`s share of water was increased by 14.75 TMC. Tamil Nadu political leaders say the BJP is acting in favour of Karnataka, which is opposed to the CMB and where Assembly elections are due.

The Centre failed to set up the board within six weeks of the Supreme Court`s February 16 order. The deadline ended on March 29.

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