TN govt makes frantic bid to appease rain gods

TN govt makes frantic bid to appease rain gods
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party workers perform 'yagna' rituals to pray for good rains, at a temple in Chennai, Saturday. Photo: PTI

Chennai: As Tamil Nadu reels under the worst water crisis, the ruling AIADMK Saturday performed 'yagna' in temples across the state, while the Opposition DMK staged "empty pot" demonstrations, urging the government to take steps to address the issue.

Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar took part in a 'yagna' at a Shiva temple here and planted saplings in the premises of the shrine.

He told reporters that performing yagnas was "an expression of faith", hoping that the Almighty will answer their prayers for rain.

DMK leader and former city mayor Ma Subramanian, who led an agitation here, hit out at the AIADMK, saying executing plans with rationale alone could help address the situation.

"Conducting such rituals have no utility," he told PTI.

Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani took part in a 'yagna' at Patteeswaram temple in Coimbatore district.

As Velumani took part in prayers, hundreds of DMK cadres staged a protest, seeking the minister's resignation for his "failure" to create necessary infrastructure for water supply.

Talking to reporters later, he said the move to bring water from Jolarpet in Vellore district to Chennai would not affect the water availability there.

TN govt makes frantic bid to appease rain gods
Children rush to fill their vessels from a water tanker following acute water shortage, in Chennai, Saturday. Photo: PTI

Former Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai took part in a prayer in another city temple. Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan participated in a puja at Pachamalai Murugan temple in Erode district.

Cooperation Minister Sellur K Raju took part in special prayers in Meenakshi and Subramania Swamy temples at Madurai.

He said Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam have asked the 50 district party units to hold prayers in temples for rains.

"Even as they tasked us to hold pujas, rains have started in Chennai and Madurai too will get showers," Raju said, adding divine power has helped.

Transport Minsiter M R Vijayabaskar and Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu took part in prayers in Aadikumbeshwara and Pasupatheeshwara temples at Kumbakonam and Karur, respectively.

Food Minister R Kamaraj and Social Welfare Minister V Saroja took part in pujas at Tiruvarur and Nammakal districts.

Meanwhile, former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran and DMK senior functionary P K Sekar Babu staged a demonstration with empty pots, demanding that the government ensure drinking water supply to the people.

Former minister and DMK leader K N Nehru led a protest in Tiruchirappallai District.

Similar protests were held across Tamil Nadu with raising of slogans-- "Vendum Vendum Kudineer Vendum" (we want water) and "Edappadi Arasai Kandikirom" (we condemn Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy's government).

The DMK had on Wednesday said it would hold protests across the southern state on Saturday to urge the AIADMK government to take steps on a war footing to address the acute water crisis.

The main opposition also slammed the state government on the water issue for what it called "negligence" and "administrative failure."

The DMK, meanwhile, announced Saturday that its chief M K Stalin would lead a protest demonstration here on June 24.

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