Chennai: In an exclusive interview to News Today TV, CPI national secretary D Raja said the people of Tamilnadu will use the opportunity of ousting two governments – the BJP government at the Centre and the AIADMK government in Tamilnadu. The by-polls for 22 Assembly seats to be held 18 April and 19 May provide the rare opportunity to the electorate in Tamilnadu to not only vote against but also vote out the weak and ineffective AIADMK government which has gone down on its knees before the BJP government at the Centre, Raja said.
Initially, by-polls were to be held in 18 constituencies 18 April. Now, four more by-elections will be held in Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram and Tiruparankundram 19 May, Raja said, and pointed out that the results for the 22 by-elections will show the door to the AIADMK government as “the people are fed up with the present Edappadi Palaniswami government”.
“I have no doubt that with the mood of the voters as reflected in an anti-incumbency mood so far, the DMK-led front which includes parties like the Left, Congress, MDMK, VCK, IUML and others, will get the overwhelming mandate of the people. The numbers, as they exist in the present Assembly, show that the present AIADMK government’s days are numbered,” he said.
Raja said the AIADMK government had been surviving despite charges of misgovernance and corruption due to the protection provided by the “anti-people regime” of the BJP government, led by PM Modi, the Central government itself being responsible for misrule in the country.
On the question raised by PM Modi and BJP and AIADMK leaders during their campaign that the Opposition has not named its PM candidate, Raja said it was an absurd campaign as India did not vote in a presidential form of democracy.
People voted for MPs and who, in turn, through their newly-formed parliamentary parties after the elections, would elect the leaders of these parliamentary parties. Thereafter, depending on the outcome of the elections, the President would invite a leader or a group of these parliamentary parties to explore the possibility of forming the government, and assess the claims and counter-claims of majority support in the Lok Sabha, before taking a final decision on installation of a PM.
Such a person would also have to win a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha. If not, the opportunity would be given to the next party or group of parliamentary parties. Even the President of India was not elected directly but chosen indirectly by elected MPs and MLAs. Similarly, the PM of India was also indirectly elected by the new MPs of the Lok Sabha, he added.
Raja pointed out that there was no need to name a PM candidate before the elections. Asked about the names of Morarji Desai, V P Singh, P V Narasimha Rao, H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujral not figuring before the polls, Raja said they were elected as PM only after the Lok Sabha elections.
He said it was undemocratic of a party to project a PM candidate before the elections as it should be left to the newly-elected MPs to do that. Most parties in the country followed this procedure. The BJP was trying to deviate from this practice and resorting to undemocratic methods. The ballot papers of polling booths showed that the people of India only voted for their MP from a constituency and not PM, he pointed out.
The farmers in the country suffered due to huge agrarian distress, and the BJP government at the Centre had ignored the farmers but was interested in helping its corporate friends. The Rafale deal showed that the PM had ignored and bypassed the public sector HAL undertaking and brought in his friend Anil Ambani into the deal, Raja added.
The BJP government had failed to implement its poll promises of adding two crore jobs per year, he said, adding that unemployment was at the highest in the last 45 years as per government’s own data, Raja said.
The BJP government had also tried to destroy all democratic and independent organisations like the Election Commission, RBI and CBI, and was only interested in pursuing a Hindutva agenda at the expense of development. The BJP was against the time-honoured concept of a united India in a pluralistic society comprising several languages and cultures, Raja added.
The CPI was again part of the DMK-led front in Tamilnadu after 2006, which included the Congress, as the need of the hour was that secular and democratic forces must come together, Raja said.