N Sathiya Moorthy in Chennai
Tamil Nadu on Wednesday observed a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk 'general strike' on the Cauvery issue, even as nature intervened with heavy showers across the state to provide respite to the farmers.
Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which boycotted the all-party meeting, convened by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday, also responded to the strike call given by the meet.
Police sources said the day passed off peacefully, with no incidents reported from anywhere.
At least 26 trains were suspended and several long distance trains regulated and stopped at major railway stations in the state.
Buses, taxis and autorickshaws stayed off the roads as security was beefed up at vulnerable points throughout the state.
With virtually no transport services functioning, attendance was thin in government offices and banks. The heavy rains also ensured that most people stayed indoors.
Schools, shops and business establishments also pulled down their shutters as the state government carefully phrased it as a 'general strike' and not a 'bandh' keeping in view an earlier Supreme Court order banning 'bandhs', in a case originating from Kerala.
The rains may be a forerunner to the northeast monsoon, which could provide respite to the farmers in Thanjavur, in particular, following Karnataka's intransigence over implementing the orders of the Supreme Court, and the decisions of the Cauvery River Authority for releasing water to Tamil Nadu.
If the rains persist, as predicted by the met office, it could also provide the much-needed legal and political respite for Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna.
The Supreme Court takes up the contempt of court cases against him and four others from Karnataka on October 24.
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