People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 48

December 02, 2012



Set the Power Situation Right: CPI(M)


S P Rajendran


THE acute power crisis prevailing in Tamilnadu at present could have been eased out to a large extent if only the state government had agreed to provide Rs 500 crore in subsidy for diesel to operate generators available with the private sector, the state unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has said.


Addressing a candlelight protest demonstration to highlight the power crisis at Chennai on November 17, CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan said the state government paid no heed to the idea, mooted by the party, of generating 3,500 megawatt of power with the diesel generators available with the big and small scale industries. “This could have helped the state government to ease the power crisis till it came up with additional power generation,” he said.


The CPI(M) leader added that people from all walks of life were affected by the power cut which was being enforced in 12 to 14 hours every day. Many of the small and medium scale industries in Thiruppur and Coimbatore have come to a standstill following the power cut.


Ramakrishnan therefore appealed to the state government to take immediate steps on a war footing in order to set the power cut situation right. Moreover, the government should take short term as well as long term measures to find an early solution to the power cut problem.


This novel kind of protest at the bidding of the CPI(M) was organised all over the state.


In Madurai, R Annadurai, a CPI(M) MLA, addressed the protestors. He recalled the Tamilnadu chief minister Ms Jayalalalithaa’s announcement in the assembly that power situation in the state would be set right by December 2013, but said that the state government failed to take note of position of coal procurement for the upcoming power projects.


While the centre has allocated only 37 lakh tonnes of coal to Tamilnadu, the state requires another 60 lakh tonnes for the future projects. Therefore the state government should come out clearly on whether the coal would be procured from within the country or imported at exorbitant costs.


Annadurai also said the state government under the rule of the two Dravidian parties has added only 540 megawatts of power in the last 16 years. While the multinational companies were given access to uninterrupted power round the clock, the rest of the people were put in darkness which has affected their normal life, the protesters charged.




A day-long, all-party hunger strike was observed at Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamilnadu on November 15, to express solidarity with the teaching and non-teaching staff of Annamalai University. The dharna on this occasion was chaired by CPI(M) Central Committee member and MLA from the Chidambaram constituency, K Balakrishnan.


On the occasion, leaders from various parties lashed out at the university’s management and opposed the proposed move to either halve the salary or reduce the staff strength. Since it is a government aided university, the speakers demanded its immediate takeover and replacement of the incumbent pro-chancellor M A M Ramasamy, an industrialist, by the state’s higher education minister P Palaniappan. The leaders also sought a probe into the financial dealings of the university management and their malpractices in admissions and recruitments, and also demanded that the university must reopen immediately in the interests of the 30,000-odd students.


The protestors also pointed out that commercialisation of education had spawned a host of middlemen who have amassed wealth and come to play a domineering role in running the university, thus relegating the academics and administrative staff to the background. VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said the university had lost the veneer of an academic institution and turned into a rabid commercial enterprise. Leaders of the DMK, DMDK, PMK and MMK, besides the members of the Joint Action Council of staff, participated in the strike and dharna.


Besides demanding a probe into the alleged irregularities that had plunged the Annamalai University into its present crisis, the CPI(M) has been demanding that the state government must take over the institution in the interest of its employees, teachers and students.


In a statement, CPI(M) State secretary G Ramakrishnan said the university produced outstanding students during the days of the independence struggle and subsequently, but remained a pale shadow of its glorious days due to administrative irregularities.


“The probe should identify those who are irresponsible for the irregularities and recover the money which is said to be Rs 7,000 crore,” he said.




The Tamilnadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) has demanded immediate disbursal of compensation to the victims of violence in Dalit colonies in Naikkankottai village, Dharmapuri district.


Members of the TNUEF, along with the victims, staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate in Dharmapuri on November 19 and submitted a memorandum to the district collector, R Lilly.


TNUEF general secretary K Samuel Raj told the reporters that dalits in the Natham, Anna Nagar and Kondampatti colonies have become refugees within their own country due to the violence unleashed against them by the caste Hindus. They have lost their hard-earned money and valuables. Raj said the affected people do not want compensation on compassionate grounds and expect the government to disburse the compensation as per the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.


P Dillibabu, vice president of the district unit of TNUEF and Harur MLA, also participated in the demonstration.


As many as 230 petitions from the Natham Colony, 34 from Anna Nagar and 26 from Kondampatti Colony were handed over to the district collector.