September 17, 2023
TN: Massive Response to CPI(M) Picket Call

V B Ganesan

MORE than a lakh people, including youth and women in Tamil Nadu, responded to the nationwide picket call given by the CPI(M) Central Committee, to protest the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and growing unemployment.

On September 7, they gathered in large numbers and raised their voices against the disastrous economic policies of the BJP government, which have been affecting the livelihood of the people over the last nine years. More than 50,000 were arrested when they were picketing in front of central government offices and on railway lines, amid stringent police restrictions.

Prior to this picketing programme, a statewide campaign was conducted for a week from September 1, demanding employment as a fundamental right, social security to the employees, a special Act to provide reservations in the private sector, filling up of all vacancies, including backlogs, in government sector, 100 days work and payment of full wages to the workers under MGNREGA and allocation of sufficient funds for the same, and implementation of employment guarantee scheme in the urban centres with sufficient fund allocations.

On the day of picketing, CPI(M) Tamil Nadu state secretary K Balakrishnan and more than 1,500 others went in a procession from GST Road towards Chennai Guindy Railway station and blocked the movement of the suburban rail services at Guindy. They were later arrested by the police and taken to a nearby playground where they were kept till evening.

Balakrishnan said the Modi government is trying to sidetrack issues such as rising prices, dwindling employment, and the recent CAG exposure of the misuse of funds to the tune of Rs 7.5 lakh crores by invoking slogans such as “one country, one election”. He said that the Modi government is creating a fear psychosis among the gullible people that sanatana dharma is under threat from the opposition parties. 

But the toiling people cannot be fooled by such follies of Modi and the BJP, he said.  He also said that this all-India movement of CPI(M) will inspire more such movements by the united opposition in the near future to further expose the misdeeds of the BJP government and to defeat it in the ensuing 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The picketing at Moolakadai was led by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member G Ramakrishnan; at Thiruvottiyur by Central Committee member U Vasuki; at Anna Salai Post Office by Central Committee member P Sampath; at Thiruvarur by Central Committee member P Shanmugam and at Madurai by Su Venkatesan, MP. Members of the state secretariat and state committee, as well as the members of the district committees, were at the forefront during the picketing movement held at various centres across the state.

As per the reports, more than 50,000 picketers were arrested across the state, and all of them were released in the evening.

In some places, the police behaved highhandedly against the protestors, injuring some. One person fell unconscious at the picketing spot and was taken to a nearby hospital in Villupuram for treatment.

Cannot connect to Ginger Check your internet connection
or reload the browser
Disable in this text fieldRephraseRephrase current sentence


Edit in Ginger