Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan News
NEW DELHI – Concluding week-long nationwide campaign against deepening economic crisis and worsening miseries of people, all six Left parties on Wednesday organised protest rallies across the country. They blamed the policies of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government’s policies for the sorry state of economy.
In the National Capital, top leaders of the Left bloc held a massive joint demonstration at Jantar Mantar amid slogans like ‘Defeat the Politics of Divide’, ‘Divert and Rule!’, ‘Unite for Jobs’, ‘Dignity and Social Harmony!’.
The demonstration was led by national leadership of the CPI (M), CPI, CPI (ML)-Liberation, RSP and CGPI, including CPI General Secretary D. Raja, Kavita Krishnan from CPI (ML)-Liberation, R.S. Dagar from RSP and Santosh from CGPI.
The Left leaders demanded that the government should stop privatisation of the Public Sector and withdraw 100% FDI in defence and coal sectors and halt the largescale privatisation of BSNL, ordnance factories, Indian Railways, Air India etc.
They wanted allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) enhanced to ensure clearance of dues and a minimum of 200 days of work at the designated minimum wage and ensure a minimum wage of Rs. 18,000 per month.
Speaking on the occasion, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury pointed out that the economic slowdown in the country is the direct result of the negative policies of the Modi Government, including demonetization, faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and crony capitalism.
India’s economy was already reeling under increasing unemployment, price rise, and layoffs. He said, the government was ignoring the high rate of unemployment, contract system, low wages and agrarian crisis.
“Nearly 20 lakh jobs have lost in automobile sector, about 30 lakh workers have been rendered jobless in textile sector as unemployment rate is at a historic high today. But the government is only keen on bailing out rich corporates, instead of focusing on increasing the purchasing power of the people.”
Taking Modi to the task for deflecting public attention from the burning issues to pseudo nationalism, the CPI (M) leader said his government wants to compensate Rs 1.70 lakh crore fiscal deficit, which is the result of demonetisation and GST, by the Rs 1.76 lakh crore it has withdrawn from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The money, he said could have been used for public expenditure to generate new jobs and increase domestic demand.
Corporates are being benefited in the name of combating economic slowdown, he thundered.
D Raja, another prominent Left leader, came down heavily on the Modi Government saying it continues to remain oblivious of growing mass unemployment, underemployment, low wages and incomes and the deepening agrarian distress which, he said have resulted in compounding the misery of a large majority of working people. He accused the prime minister of rousing communal passions to deflect the attention of the masses from this reality.
“Instead of addressing these issues the Modi government is seeking to divert people’s attention by rousing passions that deepen polarization,” he said.
Echoing his views, Kavita Krishnan said the Modi Government has been playing havoc with the lives of people by not focusing on ways to arrest the downslide in the economy.
“They (BJP-RSS) only focus on their polarising agenda which is convenient tool to distract the attention of the people from their miseries and hardships.”
It is to mention here that the Left parties undertook a week-long campaign, between October 10 and 16, across the country against the government’s pro-corporate and anti-working class and anti-peasant policies.