Black flags were hoisted in fishing hamlets and in fishing boats to oppose the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP), on Sunday.
Fishermen groups had earlier said if the project was implemented, the livelihood of fishermen would be destroyed. They said large ships would destroy their nets and they would not receive compensation.
At a press meet held last month, they said they would organise a protest meeting against the DMK when Stalin visits the area. Black flags would be hoisted at every house, they said.
Subash of the Fishermen’s Federation, said the representatives had travelled throughout the district and black flags had been hoisted from Vembar in the north, to Periyathalai in the south of the district.
He said the black flags were raised as a symbol of opposition to SSCP and to Stalin’s visit. He also said there would be demonstrations on Monday.
In Madurai, MDMK general secretary Vaiko said that his party had never changed its stand on the Sethusamudram project. It was the DMK that had taken up the issue to gain political mileage, he said.
“We have been campaigning for the Sethusamudram project, as it was one of the dream project of DMK founder C N Annadurai,” said Vaiko on the sidelines of the MDMK Madurai urban unit’s fund raising programme here on Sunday.
“We want the project to be implement as per the original plan,” said Vaiko. The DMK, which had failed to raise the Sri Lankan Tamil issue when lakhs of Eelam Tamils were killed in the war, raised the Sethusamudram issue in order to gain political mileage, he claimed. Commenting on the death of Ilavarasan, Vaiko said caste-based political mobilisation would only lead youth in the wrong direction.
He also reiterated that the government should initiate a judicial inquiry into Ilavarasan’s death.
On the NLC strike, Vaiko said the Government shouldn’t sell its share to private players. “We had also objected to the decision when the BJP government touched upon the issue in 2002,” he said, adding that the party has been supporting the NLC employees strike.
Earlier, MDMK Madurai urban unit said it had raised an election fund of `43 lakh for the forthcoming Parliamentary election.