The DMK, a Congress ally, pushed the government into a tight spot on Tuesday by supporting the Opposition-sponsored bandh on September 20 and announcing it would keep all options open on continuing in the UPA.
DMK president M Karunanidhi asked party workers and front organisations to participate in the strike and make it a success.
The strike is in protest against the government’s decision to hike diesel prices, announce FDI in retail and place restrictions on discounted LPG cylinders for domestic consumers.
Karunanidhi also asked the party’s labour wing to support the strike.
Asked about the party’s decision to back the bandh on the day the Trinamool withdrew support to the government, DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said: “We are considering various aspects of these issues. Our leader is thinking about them. He will come out with a statement tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Political observers are seeing the DMK’s move as one aimed at cashing in on popular sentiments and also distancing the party from the Centre’s decisions.
The hike in diesel prices comes at a time when the Tamil Nadu government, run by the ADMK, has increased milk prices, bus fares and power tariffs.
In another significant statement, Karunanidhi asked the government to stop Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to a Buddhist monument in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, because political parties and people in Tamil Nadu supposedly held him “guilty” of the “genocide” of Tamils in 2009.