Assembly Gherao in Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, the CPI(ML) held a massive Assembly Gherao on March 27, raising the burning issues of the toiling masses of the state. All over the state, the party took up a vigorous campaign in the three months towards the Rally. The demand for 2 acres of land for the rural poor, an election promise of the DMK government, is a burning question in the rural parts of TN, and has been thrown to oblivion by both opposition and ruling parties of TN including the official left. This demand, championed by CPI(ML), drew the rural poor to the Rally in large numbers. Thousands of urban and rural poor rallied on the demand of 5 cent home-stead land in many parts of the state particularly in the western districts of TN. An intensive signature campaign was held on the issue of rights of trade union recognition, in which 1.5 lakh signatures were collected by Pricol workers and workers of Solidarity Forum of Poonamallee and Tiruvottiyur. Hyundai workers also took up a SMS campaign and collected 1000 SMS on the demand. A convention was organized by the Tiruvottiyur Solidarity Forum demanding that trainees involved in direct production be regularized. There were efforts on the part of the government to disturb the Gherao preparations and mobilization. Permission was denied; comrades who set out from Tirunelveli toward Chennai to participate in the Gherao were arrested and detained in Tirunelveli itself; a bus owner in Pudukottai was threatened by the local police and he returned the advance paid for the vehicle booked for the trip to Chennai; comrades of Tuticorin were prevented from entering into the railway station; the vehicles of Tiruvallore comrades were blocked on the way to the Assembly and so on. In spite of all these disturbances, on 27th of March, more than 7000 urban and rural poor gathered in Chennai to vigorously assert their demands.

The colourful rally was led by Comrade Balasundaram, State Secretary, and Comrade N K Natarajan, SCM, flagged off the rally. As the gathering was not allowed to proceed toward the Assembly, a demonstration was held near the Assembly when the Assembly was in session. Comrade S Kumarsawamy, PBM, Comrade Swapan Mukherji, CCM and General Secretary AICCTU, Comrade Shankar, CCM, Comrades Janakiraman and Gunasekaran, SCMs, addressed the gathering. 

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