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TN This Week: Doctors Oppose Shutting of Mini Clinics, Sugarcane Farmers Demand Promised Incentive

The DMK government’s poll promise of providing Rs 4,000 per tonne for sugarcane as incentive was missing in the Agriculture Budget presented last week.
TN This Week

Image credit: Prakash R

The economic crisis in Sri Lanka seems to have triggered a new refugee crisis. Sixteen people fled the island nation and arrived at Rameswaram this week.

Taking cognisance of the sudden arrival of Sri Lankan nationals to the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on March 24 said that the government is in touch with the Centre, discussing how to handle the issue.

CM Stalin headed to Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Thursday to meet businessmen and invite them to invest in the state.

After dodging eight summonses, on March 21, O Panneerselvam appeared before the commission probing the circumstances leading to the death of former CM J Jayalalithaa. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) coordinator and former chief minister told the commission that he had no suspicion about her death. Notably, in 2017, he had rebelled against Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala and sought a probe.

Around 200 fireworks units began indefinite closure on March 21 protesting the ‘curtailing’ of fireworks manufacturing after the ban on barium nitrate and joined crackers. This would render around 10,000 employees jobless.

NewsClick brings you a round-up of the happenings this week.

AIADMK’S WALK-OUTS FROM BUDGET SESSION

After staging a walkout during the presentation of the state Budget last week, members of AIADMK walked out of the Assembly twice in the four-day session held this week.

The AIADMK members walked out the Assembly on March 23 citing recent incidents of sexual assault in the state. They walked out on the last day of the proceedings too, boycotting the replies by the finance minister and agriculture minister.

RESOLUTION ON MEKETADU

The Tamil Nadu Assembly on March 21 unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union government not to give clearance to Karnataka’s proposal to build a dam at Mekedatu across the Cauvery.

On the other hand, the Karnataka government has decided to pass a resolution in both Houses of the legislature, condemning the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly against the Mekedatu reservoir project.

PROTESTS IN SEVERAL SECTORS

SUGARCANE FARMERS

TN This Week

Image courtesy: AIKS, Tamil Nadu

Sugarcane farmers staged a protest in Chennai on March 25, urging the DMK government to keep its poll promise of providing Rs 4,000 per tonne of sugarcane as incentive. This promise was missing in the Agriculture Budget presented last week.

ZOMATO GIG WORKERS

TN This Week

Image courtesy: CITU

The delivery partners of Zomato held a spontaneous protest in Chennai on March 20 against increasing working hours, low wages and other forms of exploitation. The earnings of the workers have suffered a setback while the increase in fuel prices also impacts their income. Read more

SALEM RAILWAY GOODS SHED WORKERS

Salem Railway Export-Import Workers' Union affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) held a protest demonstration on March 24 asserting the demands of railway goods-shed load workers.

TN This Week

Image courtesy: CITU, Tamil Nadu

The workers demanded identity cards, benefits such as PF and ESI, and basic amenities at the workplace. They also asserted that workers should not be compelled to work at night time.

MINI CLINIC DOCTORS

The contracts of around 1,600 doctors and 3,600 multipurpose hospital workers appointed in the ‘Mini Clinics’ launched a year ago ends this March. A large protest was held in Chennai on March 23 demanding the withdrawal of their terminations. Read more

RAMESWARAM FISHERMEN ON STRIKE

Fishermen from Rameswaram began an indefinite strike on March 26 demanding the immediate release of 16 fishermen and their boats seized by the Sri Lankan government for fishing across the border.

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