Vol. XLI No. 09 February 26, 2017

TAMIL NADU: CPI(M) to Conduct ‘Meet the People’ Campaign, Feb 20-25

FOLLOWING the death of Jayalalithaa, who was the general secretary of AIADMK and the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, AIADMK split into two factions, one under the leadership of Sasikala and the other of O Panneerselvam. These groups entered into a competition to capture power in both the party and the government. With Sasikala having gone to prison following the Supreme Court judgement in the Disproportionate Assets case, a ministry has been formed under the leadership of Edappadi Palanisamy belonging to the Sasikala faction. A resolution seeking confidence in the new government has been passed in the assembly.

In this session of the assembly, events have taken place that had not occurred in the last thirty years and these have brought the state great shame. Against democratic practice, there were attacks on the speaker, microphones and chairs were broken, documents were torn up, MLAs sat in the speaker’s chair and danced, and so on. These incidents have raised among the people of the state the question of whether the DMK behaved as a responsible opposition party. DMK wants people to believe that these actions were legitimate protests. Using the split in AIADMK on account of the competition for power, the BJP continues to try and misuse the powers of the governor in its desire to secure power illegitimately.

The loot of natural resources manifested in the disappearance of granite hills, smuggling of mineral sands and the denuding of sands on the river beds continues, as does overflowing corruption at every level of the government bureaucracy. A situation prevails where nothing moves from top to bottom without a bribe being paid. DMK and AIADMK are together responsible for having nurtured these corrupt practices. These two parties have no concern for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu.

Very important issues facing the people of Tamil Nadu have been ignored on account of the struggle for power within the AIADMK, the DMK’s lust for power and the back door efforts of the BJP.

The suicides and deaths of the peasants due to the impact of the drought, the shortage of drinking water throughout the state, migration due to drought, non-provision of employment under MNREGS, non-payment of wages for several months of those who had worked, denial of ration rice, intensifying unemployment in both rural and urban areas, the failure to obtain so far the assent of the president to the legislation exempting the state from NEET – all these issues have not been considered at all by the rulers.

In this situation, the CPI(M) has decided to conduct throughout the state ‘Meet the People’ campaign on several demands including the need to pay attention to urgent issues facing the people and democratic conduct of the assembly. This campaign will be from February 20 to 25, 2017. The CPI(M) has appealed to the people of Tamil Nadu to participate in large numbers in the public meetings and street corner gatherings and other actions that form part of this campaign.