People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 12

March 21, 2004

CPI(M) Demands PM Should Explain


Reacting to the incident where BJP has been caught red-handed in Mumbai by a private television channel while collecting names and money on forms with BJP’s letterhead and election symbol from workers in the unorganised sector for the non-existent ‘New Social Security Scheme’, the CPI(M) has demanded an explanation from the prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in this regard.


Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on March 15, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, Sitaram Yechury, and CPI(M) leader in Rajya Sabha, Nilotpal Basu, termed this episode as “not only a cruel hoax on unorganised workers, but also a criminal misuse of a non-existent scheme to dupe the vulnerable.” Pointing out that this scheme was released with much fanfare by the prime minister himself from his constituency, Lucknow, the CPI(M) leaders said the onus rests on the PM to explain how this was allowed. The CPI(M) released to the press an article that was carried by the People’s Democracy which proves how this scheme is actually a fraud on unorganised workers. Sitaram Yechury said “this scheme is plainly non-feasible but still the government went ahead deliberately with the purpose of misleading the people.” He demanded the PM to explain to the people how BJP made such gross misuse of this government scheme (though a non-existent one)




As part of the continuing series exposing ‘Shining India’ claims, the CPI(M) leaders today focussed on the key oil sector. They levelled three important charges against the Vajpayee government:


 Sitaram also debunked the government claim of footing heavy subsidy bill on petroleum products. “It is actually a sleight of hand. On the one hand the government collects massive amount of revenue through levy of steep custom duties on these products, thereby raising their prices. And on the other, it gives a part of the money so collected as subsidy to reduce the prices to some extent. It is clear the intention of levying such massive duties is to collect thousands of crores of rupees as revenue from products consumed or which have an impact on the common masses of the country”, said Sitaram.




The CPI(M) has renewed its appeal to all secular political parties to ensure that there is minimum of division of secular votes in the coming general election. Sitaram Yechury told media persons that the people of the country are keen that this should be ensured and that they would hold to account any party which acted to the contrary. He was responding to questions regarding mutual contests among secular parties in UP, Bihar and other states.


When asked pointedly about the decision of the CPI to filed its candidate from Sahdol in Madhya Pradesh, which the CPI(M) announced it would fight, Sitaram said it was unfortunate that CPI took this decision. He appealed to it to reconsider and withdraw its candidate.


While queried on the progress CPI(M) made in seat sharing talks, Sitaram said that discussions were on with the RJD in Bihar regarding the arrangement. He revealed that there was agreement on Bhagalpur, from where the CPI(M) will recontest. However for the second seat, no decision has yet been taken on the offer from Laloo to allot Purnea seat.


Regarding AP, Sitaram said the issue may be sorted out in another two or three days.