(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 17, 2009
THE CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury undertook a hectic campaign in Coimbatore, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Trichy, Dindigul, Madurai and Kanyakumari parliamentary constituencies in Tamil Nadu. Yechury appealed to the people of Tamilnadu to initiate a new chapter in the history of Indian politics by electing the candidates of the third alternative, because their verdict will have an important bearing on the outcome of the current Lok Sabha elections.
Starting his campaign from Coimbatore for the CPI(M) candidate P R Natarajan, he accused the Congress led UPA government of not implementing pro-people schemes but followed policies which led to unemployment, agrarian crisis, price rise and industrial slowdown. Addressing a huge gathering in Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam in support of AIADMK and CPI candidates respectively, he reiterated that it is only because of the pressure of Left parties that the UPA government agreed to initiate and implement NREGA and other pro-people policies.
Thousands of people gathered in Trichy to hear Yechury, where he said that directionless foreign policy made the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils develop into a volatile situation. He said that the new third front government to be formed at the centre after the elections would take a logical stand to end the crisis.
Addressing a massive public meeting in Dindigul, in support of AIADMK candidate, Yechury said that the anti people policies of UPA government and the erstwhile central governments had made the Indian women anemic and caused malnourishment among the infants today. He castigated the Congress government for indulging in heavy corruption and for not spending enough in boosting public expenditure to deal with the worsening conditions brought in by the global economic crisis.
Campaigning for the CPI(M) candidate P Mohan in a mammoth meeting in Madurai, Sitaram lambasted the DMK for using money and muscle power to defeat the CPI(M). He expressed confidence on the people of Madurai who he said would thwart the evil designs of the ruling party in the state. There are two Indias today, one a shining India in which there are crorepatis building houses valued upto Rs 400 crore and a dark India where people are unable to get wages of Rs 20 a day. He also said that today even a developed country like Japan do not have billionaires as in India. People in India want a change and yearn for relief, which can only be provided by a non-Congress secular government at the centre, he said. Concluding the campaign, Yechury addressed a huge rally at Kulasekaram in Kanyakumari constituency for the CPI(M) candidate A V Bellarmine.
Addresing a gathering on May 8, 2009 Sitaram Yechury said the Third Front has a number of competent leaders who make prime ministerial candidates and therefore the BJP and the Congress do not have to worry about who will be the prime minister if the alternative alliance comes to power. He said, “We respect the constitution and the sovereign right provided by it to the people to choose the prime minister through their elected representatives.”
Yechury said projecting a candidate as prime minister was fraught with the risk of defeat if there was public resentment towards that person. He recalled the defeat of the late prime minister Indira Gandhi in Rae Bareilli in 1977 after the Congress declared she would be the prime minister if it won the elections. On the view of the Congress and the BJP that the Third Front was an unstable alliance, the CPI (M) leader said it is they who were responsible of causing instability at the centre by withdrawing support to two governments of alternative alliances. The National Front government headed by V P Singh fell because of the BJP’s withdrawal of support to it over the arrest of Advani during his rath yatra. The Congress had withdrawn support to the United Front government later. But, it would not happen this time as the alternative alliance will have the required number of seats to form a government on its own.
Using a cricket parlance to describe Advani being projected as the prime ministerial candidate, Yechury said: "He is only the night watchman for Narendra Modi." On the skepticism over an alternative alliance coming to power at the centre, he pointed out that the United Front was formed after the elections in 1996 and it came to power.
This was the case with the National Democratic Alliance in 1998 and the United Progressive Alliance in 2004. In the same way, a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance will come to power after this election.
Yechury called upon the people of Tamilnadu to repeat the sweep of the 2004 elections, but this time in favour of the alliance led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). The people of Tamilnadu have a historic role to play in deciding who will come to power at the centre. We need a policy shift to build a better India. For that you must vote for the AIADMK alliance, he said. The global economic crisis had hit India also. Already one crore jobs had been lost and if damage control measures were not initiated now, it would rise to five crores in the next three months. There were reports that 71 retrenched workers had committed suicide at Surat in Gujarat and that workers in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu are selling their organs to help their families survive. Yechury concluded by saying that we need to bridge the gap between the shining India of millionaires and the suffering India.