People's Democracy

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


No. 19

May 09, 2004

M K Pandhe’s Election Speech On AIR


DEAR brothers and sisters,


Today is the May Day, International Day of working class solidarity. I convey my warm greetings to all workers of India on the occasion of this historic day. On behalf of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) I appeal to the people of India that in this Parliamentary elections they should vote for formation of the government at the centre which will give proper attention to the urgent issues facing the people of our country.


The NDA government has spent crores of rupees of tax payers money for a campaign to paint before the people of India a rosy picture of the work done by them. According to my Party this type of false propaganda is a gross misuse of public money. If the same money would have been used for revival of several of our sick industrial units or for irrigation projects, the country would have benefited many times more.


As a result of the policies of globalisation implemented by the NDA government, the toiling people of our country are facing acute difficulties in their day to day life. The government promised to create one crore jobs every year but today we find the number of unemployed people has increased tremendously all over the country. Even the prime minister has given a call to reduce the number of central government employees by 10 per cent over a period of five years. Under the rule of the NDA government three lakh workers in public sector undertakings have lost their jobs. Six lakh industrial units have been closed down in the country as a result of which the conditions of unemployment have grown from bad to worse. The availability of jobs to agricultural workers has gone down drastically, who now get work for less than 100 days in a year.


The rate of interest of the Provident Fund has been brought down from 12 to 9 per cent as result of which the working class of country has been deprived of Rs 3,600 crore of retirement benefit every year. Kerosene, soap, sugar, clothing, foodgrains and other essential commodities have become extremely expensive which is imposing unbearable burden on the poor people. The commodities supplied through Public Distribution System have become so costly that less and less number of people are in a position to purchase foodgrains from these shops.


The NDA government has been loudly talking about “India Shining” and “Feel Good” in their election campaign. However, we cannot ignore the fact that one third of the people in the world living in acute poverty are staying in India. The largest number of child labour in the world are working in India. According to United Nations Human Development Index out of 175 countries India is ranked at 127. Under these circumstances to talk about India becoming a super power by 2020 is only an attempt to hoodwink the people of our country.


During NDA rule every sale of public sector undertakings has become a scandal. Even the prime minister’s office is not free from these scams. This matter was raised in Parliament even by MPs belonging to the ruling party. The Vigilance Commission drew the attention of the prime minister to the misuse of public sector funds by several ministers. However, no action was taken in this regard so far.


The NDA government has been attacking the trade union rights of the workers, including the right to strike. The recommendations of the Second National Labour Commission are being accepted by the NDA government which will give right of hire and fire to the employers, while contractarisation of jobs will be increased tremendously. It is well known that incidents of sexual harassment of women at the work place are increasing day by day.


The Social Security Scheme for the unorganised workers announced by the government recently is only an election gimmick. The workers have been given empty promises of big benefits without passing a law on the question. Thirty seven crores workers of this sector should understand the real meaning of the scheme and should not get trapped by false promises.


The NDA government deliberately delayed the bringing of the Bill on womens reservation in Parliament. It has resorted to saffronisation and privatisation of education. The BJP is spreading hatred against minority communities throughout the country.


Under these circumstances, it is the paramount duty of Indian people to give a resounding defeat to this anti-people government. The Communist Party of India  (Marxist) appeals to the people to vote in favour of Left, secular and democratic forces so that the country can be saved from the machinations of imperialist, communal and divisive forces for ever.

Thank you


 (May 1, 2004)