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    An Indian bull charges through a crowd of 'bullfighters' during an annual bull taming event Jallikattu in the village of Palamedu on the outskirts of Madurai on February 9, 2017

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    Supporters of a traditional bull taming sport turned their ire on Coca-Cola and Pepsi last month because of their PETA links.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) Traders in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have announced a boycott of MNC cola brands Pepsi and Coca-Cola from March 1.

    The traders blame the cola companies for drought in the state since they are said to exploit groundwater beyond permissible limits. The Tamil Nadu Traders Federation and the Consortium of Tamil Nadu Traders Association have asked retailers to stock local brands, such as Kalimark’s Bovonto, Amrutanjan’s Frutnik, and Parle’s Frooti.

    “From March 1, we have decided to start a statewide campaign among our members and the public against the foreign brands. We will ask retailers to sell only domestic cold drink brands,” AM Vikrama Raja, President, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu, told Sputnik.

    Earlier in January this year, traders had announced that they will act against Pepsi and Coca-Cola during the protest to demand the Government of India permit Jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport. The argument behind the ban, put forward by a trade union, is that the sport had been banned by the Supreme Court of India on a petition by an American organization (PETA), therefore, the ban on colas, which are associated with PETA.

    Tamil Nadu is facing a severe drought and the state has estimated that it will take approximately $6 billion to bring relief to farmers.

    ​The boycott call comes at a time when PepsiCo struggles to ensure its market capitalization in the Indian market. PepsiCo’s global chief Indira Nooyi is due to discuss investment proposals and Indo-US relations with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this week.

    Coca-Cola and Pepsi have large water purification plants in Tamil Nadu which use millions of liters water from state dams and groundwater for making their products.

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