Correspondent

Better if UPA Government recognises opposition to the 123 deal, says Varadarajan

Three-day State meet of the party begins

Mining, farm scenarios to be discussed

CUTTACK: Going ahead with 123 agreement would bind India to the United States in a manner that would seriously impair an independent foreign policy and strategic autonomy of the country, says CPI(M) polit bureau member K. Vardarajan. He was speaking after inaugurating the party’s 18th State conference here on Saturday.

“A wise and expedient step for the UPA Government is to acknowledge that there is widespread opposition to the nuclear deal,” Mr. Vardarajan said, adding that the Left cannot compromise with national security. He said the Left parties would continue to oppose the UPA Government, both inside and outside the Parliament, on issues that deviate from the common minimum programme on the basis of which the government at the Centre was formed in 2004.

Farmers’ plight

He said his party was committed to providing land, food and employment to the poorer sections of society.

Mr. Vardarajan also expressed shock over the present condition of farmers in the country. He said farmers were living in penury and abject poverty even in developed states of the country. “At least one farmer is committing suicide for every 30 minutes either in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. At least 1.50 lakh farmers have already ended their lives due to poverty or debt burden during the past five years,” he said.

More than 500 delegates from across the State who had been elected by the local committees were attending the three-day conference, which would end with a massive rally and public meeting here on Monday.

It would be addressed by the party’s national president Prakash Karat.

Agenda

The delegates were scheduled to discuss about the mines policy of the State and suggest ways of regulating the natural resources of the State, said reception committee chairman Subash Singh. He said the party would also discuss other issues such as agriculture, land, food and civil supplies and employment scenario of Orissa.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the conference, party State unit chief Janardan Pati discussed about the precarious agricultural scenario in the State and suggested that it should focus on agricultural-based industry. He also opined that the ban on government recruitment should be lifted while the base-level posts in various government sectors should not be abolished.