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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thousands take part in human chain despite rain

CHENNAI: Braving heavy rain, leaders of various political parties and thousands of cadres raised slogans and carried placards, as they formed a human chain to demonstrate support for the Sri Lankan Tamils and to press for India’s intervention to stop the military offensive against the Tamils. The Congress, an ally of the ruling DMK, however, did not participate.
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who gave the call for the human chain, visited the starting point opposite Chennai Collectorate and travelled up to Pallavaram. “I congratulate the parties that have taken part in the human chain. I don’t like to say anything about those who failed to participate,” Mr. Karunanidhi said when asked about the parties that did not turn up.
The rainwater was knee-deep near the starting point. For two hours, Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan, Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami, CPI state secretary D. Pandian, MDMK MP Gingee Ramachandran, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam leader Hyder Ali and others stood on a platform in the rain.
Criticising the Congress, Mr. Pandian said the party was interested in sharing power, but was not ready to join the protest though the party leaders attended the all-party meet.
At the Periyar Statue on the arterial Anna Salai, Mr. Karunanidhi met Dravidar Kazhagam leader K. Veeramani, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol. Thirumavalavan and others.
His next meeting was with PMK leader S. Ramadoss, who participated in the protest with party president G.K. Mani and hundreds of cadres. The two leaders, who had not seen each other for months, shook hands.
Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin participated in the human chain near Guindy.


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