People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 17, 2008
Impressive Rally Concludes 22nd State Conference
From N S Arjun In Hyderabad
LIKE the way the poor of the entire country benefited from the heroic Telangana struggle, the ongoing large scale struggles being conducted by the CPI(M) on people's issues in Andhra Pradesh will also have a national impact. They will pave way for the formation of a third alternative at the central level, said CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury while addressing an impressive rally at Kukatpally, a suburb of Hyderabad, on February 10. The rally marked the successful conclusion of the 22nd state conference of the CPI(M)'s Andhra Pradesh state committee.
CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu presided over the meeting. Earlier two rallies were taken out which converged at the venue of the public meeting.
Yechury in his speech lauded the militant struggles being waged by the people of the state under the leadership of the CPI(M). He said these are an inspiration for the entire party in the country, which is gearing for launching more struggles on people's issues. The policies being pursued by successive governments at the centre have only widened the inequalities – starkly reflected in the growing number of billionaires on the one hand and the fact of 77 percent people living on an earning of 20 rupees per day, on the other. The severe agrarian crisis is resulting in thousands of farmers committing suicide in various parts of the country. He pointed out that the Left parties are not only conducting struggles against these ruinous policies but are offering concrete alternatives to such policies. Although the Left parties were supporting the UPA government on the basis of its Common Minimum Programme, it was not implementing it with sincerity. It was only due to the relentless pressure of the Left that whatever little pro-people measures, like NREGA, Tribal Forest Rights Act etc, were implemented by the government. They could also successfully halt the privatisation drive of public sector units, he said.
Yechury warned the UPA government not to resort to hiking the prices of petroleum products. The Left parties would come onto the streets to oppose such a hike. He said the government should instead rationalise the tax structure on petro products and stop giving huge concessions to private refineries. He elaborated at length on the dangers of Indo-US civil nuclear deal, including the high costs as compared to other sources of power like thermal, water etc. The savings of Rs 2.50 lakh crores through such alternative sources of energy can be used for the welfare of the people, apart from the scope of generation of jobs on a large scale.
Yechury also warned of the danger of BJP trying to make a comeback utilising the growing discontentment among the people due to the anti-people policies of the UPA government. With this objective only it has announced its intention of making the entire country into Gujarat --- trying to create communal divide for benefiting politically. He reminded how the BJP led NDA government had implemented neo-liberal economic policies vigorously and how it cozied up to US imperialism. With both the Congress and the BJP pursuing the same policies, it was imperative to evolve a distinct policy platform based third alternative at the national level. He concluded saying that the ongoing militant struggles being waged by the party in Andhra Pradesh would help in the evolving of such an alternative.
CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu, in his presidential speech, called upon the party leaders and cadres to take inspiration from the heroic Telangana armed struggle and wage further militant struggles, even getting ready to sacrifice lives for defending the interests of the poor, downtrodden sections. It is only through struggles that the myriad problems facing these sections of people can be solved, he asserted. Lambasting the Congress state government for using repression on a huge scale to crush the ongoing movement for house sites and land distribution, Raghavulu said the poor will once again occupy lands and house sites under the leadership of the CPI(M). And if the government tries to uproot the huts of the poor again, the poor will uproot the government itself. He announced full support of the CPI(M) to the decision of 195 mass organisations to intensify the land struggle from April onwards. He appealed to the people of the state to make success the March 19 "Chalo Assembly" call of the mass organisations on this issue. About the speculation of new forces entering the political field, Raghavulu said the question of the CPI(M) joining hands with them would depend on the kind of policies they adopt.
CPI(M) Central Secretariat member V Srinivasa Rao, in his address, called for countering the malicious campaign against CPI(M) launched by the ruling Congress party utilising caste and region cards. He expressed the hope that people of the state would teach the Congress a fitting lesson.
The meeting was also addressed by Central Committee members P Ramayya, T Veerabadhram, Mallu Swarajyam and P Madhu, state secretariat member M A Gafoor, CPI(M) floor leader in assembly N Narsimhaiah and others.