: Tirupura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has called for creation of a third alternative to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the Bharatiya Janata Party- led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that have failed the people, particularly the peasantry and the common man.
Mr Sarkar was addressing a rally organised by the All India Kisan Sabha to mark the conclusion of the four-day 33rd National conference held on the Manjakuppam grounds here on Saturday.
He emphatically said that the anti-people and pro-rich policies of the successive UPA governments as well as that of the NDA had alienated them from the people and as such has created a fluid political situation.
“Hence, there is a vacuum in the political scenario which can be filled only by mobilizing Left, democratic and secular forces in different States, including in Tamil Nadu, on a common platform with a set of alternative policies to resolve the problems of the people.”
Such an alternative should encompass the working classes, the unemployed, those below the poverty line, the downtrodden, women, the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and minority communities, he said.
Agriculture continued to be the backbone of the economy as 50 per cent of the population was both directly and indirectly dependent upon it for livelihood. However, it was a pity that the Congress was systematically destroying agriculture by not sanctioning adequate funds for distribution of quality seeds and planting materials, and, cutting down the fertilizer subsidies.
As the Centre had failed to implement the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan commission on fixing remunerative prices for farm produce, the farmers were forced to resort to distress sale. Even the Food Corporation of India had given up the practice of purchasing agricultural produce at supporting prices which has caused immense harm to the farming sector. “Land holding should be decentralized to enable the tillers get lands,” Mr Sarkar said.