Chenni: An ‘all-party meeting’ convened by opposition DMK on Tuesday on the recent bus fare hike in Tamil Nadu decided to hold state-wide protest meetings next week seeking a rollback of the increase in ticket rates. DMK Working President MK Stalin, chaired the meeting, which was attended by Congress and IUML, both DMK allies, MDMK and the two left parties, besides VCK.
TNCC President Su Thirunavukkarasar, MDMK founder Vaiko, VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan and state secretaries of CPI(M) and CPI, G Ramakrishnan and R Mutharasan respectively, represented their parties. A resolution adopted at the meeting decided to hold state-wide protest meetings on February 13, urging the AIADMK government to rollback the revision effected last month.
Another resolution demanded that cases filed against students and others who had held protests against the bus fare revision be withdrawn. Later, the Leader of Opposition in the assembly told reporters that the list of participants in different districts where the protest meetings are proposed will be released soon. When asked if the parties that met today will form an alliance during polls, Stalin said, “You will get the reply when elections happen” in the state but did not elaborate.
After a hiatus of six years, the Tamil Nadu government had on January 19 hiked ticket fares of buses operated by state-run transport corporations and private entities by about 20 to 54.54 per cent, drawing flak from civil society and political parties alike. Opposition parties, besides students and general public, had earlier staged protests against the revision. Following protests over the “steep” hike, the government had on January 28 revised the bus fares marginally.