People's Democracy

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


No. 44

November 09, 2008


Kerala News Letter

THE Kerala Left Democratic Front government is consolidating its achievements in the three year period of its rule. This is not the government that merely pays lip service and makes hollow promises to the people; it works sincerely for fulfilling its commitments to the people. The completion of the third year is going to be marked by launching new schemes and projects that will change the lot of the people.

The three new programmes launched by the government are - food security programme , free health insurance and finalisation of the SEZ policy. There was much debate in the media and in the news papers about the food security programme. The debate mainly was concerned with the departments that would lead the venture, but now all the questions have been cleared. This is a programme to ensure food for all through cultivating all cultivable land in Kerala by providing enough funds to utilise arable land, to irrigate them, to canalise the unwanted water into canals and by providing necessary machinery in the wake of absence of sufficient workers in the field of agriculture. One of the main problems in many arable lands of Kerala is the flow of salty water into the fields at the time of the sowing. This will be eliminated by a process of installing blockages (thadayanas). Rice is the staple food of the people of Kerala. Under this programme, food materials from outside would not be purchased (although this would be necessary until the food security programme is complete in its fullest sense).The food security programme is has been launched from Avala Pandy in Kozhikode district of the state. Paloli Mohammed Kutty, minister for Local Administration and CPI(M) Central Committee member inaugurated the project amidst the jubilation of peasants and people of the locality.

Many other measures are envisaged and being implemented towards the food security of the state. Waste lands are made use of for cultivating paddy.

This is a region known as the granary of Kozhikode, but was neglected by the UDF during its rule. The projects launched by the LDF were undone by the UDF. The present food security project is planned in such a way that no government would be able to undo it. More over, in the present circumstances, there is no question of UDF coming to power again in Kerala. It is a sinking boat, with almost all components of the outfit divided into a number of factions. The only puzzle in Kerala now is the media credulity of presenting the UDF as an extant entity in the state.

The free health insurance programme is launched clubbing both the central programme of Rashtreeya Swasthya Beema yojana and state programme of integrated health insurance project. The project is worked out in a decentralised way. The aim is to provide health cards to people below poverty line from November 1, 2008 onwards. It would reach the people through the three-tier panchayathi raj system. It is estimated that more than 30, 000 BPL persons would benefit from this insurance programme in each block panchayath area. At least five persons in a family would get medical coverage through this scheme. This means a major chunk of Kerala’s population is going to have the benefit of the scheme. The insurance is not with any private establishment, but is with the Life Insurance Corporation of India. The former UDF government had decided to mortgage the people of Kerala in the name of an insurance scheme which was to be handled by a private establishment.

The SEZ policy has been finalised and is agreed upon by all parties in the LDF in spite of the great hue and cry made by certain parties. As reported earlier, SEZs would not have any anti-labour powers. This is the main aspect that differentiates Kerala SEZ policy from the other states of India.

Worried over the successful LDF rule in Kerala, the UPA government is trying to create difficulties by not providing rice for ration as was promised by statutory rationing scheme, in an attempt to starve the people of Kerala. On the one hand, central government is reducing the supply of rice from 1,70,000 tones to less than 17,000 tones, and on the other it claims that it is supplying rice in plenty. Relief claims legitimately due to the state are denied. Power supply due to the state is reduced to a minimal so that the people are thrown to darkness. The UDF bandwagon with its lies tries to deviate people from the truth. In the given circumstances, the LDF had the only recourse to go on a strike in New Delhi. Under the leadership of chief minister V S Achuthanandan, all ministers and members of parliament belonging to the LDF held a token strike in New Delhi, while Kerala was all boiling in the heat of popular uprising under the leadership of the LDF in spite of the torrential rains. The lies of the UPA government were exposed and the people at large are ready to rally behind the LDF to get what is rightful to the state.

The UDF is in shambles. The Youth Congress nominations have been thrown into winds and the inner fight within the Congress party is explicitly seen in all respects. The IUML is in a still more difficult situation. The secretaryship of the Malappuram UML , which is , to them, more than the post of the secretary of national committee was decided after long-drawn embattlement between different factions.