VHP's Ram Rajya Rath Yatra reaches Tirunelveli amid opposition from some parties

Talking to reporters here on his return from a spiritual tour, he also said the state government should put additional pressure on the central government to set up the Cauvery Management Board.

The Tirunelveli district collector has slapped Section 144 in the district till March 23, as opposition against the yatra grew in the state. "This is AIADMK government or BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government", he asked. The state Assembly witnessed noisy scenes after Stalin demanded a ban on the yatra during a calling attention motion.

After the chief minister's reply, DMK members raised slogans even as Speaker Dhanapal urged them to facilitate smooth functioning of the House.

Political observers are arguing that by permitting the yatra to pass through the state, AIADMK's government is trying to appease the Narendra Modi's government at the Centre, despite the traditional atheist politics in the state.

Congress MLAs who had all along stood in solidarity with their ally, the DMK, opposing the yatra, staged a walkout led by Congress Legislature Party Leader K R Ramasamy. He said that Sree Ramadasa Mission Universal Society is the organiser.

The yatra, which commenced on February 13 in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya, was flagged by VHP general secretary Champat Rai. When he was unable to, Champat Rai stepped in. "This is a democratic country and no religion can be discriminated".

Rajinikanth said that Tamil Nadu is a secular state. "I'm also confident that the Govt. of the day behaves responsibly in ensuring communal harmony", Rajini said.

Rajinikanth further condemned the vandalisation of Periyar's statue, terming it as a "barbaric act".

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