`CPI(M) support is for CMP and not for Congress'
MALAPPURAM: Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury has called upon the masses to exert more pressure on the Centre to check the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government from going astray.
Addressing a party rally here on Wednesday evening, Mr. Yechury said the Congress-led UPA Government could be coerced to abide by the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) only by applying pressure from above and below.
"We are applying pressure from above in Parliament. This pressure should be strengthened by people's pressure from below," he said.
Mr. Yechury said the Congress had proven that it would implement the CMP only if pressured by the Left.
"Our support is to the Common Minimum Programme, and not to the Congress. Therefore, there is no contradiction in agitating for the implementation of the Common Minimum Programme," he said.
The rally was taken out as part of the CPI(M)'s nation-wide struggle against the UPA Government.
He said the crisis in agriculture was growing worse even when the country boasts of a growth rate of 8.3 per cent. When West Bengal's growth rate of 10 per cent was based on its agriculture, the country's growth rate was at the expense of its agriculture growth, Mr. Yechury said.
He said farmers should be given low-interest loans, and that the Government should ensure minimum support price for farm produce.
That, according to the CPI(M) leader, was the only way out to save the farmers.
He demanded that forward trading in essential commodities be banned to save the farmers.
With regard to a proposed hike in fuel prices, Mr. Yechury said the deficit of oil companies should be bridged without burdening the common man. The Government should seek the alternative of reducing import duty on crude, he said.
Mr. Yechury called upon the Centre to increase its spending on education and public health as promised in the CMP.
"Unless we spend the promised 6 per cent on education, we will be left behind in higher education," he said.
CPI(M) district secretary K. Saidalikutty presided over the function.
Parliament Members T.K. Hamza and A. Vijayaraghavan, Local Administration Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty, MLAs Manjalamkuzhi Ali, V. Sasikumar, K.T. Jaleel and P.P. Abdullakutty were present at the rally.