The VCK and the Left parties will hold protests on May 26 and 27 in Tamil Nadu against “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Central government over economic hardship and social disturbances created by right-wing groups in India”. Mr. Modi is scheduled to visit Chennai on May 26 on an official engagement.
At the end of the two-day agitation, a meeting will be organised in Chennai on May 27, in which VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan and the leaders of the Left parties will take part.
Addressing the media on Monday, Mr. Thirumavalavan said, “The Left parties have begun a nation-wide campaign and protest against Mr. Modi’s anti-people economic policies and the uncontrolled rise in the prices of essentials, such as petrol, diesel and cooking fuel. The VCK will join the all-India movement created by the Left. The [overall] campaign, which will take place at union, taluk and village levels, will last a week, from May 25 to 31.”
Mr. Thirumavalavan said the parties would distribute pamphlets in villages. “The leaders of four parties – CPI, CPI(M), CPI(M-L), VCK – will participate in the Chennai event. Mr Modi’s government is responsible for the economic slump and social division due to religious and caste polarisation. There is a need to save the nation from this. I urge citizens to take part in the national campaign planned by the Left organisations and expose Mr. Modi’s policies,” he said.
CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan said the movement started by the Left would seek to include organisations fighting for Dalits’ rights and other minority parties in future.
“It is a fact that India is staring at an economic crisis [similar to that] experienced by Sri Lanka. Just as there is a paucity of rice in Sri Lanka, wheat is not available in north Indian States. So, we want to create a strong resistance to the Modi government,” he said.
He added that the Centre had increased fuel prices 18 times but reduced them only twice.
“The Tamil Nadu government has not increased fuel taxes since it came to power. The petrol/diesel fuel price rise is the result of an increase in cess and excise duty. I urge Mr. Annamalai (BJP State president) to give the ₹28,000 crore due to Tamil Nadu. We will surely tell the DMK to reduce the fuel prices as per their election promise,” he said.