People's Democracy

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


No. 36

September 05, 2004


 Hundreds Say No To Anti-People Policies


HUNDREDS of activists of the Delhi state CPI(M) held a demonstration at the Delhi government secretariat on August 27 to protest against the anti-people policies of the Sheila Dikshit government. This marked the culmination of a month long campaign launched by the Party, which involved distributing leaflets, holding street corner meetings, demonstrations at government and municipal offices and a weeklong programme of dharnas at Jantar Mantar. 


The August 27 demonstration was addressed by P M S Grewal, Party state secretary, S B Bharadwaj and Baldev Singh, Party state secretariat members and Mohan Lal, general secretary of Delhi state CITU.




Speakers condemned the privatisation of essential civic facilities by the state government. They highlighted how the privatisation of power has only resulted in Delhi remaining plagued with prolonged power cuts, billing problems and high transmission and distribution (T&D) losses. Tariffs have been increased twice since privatisation. The subsidy of nearly Rs 3,500 crore being given to the private distribution companies by the government after privatisation are higher than losses of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) earlier. The recent CAG report has exposed the undue favours shown by the Delhi government to the private distribution companies.


Ignoring this dismal experience, the state government is hell bent on continuing its privatisation spree. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is next on its list, with huge increase in water tariffs in the offing. Sanitation in unauthorised colonies has been privatised with residents have to pay user charges. The labour department connives with employers to deny the vast majority of workers of minimum wages and other legal rights. There is a huge growth in hiring of contract labour even for jobs of perennial nature.




The state government’s neglect in getting largely industrial areas notified as such and its failure to take steps as required under the Master Plan has created the real threat of closure of large number of industries thus endangering jobs of lakhs of workers. Jhuggi dwellers are being forcibly removed to outskirts of the city – far from their current place of work – into hellholes bereft of any civic facilities. There is no let up in attempts to uproot hawkers. The burdens imposed on the people via the state budget also came in for sharp criticism.


The speakers warned that the people would not spare the Sheila Dikshit government if it continued to attack the poor and violate its electoral promises to the people. Two memoranda on various demands were later submitted to the chief minister. (INN)