People's Democracy

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


No. 31

August 02, 200


Left Parties to Contest Byelections

S P Rajendran

THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India decided to contest jointly the by-election to the Tamilnadu assembly. The Election Commission has announced that by-elections for five assembly constituencies viz., Cumbum, Thondamuthur, Ilayangudi, Sri Vaikundam and Bargur will be held on August 18, 2009.

The ruling DMK will be contesting these elections with the Congress as its ally, though the seat sharing arrangement is yet to be announced (as on July 25). The main opposition party, AIADMK, decided to boycott the by-elections. Its general secretary Jayalalithaa announced this decision after the meeting of her party's secretariat last week.

In this situation, the Tamilnadu state committee of the CPI(M) met at Trichy on July 24. Meanwhile, the CPI's state council also met at Trichy on the same day.

Both the Left parties discussed in detail about the political situation in the state and decided to jointly field their candidates to contest in the by - elections.

Emerging from these meetings, N Varadarajan, state secretary, CPI(M) and D Pandian, state secretary , CPI jointly  addressed the media at the CPI(M) district committee office in Trichy. They announced that the CPI(M) will fight Thondamuthur and Cumbum seats and the CPI will contest Bargur and Srivaikundam constituencies. For the Ilayangudi seat, the two Left parties might support a friendly party.

The AIADMK had cited vulgar display of money power to 'buy' votes, gross misuse of official machinery and resort to violence by deploying anti social elements, all indulged in by the ruling party to ensure victory in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, as the reason for its decision to boycott the by-elections. The CPI(M) and CPI, while concurring that these malpractices are a matter of grave concern, underlined the need to resist and defeat such undemocratic tendencies by mobilising the masses. This calls for fighting the elections politically and boycotting the polls is not the way ahead. The two leaders hoped that the AIADMK would reconsider its decision to boycott the polls.

Besides the state secretaries of the CPI(M) and CPI, R Nallakannu of CPI and G Ramakrishnan of CPI(M) also attended the press conference.

In a joint statement released on the occasion the two parties stated that ever since the return of the Congress led coalition to power after the Lok Sabha elections, both the Congress led UPA government and DMK led Tamilnadu state government are pursuing vigorously the anti-people policies instead of addressing the basic issues confronting the people.

Hiking of petrol and diesel prices, failure in tackling the menacing price rise of all essential goods including rice, dal, oil etc., are playing havoc with the lives of common people. The state government has not taken any meaningful measure to tackle the situation and provide relief to the people.
On the other side, the DMK government is not prepared to stop the loot of money by the private self - financing educational institutions. At all levels of the state administration, corruption is the order of the day. Indiscriminate mining of sand from river beds for private profit, increasing numbers of daylight murders and decoities, deteriorating law and order situation are all matters of serious concern. With the deficient monsoon, the acute shortage of drinking water is affecting many towns and villages. Working class is struggling hard for its livelihood and for safeguarding their basic democratic rights. Employers - both local and foreign MNCs - are trampling under foot the trade union laws. The DMK government is not only refusing to address these issues, but, it is trying to crush the struggles and movements of the working class people.

In this background, the Left parties are striving to resist the undemocratic measures and the anti-people policies of the central and state governments. They are determined to carry on this fight politically in the electoral battle as well. It is in this backdrop, the CPI(M) and CPI have decided to contest the by-elections and appealed to all the people of Tamilnadu to extend support to their candidates.

Candidates Announced

The CPI(M) state secretary N Varadarajan released the list of the party's candidates on July 26th. He announced the names of K Rajappan for Cumbum assembly constituency and V Perumal for Thondamuthur seat.

K Rajappan is a long time full-timer of the party. He is a state committee member and Theni district secretary of the CPI(M).

Comrade V.Perumal is also a dedicated full timer of the party and now working as general secretary of CITU Engineering Workers Federation in Coimbatore district.

CPI state council announced Comrade Dhanalakshmi for Sri Vaikundam Assembly constituency. She is Thoothukudi district committee member of CPI.