People's Democracy

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


No. 30

August 03 , 2008


Protest Demonstrations Held  Against Nuclear Deal In Himachal

ON the very day the Manmohan Singh government bought its way to majority in parliament, hundreds of CPI(M) activists led by the Shimla local unit of the Party protested in the streets of Shimla indicting the government for the sell out of vital interests of the country. The protest demonstration led by the CPI(M) state secretary Rakesh Singha began in the afternoon of on July 22 with a sit in dharna. The dharna continued for over three hours, which later on got converted into a mass procession that marched through the Lower Bazar and culminated in a mass public meeting at the Naaz.

The meeting amongst others was addressed by Rakesh Singha, Tikender Singh Panwar and Kashmir Singh Thakur, members of the state secretariat, and Jagat Ram and Vijender Mehra, members of the state committee. Singha categorically charged the UPA government for the present crisis. He said instead of tackling the unprecedented price rise the government has focussed on the nuclear deal issue. The price rise has reached alarming proportions for the people but the government was more interested to appease the Bush administration by pushing through the deal. He said this was a clear cut violation of the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA. He said the government was indulging in false propaganda about energy security for the country with this deal while the reality was that the nation would at best get only an additional 10,000 MW of electricity in the foreseeable future. Singha said much more than this amount of electricity can be contributed by the state of Himachal Pradesh alone if just a small proportion of the total proposed capital for the nuclear deal is given to the state. The state has a potential of generating more than 30,000 MW of hydro electricity. While commenting on the cost effectiveness he further stated that of all the power the nuclear energy is the costliest. It is worth mentioning, he stated, that with the passage of time the hydel energy gets cheaper. No big surprise that the cost of power generated from the Bhakra Dam which falls in Himachal Pradesh is just 50 paise a unit.

Tikender Singh another state secretariat member, stated that the government is falling a prey to the strategic designs of the US. He said the task of the Party is to educate the people with respect to the perils of the deal which does not just confine to the civil nuclear cooperation, but has widespread ramifications in the field of economics and politics as well. This is just an entry point for US imperialism to rule the roost in the country. He criticised Samajwadi Party for its somersault on the deal and raised doubts about what must have prompted this shift.

Kashmir Singh Thakur called upon the working class to lead the movement against the nuclear deal and stated that this was a major issue now for the August 20 all India strike. He further stated that now a situation has come where the issues and the policies which were against the working class that were put on hold due to Left parties objection have resurfaced again in the new situation. The PFRDA is one such dinosaur that has opened up its mouth once again. He called upon the  working class to wage a militant battle against these measures.

Similar kind of actions took place in  Mandi district as well. The district secretary of the Party Bhupender Samrat led the protest demonstration in Mandi town.