Prakash Karat, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) flagged off the Sangharsh Sandesh jatha in Kanyakumari on 24 February 2013. Prakash Karat handed over the jatha flag to S. Ramachandran Pillai, Polit Bureau member and the leader of the South Jatha. This is the first of the four jathas that the CPI(M) is conducting.

In an impressive flagging off ceremony organised in Kanyakumari, Prakash Karat explained the reasons for organising the jathas covering the entire length and breadth of the country. He explained that the ruinous policies of the Congress led UPA government are leading to all round depravement of the common people. Karat stated that through this Jatha CPI (M) will mobilise people to fight for the right for food, employment, education, health, rights of the oppressed sections such as dalits, adivasis and minorities etc. He also said that through these Jathas the party is also calling up the people to join the fight against corruption.

He stated that along with this jatha that will travel through the all the states in Southern India, there are three more jathas – the eastern jatha starts from Kolkata, the western jatha from Mumbai and the northern jatha from Amritsar. “All these jathas will culminate in Delhi, where a mass rally will be held on 19th March”. He called upon the people to join the struggle for their rights and strengthen the fight for alternative policies. Karat concluded his speech stating “It is only the Left and democratic forces that can give a real alternative to the disastrous policies pursued by the successive governments at the Centre”.

S. Ramachandran Pillai the leader of the jatha thanked the people of Kanyakumari for the reception they had accorded to the jatha. He said that the policies pursued by the Congress led UPA government are benefitting the corporates and the rich people in our country. He criticised the government for their failure to address the issues of the common people. He said that there is a need to start massive struggles against these policies which are exploiting agriculture workers, peasants, minorities and women. “To protect the their rights we need alternate policies, and for this people have to come together and join forces with CPI (M) in this struggle.

Noor Mohammed, Secretariat member of the Tamilnadu state committee gave the welcome address while K. Varadarajan, Polit Bureau member presided over the meeting. Others who participated were V. Srinivasa Rao, Member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee and Sudha Sundararaman, Member, Central Committee.

After the public meeting, the jatha left for the first destination of the day, Nagercoil, where a huge public meeting is going on when this report is being filed.