The steps announced by the United Progressive Alliance government to deregulate diesel price are part of the “overall offensive of the Centre on the people,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said on Saturday.
While the government “is cutting subsidies for the poor, it is shamelessly offering more subsidies to corporates,” he told journalists after the conclusion of the three-day central committee meeting here.
Mr. Karat criticised the hike in rail passenger fare, announcement of the National Pharmaceutical Policy that will nullify the drug control regime and the Rangarajan Committee recommendations to de-control the sugar industry, calling these measures “a new round of attack on the people.”
The postponement of implementation the General Anti Avoidance Rules was a deliberate attempt to allow “large national and foreign capital to reap big profits.”
Calling the UPA regime the most corrupt government since Independence, Mr. Karat said if it wanted to do away with corruption, it must start from its own functionaries.
The CPI(M) would organise four jathas in the eastern, western, northern and southern parts of the country from February 25. The jathas, led by Polit Bureau members, would focus on the issues of food security, price rise, land and houses for people, unemployment, education, health and corruption, and culminate in a mass rally in Delhi on March 19, according to a central committee statement.
Commenting on the direct cash transfer scheme, Mr. Karat said it would lead to “the dismantling of the public distribution system.”
“People getting subsidised foodgrains under the PDS will not get the same amount,” he said, explaining that food production would suffer because of cash subsidies given under the scheme.
On the proposed Land Acquisition Bill, Mr. Karat favoured a policy where the State would have a role to play in the entire process, including giving compensation and rehabilitation.
“You cannot keep the government out… Letting the market forces rule supreme does not work in the country.”
Noting that the CPI(M) would continue to focus on strengthening the Left before the next Lok Sabha elections so that it could play a major role, Mr. Karat said the party called for the defeat of the Congress-led UPA government while opposing and fighting the BJP.
The party was “not envisaging formation of a Third Front at the moment” but might have alliance with non-Congress, secular forces during the elections.