'Go back Modi' cries, black flags greet PM across TN

The BJP Parliamentary Party has chose to observe day-long fast on Thursday in protest against impasse by the Opposition during the just concluded budget session.

As Modi arrived in Chennai around 9.30am, protesters massed near the airport released black balloons.

The protests and demonstrations against PM Modi are part of a demand from across the political spectrum that the Centre follows the orders of the Supreme Court and constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) immediately to apportion the waters of the Cauvery. There were at least 10,000 police personnel present to prevent the situation from worsening.

As the Prime Minister's convoy passed through the campus to reach the adjacent Cancer Institute in Adyar, students wearing black shirts displayed placards condemning the Union government's higher education policies. The letter said that the reports, "attributed mostly to unnamed government sources, are increasingly profiling the Sikhs in India and overseas in very negative light".

We are committed to establishing two Defence Industrial Corridors - one in Tamil Nadu and one in Uttar Pradesh. The move will adversely affect all the southern states, with Tamil Nadu, estimated to lose at least Rs 40,000 crore per year.

"In all these areas, our regulations, processes and procedures have been made more industry-friendly, more transparent, more predictable, more outcome-oriented", he added. "Not now, not anymore, never again", Modi said. Talking about Thursday's fast organised by him and Amit Shah, Modi said, "They didn't let Parliament work for a single day".

Modi was received at the Chennai airport by governor Banwarilal Purohit, defence minister Nirmala Seetharaman, chief minister Edapaddi Palaniwami, deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and senior officials.

The Cauvery protest led to massive traffic jams in and around the airport and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had to get down from her vehicle and walk for about a kilometre to reach the airport and receive the Prime Minister.

Similar black balloon and flag protests were witnessed all over Tamil Nadu. PM Modi's drive here would only be inside the premises. The group's leader Velmurugan, too, was detained.

  • David Armstrong