Pledging to fight American "imperialism", CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and CPI national secretary D Raja on Wednesday hit the roads leading a 'jatha' from here to Vishakapattanam against the naval exercise, involving the US, in the Bay of Bengal.
Launching the 'jatha' after garlanding the statue of late freedom fighter VO Chidambaram Pillai, who was imprisoned till his death for floating 'Swadeshi Shipping Company' during the British rule, Karat said "let all of us take a pledge to fight imperialist forces like the late leader."
"The situation was the same now like the time when Pillai launched a struggle against the British empire. We pledge that we will not allow India to become an ally of the US imperialism," he said.
Later talking to reporters, Karat said it was not a symbolic protest. "We will fight to stop India becoming an ally of the US."
Raja said that everyone should take a pledge that India's sovereignty should be protected at any cost.
Late Pillai had floated the shipping company only to protect the country's sovereignty, he added.
All India Forward Bloc leader Devarajan said the 'jatha' was just "a small beginning of a big fight".
The 'jatha' will culminate at Vishakapattanam on September eight, when another one from Kolkata led by CPI general secretary A B Bardhan would also reach. The 'jatha' from Kolkata was flagged off on Tuesday.