Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan on Saturday called upon Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda to take the lead at the national-level struggle for the rights of farmers and workers.

Speaking at a public meeting here on the 84th anniversary of the party, he said that Mr. Gowda should not restrict himself to the struggle at the State level. He said he would be meeting Mr. Gowda to discuss the issue.

Mr. Bardhan also called for the unity of all the Left parties in pursuit of the larger cause. They were already together in the struggle against price rise, he added.

He expressed concern over the stand of the judiciary on issues related to labour, citing the Supreme Court verdict on not acknowledging employer-employee relationship between the government and the Anganwadi workers as an example. Though more women were taking the lead in their own struggle, their issues were being ignored by all sections, including the judiciary, said Mr. Bardhan.

Speaking on the political scenario in Karnataka, he said Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was “banking on money” from the mining lobby to bail him out of situations while staying aloof from people’s problems. Labour Minister B.N. Bacche Gowda, Mr. Bardhan said, seemed more interested in meeting industry and corporate heads rather than labour leaders.

Jail bharo

CPI MP and All-India Trade Union Congress General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta expressed anguish over degradation of the political system, where more than 300 of 520 representatives in Parliament were crorepathis.

He announced that plans were afoot for a massive jail bharo by more than 10-lakh workers across India in the first week of March next. “Electoral reverses will not stand in the way of people’s struggles of Left parties,” he said.

The CPI’s national executive will he held in Bangalore on Sunday and Monday.