CHENNAI: The MDMK, VCK and Left parties, which have joined hands to form a Joint Movement for People’s Welfare, on Monday released a common agenda to fight against the Centre and State governments, but did not commit themselves to a political alliance, signalling that they were keeping their alliance options open.
When reporters repeatedly asked if the movement would transform into a political alliance for the forthcoming Assembly elections, CPM politburo member G Ramakrishnan and MDMK general secretary Vaiko stressed that it had been formed only to mobilise people against the Central and State governments.
Vaiko categorically said “We will not go into the electoral angle now, even if you put the questions in various forms. We will inform you if there is any such development.”
The joint movement, also comprising the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Gandhian People’s Movement, demanded the resignation of Union ministers and two BJP ministers charged with corruption, besides opposing the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act. It demanded steps to improve the livelihood of farmers, and condemned the BJP government’s ‘communal activities’. Seeking steps for controlling price rise and solving the unemployment problem, the movement demanded formation of a Lokayukta in Tamil Nadu and urged the State government to demand a CBI inquiry into the killing of 20 workers in the Seshachalam forest by the Andhra Pradesh police.
Other demands included prohibition, protection to Tamil Nadu fishermen attacked by the Lankan navy, abolition of capital punishment, solution to the Neyveli Lignite Corporation workers strike and stopping the methane extraction project in Cauvery delta.
The joint movement will hold rallies pressing for their demands on August 13 at Chennai, Thanjavur, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Erode.