CPI(M) to shape poll strategy for Tamil Nadu by September

Driven by the “single-minded pursuit” of defeating the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls next year, the State committee of the CPI(M) has decided that the party would evolve an electoral strategy for Tamil Nadu that would “maximise” the anti-BJP votes.

G. Ramakrishnan, a member of the party’s Polit Bureau, told
The Hindu
that the Central Committee had already asked the State units to work out a strategy and forward it to the high command by September.

When asked whether the broad alliance in Tamil Nadu would include the DMK, as the CPI(M) was already working closely with the Dravidian major on issues affecting the people of the State, all that Mr. Ramakrishnan would say was that the objective was to defeat the BJP and its regional allies in Tamil Nadu.

“There will not be any uniform alliance all over the country, and it will vary from State to State. In Kerala, it will be the Left versus the Congress, and in other States, the strategy will take into consideration the local political conditions,” he said.

‘Undeclared emergency’

Mr. Ramakrishnan, who attended the party’s State Committee meeting on July 10 and 11, said that an “undeclared emergency” had been prevailing in the State ever since the protests in support of jallikattu and the anti-Sterlite agitations.

“In Chennai, the police are not even granting permission to hold meetings in halls, and marriage halls have been asked not to allow political parties to organise meetings. No anti-government demonstrations are allowed, and all democratic rights have been taken away,” he alleged.

Reiterating that the Chennai-Salem green corridor was unnecessary as there were already three highways linking the two places, he said the situation had come to such a pass that not only the protesters, but also those who mobilised support for protests through social media were being arrested.

He said that demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax had wreaked havoc on industries, particularly small-scale industries, and that the government had itself announced that 50,000 small units had been closed down, rendering five lakh workers jobless.

“Engineering units are also facing the same crisis. Unemployment is growing, and the economy is in a bad shape,” he alleged.

Accusing the AIADMK government of indifference towards education, Mr. Ramakrishnan said it was planning to close more than 800 schools, though such a move was not mentioned in the policy note of the Education Department which was submitted to the Assembly.

‘Lokayukta toothless’

He said that when it came to constituting the Lokayukta, Tamil Nadu was merely adopting the BJP-led Central government’s attitude towards the Lokpal.

“Even after four years, members hadn’t been nominated to the Lokpal. In Tamil Nadu, the proposed Lokayukta is a toothless tiger. The provision to impose a fine on anyone found to have filed a false complaint is actually a strategy to dissuade people from approaching the Lokayukta,” he said, adding that the State Committee of his party would organise street corner meetings against the State government and the Centre in 1,000 places in August.

There will not be any uniform alliance all over the country, and it will vary from State to State

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