People's Democracy

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


No. 42

October 21, 2012


Tamilnadu: CPI(M) Launches Statewide Campaign


S P Rajendran


THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) has launched a statewide campaign in Tamilnadu against the union government’s anti-people economic policies and inept handling of issues including the unprecedented power crisis created by the AIADMK government in the state.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury inaugurated the campaign at Porur in Chennai on October 15 evening and CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan inaugurated it at Keezhvellore in Nagapattinam. The four day campaign then commenced in nine regions the next day.


While addressing the media at the start of the campaign, G Ramakrishnan said that the UPA-led central government is waging a war against the people. The diesel price hike, the rollback of LPG subsidy, allowing FDI in retail and the opening up of the insurance and pension sectors for FDI were a manifestation of the centre’s unabashed neo-liberal agenda. The unfolding scams were a pointer to an unholy nexus between big business, bureaucracy and politicians, which is so characteristic of capitalism.


On the granite scam in the state involving Dayanithi Alagiri, the son of union minister Alagiri, the CPI(M) leader asked the state government to move the court to demand a CBI enquiry. The extent of the scam was yet to unfold fully and a CBI enquiry would help unravel the loss the scam has caused to the government.


On power crisis in the state, G Ramakrishnan said that a graduakl process of shutdown of industrial units was on in all the districts and that this called for expedition of the pending power projects to meet the deficit. The state should also seek power from the national grid, he added.


The state committee of the CPI(M) has released a pamphlet on the issues the campaign would focus upon.




A majority of the cracker units in and around Sivakasi in Virdhunagar district remained closed on October 12 after the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) organised a strike in the fireworks units. It was meant to press for a charter of demands pertaining to the welfare of fireworks workers. Several factories had declared a holiday in view of the strike call. It was the Fireworks and Match Workers’ Association, affiliated to the CITU, that had called for the one day strike following the September 5 fire accident in Muthalipatti near Sivakasi, in which 39 persons were killed.


The Association demanded increased compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family members of each worker killed in a fire accident. Besides, it wanted the factories must pay Rs five lakh to those grievously injured.


The union also demanded that the factories pay full salary to the enrolled workers during the period of closure of units following accidents, or when closed by officials for violation of the safety norms, or during the rainy season. It also sought 50 per cent bonus. The union wanted that the government must include representatives of the trade unions in the teams that monitor the violations of in safety measures in cracker units. It also sought action against the officials whose negligence in ensuring safety measures in the factories lead to accidents.


Earlier the district committees of the CITU and the CPI(M) had conducted an intensive campaign in more than 300 villages to gather support of the people.