The bus convoy carrying MDMK cadres from Chennai to Bhopal, enroute to Sanchi, to protest the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa reached Hyderabad on Tuesday and proceeded on its onward journey to Bhopal.
The big question, however, on the minds of security agencies was whether MDMK (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) general secretary was present with the nearly 750-1,000 MDMK cadres or if he got off somewhere on the way. A senior police told HT that while a strategy was being devised to tackle the situation, Vaiko or the MDMK cadres would not be allowed in Sanchi.
MDMK spokesperson Nanmaran told HT that the convoy reached Hyderabad on Tuesday and left for Nagpur. “The plan is to spend the night at the MLA quarters in Nagpur and then move for Bhopal on Wednesday,” he said. MDMK office bearer Arunagiri who is present on the convoy of 21 buses carrying the MDMK cadres told HT that police officials from MP spoke to general secretary Vaiko. After the conversation the police had with Vaiko, there have been troubles communicating with him.
It was being speculated that Vaiko, who sometimes dons military outfits and can be seen sporting a beret and fatigues, had left the convoy and would make his way to Sanchi on his own. The thinning in the number of cadres on the convoy was also a pointer to some cadres getting off on the way to reach Sanchi on their own.
Vaiko had announced that he would hold a black flag protest with his supporters against the visit of the Lankan President who is slated to lay the foundation stone of a Buddhist study centre. Vaiko had earlier written to the MP chief minister asking him to not allow the him to attend the function. Later, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan wrote to Vaiko asking him to give up his protest. Vaiko responded by going ahead with his plan to stage a black flag protest against the President.