Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The CPI’s state unit on Friday clarified that the ongoing protests by the party against price rise were not aimed at a political realignment, but only to urge the Centre to take steps to prevent online trading and ensure availability of essential commodities at cheaper rate.

The clarification came in the wake of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s remarks in the Assembly on Thursday that the walkout by the Communists against price rise should not come in handy for communal forces waiting for an opportunity to capture power. The AIADMK also staged a walkout.

The executive committee of the CPI that met on Friday disagreed with the Chief Minister’s viewpoint and said the communal forces were emboldened by the flawed economic policies of the UPA government. “A people-friendly economic policy is important to protect secularism,” said a statement. Rejecting the argument of the Chief Minister and Union Ministers that the buying capacity of the people had led to price rise, the party said in reality 77 per cent of the people earned only Rs.20 a day.