Stresses need for presenting a political alternative in favour of landless farmers

Stressing the need for presenting to the people a political alternative, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday said the neo-liberal policies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) favoured only the rich.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said the alternative policies should be in favour of landless farmers, where the rich were taxed to provide food security, employment, education and health.

Speaking at the ‘sangharsh sandesh’ rally in New Delhi, Mr. Karat said the Congress-led UPA favoured only the rich businessmen, foreign capital and the rich. “The resources and minerals of our country are being gifted either cheap or free to big industrialists. It is because of the policies of the government that inflation is increasing,” he said.

Decrying the spiralling prices of petrol and diesel while the fertilizer subsidy had been slashed, Mr. Karat said it was the new economic policies that had driven 2.90 lakh farmers to suicide in the past 18 years. He alleged that the policies were framed under U.S. pressure and said that FDI in retail would hurt small traders.

Mr. Karat said the policies could not be changed under the present regime. “A new alternative can only be created if the crores of farmers, labourers, women, youth, Dalits, and tribals are all brought together for a sustained struggle.”

He said like-minded parties must come to a consensus on what the alternative policies were.

Modi draws flak

He criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for wanting his model of development to be replicated at the national level. In reality corporates in the State were being given free land and other benefits while the common people were not getting education and health facilities.

He said the minorities in Gujarat had been relegated to the status of second-grade citizens.

The CPI(M), he said, had spread its message through four ‘sangharsh sandesh jathas’ which travelled to Delhi from the four corners of the country. The jathas raised six issues related to the needs of the people — food, land, employment, education, health and social justice and equal rights for women.

The party would organise protests and resort to picketing at various levels across the country between May 15 and May 31 in support of its demands.

Senior party leaders Brinda Karat also addressed the rally and criticised the government over corruption and policies.

Resources looted

Sitaram Yechury, senior Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), said the resources of the country were sufficient to meet its needs but these were being looted.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said in the recent Assembly elections in his State, the top Congress leadership, including Rahul Gandhi, had tried to wrest power from the CPI(M) but the people gave them a fitting reply.

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