Chennai: The CPI(M) and the CPI — the two prominent left parties in the Secular Progressive Alliance of Tamil Nadu led by the DMK — are upset with the state government over police crackdown on student activists over screening of the controversial BBC documentary.
While both the parties in private open up their frustration against the DMK government, they are not coming out openly against this for fear of antagonising the Chief Minister and the DMK. Notably, the Tamil Nadu police had crackdown on the Student Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Student Federation (AISF) activists of Tamil Nadu for trying to screen the BBC documentary in some universities including central universities.
The senior leaders of CPI(M) and CPI have been trying to cool down the tempers of the student and youth activists but in private they admit that the government acted in a tough manner against their student and youth leaders.
A senior CPI leader told IANS, “The DMK government is cracking down on our student leaders and activists. This is only because they tried to screen the BBC documentary on Gujarat communal carnage. Who are the DMK fearing? We don’t want to break the relationship with the DMK out of secular credentials but they should also understand that the police crackdown against our activists is a little overboard.”
The CPI and the CPI(M) have two members each in Lok Sabha from Tamil Nadu and both the parties do not have their own strength to win these seats. Hence the left parties will choose to remain silent in the open while trying to keep the issue burning in the party and among the cadres.
However, the senior leaders will have to take the student and youth leaders of the parties into confidence and hence some private outbursts against the government which are not considered seriously by the DMK.
S. Duraimuurgan, senior leader of the DMK and Minister for water works in the Tamil Nadu government, said, “We don’t have any issues with the CPI or the CPI(M) and we have been together since the past several years. These have been controversies brought out by the opposition and we continue our relationship with the left parties.”
It may be noted that the left parties were unhappy at Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and his cabinet colleagues attending the ‘At Home’ reception of Governor R.N. Ravi on Republic Day.
A senior CPI(M) leader said, “The Chief Minister attending the ‘At Home’ function of the Governor is understandable but why a battery of ministers attending the programme while on the ground serious issues were taking place with the Governor.”