Agricultural labourers’ association warns of boycotting ruling parties in State and Centre

Even though uncertainty prevails over the exact month in which the Parliamentary elections would be held next year, election fever has begun to grip the city with members of an agricultural labourers’ association staging a demonstration here on Monday and warning that they would not vote for either the ruling party in the State or the party in the Centre.

All India Agricultural Labourers Association, affiliated to Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), staged a demonstration near the Collectorate here and raised slogans against the Congress as well as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The protest was part of demonstrations organised by CPI (ML) across the country to press various demands.

C. Mathivanan, District Secretary, CPI (ML), said that their prime demand was to provide 80 more days of additional work to the labourers in the district under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) apart from the minimum stipulation of 100 days. He claimed that a majority of the labourers here were suffering without income as they had already completed 100 days of work.

“The stipulation of 100 days is only minimum and not maximum. Therefore, considering the plight of the workers here, the Centre should come forward to provide 80 more days of work by the end of this financial year. Otherwise, labourers might die of hunger. We also want payment under the MGNREGS to be made promptly every week rather than taking three to four weeks for disbursement,” he said.

Inclusion of all kinds of essential food commodities under the Food Security Act, speedy distribution of free house sites to the poor and making public the chemical analysis report of water samples drawn from a water body at Poikaraipatti in Melur Taluk near here were the other demands.

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