New Delhi/Chennai, Oct. 1 (PTI): The Supreme Court today pulled up the DMK-led Tamil Nadu Govt. for failing to comply with its order on a bandh call given by the party on the implementation of the Sethusamudram project. The Court warned the Govt. of initiating contempt of court proceedings and said, if necessary, it would not hesitate to summon the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister.
"Is this the Government? Is this the Tamil Nadu Government? Is it the DMK Government, a strong ally of the UPA Government? If this is the attitude of the DMK Government, the UPA Government should not feel shy of dismissing it and impose President's Rule," the court observed.
Hours after the Supreme Court passed strictures, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi left the venue where he had been observing fast along with DPA allies since morning and attended to work at the Secretariat.
Karunanidhi left the venue after the news about the apex court's strictures on the DMK and his Government came in. His ministerial colleagues also followed suit.
Earlier in the day DPA leaders, led by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi began a state-wide day-long fast to press for the speedy implementation of the project.
The Chief Minister had clarified yesterday that the fast was not against the Apex Court ruling.
While the Chief Minister and DPA leaders were observing the fast in front of the government guest house here, workers of the alliance are observing it in front of all district and taluk headquarters in the state.
Alliance leaders, including PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss, TNCC state president M Krishnasamy,CPI(M) leader N Vardarajan, CPI national secretary D Raja, Dravida Kazhagam leader K Veeramani, Dalit Panthers of India founder Tol Tirumavalavan, besides union shipping minister T R Baalu and minister of state for statistics, G K Vasan are participating in the fast.
Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP and his son, the local administration minister M K Stalin, besides electricity minister Arcot Veerasamy and finance minister K Anbazhagan also joined them in the fast.
No constitutional breakdown in Tamil Nadu: Karunanidhi
Chennai, Oct. 1 (PTI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today denied that there was a constitutional breakdown in the state.
Karunanidhi told reporters that there that there was no bandh in the state and there was no no Constitional breakdown. "For you, there might be, but for us normal life was not affected," he told reporters after attending to his official work there.
He asserted that buses were plying in the state and normal life remained unaffected. "Those who were born as Tamils have voluntarily closed their shops," he said.
"Strictly adhered to SC directive"
On the fast being observed by the DMK and its allies, Karunanidhi said "we have strictly adhered to the Supreme Court's directives yesterday. Nobody has filed a case or made a comment against the fast."
"So far, nobody has expressed any comment on the supreme court verdict yesterday," he said, without elaborating. He said the apex court had not banned it. "We are abiding by the court (order)," he said.
The AIADMK, which moved the Supreme court, after an unsuccessful bid in the Madras High Court to get the bandh banned yesterday, moved the apex court today when it made stinging observations against the state government.
Court crossed its jurisdiction
At the fast venue, DMK and alliance leaders were critical of the Supreme Court observations with one of them observing the court had "crossed its jurisdiction".
Bandh was a democratic form of protest and there was no no constitutional breakdown, CPI leader D Raja said adding the majority of the government can be only tested on the floor of the legislature.
Senior DMK leader and Union Minister T R Baalu wondered whether the courts were giving the right decisions. "Why would there be appeals or higher benches if every judge was right?"
In an apparent reference to a recent controversy, Baalu said "even persons in the judiciary commit scandals. There is an impeachment procedure even for judges in this regard."
M Karunanidhi, who left the fast venue, soon after the news about the Supreme Court strictures came in, had a meeting with senior government officials including the Tripathy at the secretariat.
Instructions were issued after the meeting to operate the buses but only few crew reported for duty. Passengers arriving at the Chennai Central Railway station and at the bus terminal at Koyambedu, were put to a lot of difficulties.
The normally busy Thygaraya Nagar, the main market in the metropolis, wore a deserted look with all major textile and jewellery shops remaining closed.
Though banks and government offices worked, only very few employees reported for duty. Most of the flights were rescheduled, airport sources said. However, Southern Railways maintained its suburban services.
Elsewhere in the state, DPA volunteers undertook fast in all district and taluk headquarters.
Barring a report of police bursting teargas shells in Mannargudi in Tiruvarur district, native place of AIADMK Supremo Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala, to disperse clashing DMK and AIADMK workers, no incident of violence had been reported in the state.
In Puducherry,the ruling Congress did not participate in the 10 hour-long fast organised by the DPA.
AIADMK's Puducherry unit has asked the Centre to intervene and sack the Rangasamy-led Congress government for its "failure to adhere to the Supreme Court order," staying bandh on anyday. Holding a fast is also contempt of court as it was a virtual bandh causing disruption to the traffic and affecting normal life,unit secretary, A Anbalagan,MLA, said.