(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 22, 2009
THE tiny town of Dobbspet which is situated fifty kilometers from Bangalore saw a sea of humanity. More than five lakh of people attended the rally with enthusiasm and vigour on March 12, 2009. They were shouting slogans against the BJP government in the state and the UPA government at the centre. They came from far away places for participating in the rally organised by the JD(S), CPI(M), CPI and other parties of Third Alternative.
Prakash Karat inaugurating the rally said for giving immediate relief to the people who have been suffering from poverty even after 61 years of independence it is necessary to give more powers to the states. Only the parties belonging to the Third alternative can do this as both BJP led NDA and Congress led UPA governments have failed in this. Anti people policies of the Congress and the communal activities of BJP are threatening the very fabric of democracy in the country. The parties belonging to the Third alternative will protect cultural, social and linguistic diversity of the country, he said.
India is a country with rich natural as well as human resources. Science and technological development is growing. Still, more than 20 crores of people are without food. 37 per cent of the people are illiterate. 40 per cent of the children under the age of 3 are dying because of malnutrition and 50 per cent women are anaemic. Farmers’ suicides are continuing. Prices of essential goods are increasing day in and day out, both in cities and rural areas.
World economic crisis has affected India also. More than ten lakhs of people have already lost their jobs. During the five year rule of UPA, rich have become super rich. Out of the 10 topmost rich in the world 4 are from India. The fruits of development must reach the common men like farmers, agricultural workers and other workers besides small businesses, Karat said.
H D Deve Gowda, former prime minister and the architect of the rally, introduced the all India Leaders and congratulated the Left parties for taking initiative for forming a third alternative particularly after UPA government’s surrender in the nuclear deal. CPI(M) leaders like Harkishen Singh Surjeet and Jyoti Basu are my political gurus, he acknowledged. In Karnataka, the BJP government has to be overthrown and a secular government led by JD(S) has to be elected, he said.
A B Bardhan, general secretary of CPI, said India could save itself from the dangers of the present global economic crisis due to stiff resistance from the Left parties against UPA government’s economic reforms. He said that Venkaiah Naidu had ridiculed the Third Front as a third grade front. But his remarks are third grade remarks that too from a leader of the main opposition party. Lal Krishna Advani had said that there are only two fronts at present, that of BJP and Congress. The Congress party which was in the forefront of the freedom struggle is in a pathetic condition today. Though it claims itself as a national party, it is bargaining for five seats in Bihar and 8-10 seats in Uttar Pradesh. The constituents of BJP have been coming out of NDA, the recent example being BJD in Orissa. It once again reminds us that India cannot have a two party system. He said that we are one on the basis of diversity and variety. He expressed confidence that Third alternative would come to power in 2009.
Bahujan Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha member, Satish Mishra who represented chief minister Mayavathi said that even after 60 years of independence, more than 90 per cent of the people in the country are in distress. The dalits and other downtrodden sections are treated worse than animals. A majority of the people don’t have access to basic education, shelter, and other basic amenities. As both BJP and Congress receive money from big industrial houses, they work for them. He said that they are shameless to pursue divisive politics based on caste and religion for power.
Former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu criticized the Congress party for confining only to lectures on agrarian crisis instead of implementing the recommendations of Dr Swaminathan’s Commission. The UPA government has been responsible for the increase in prices of essential commodities like rice, sugar, etc. Further, it has not written off all the farmers’ loans and did not take steps to curtail the prices of essential agricultural inputs. He said that it was the Left parties’ consistent pressure that led to the implementation of National Rural employment guarantee scheme. He also emphasised that it was because of Left parties’ vehement resistance that Congress could not allow foreign direct investment in banking and insurance sector which now proved to have saved India from the disasters of the present global economic crisis.
Dr Maithreyan, Rajya Sabha member and AIADMK leader addressed the rally representing former chief minister of Tamilnadu, Kumari Jayalalitha. He said that the UPA has failed on all fronts. UPA did not respond to the impacts of economic crisis, pursued wrong foreign policies, did not handle the issue of terrorism properly and the country had no Finance minister for almost one and half month. The need of the hour is people’s alternative, he said.
Taraka Ramarao, TRS leader and son of TRS president Chandrashekar Rao, criticised the dictatorial policies of the Congress and said that the opportunistic attitude of Congress has failed to protect the unity in diversity of the country. The secular minded parties have come together to uphold the values of diversity. He expressed confidence that TDP, Left and TRS combine would come to power in Andhra Pradesh.
Former chief minister of Karnataka and JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy said that the BJP government in Karnataka has failed to address the acute problem of power. As a result of this, the farmers, students and industries are experiencing great difficulties. He said that the state BJP government has not responded even as the farmers who grow paddy, sugar cane, and other vegetables are in distress due to fall in prices. It is shameless on the part of the chief minster of Karnataka, Yediyurappa, to promise to create about 10 lakh jobs when his government has failed to protect the employment of lakhs of workers who have been thrown out of many garment industries and other industries due to global economic crisis.
He said that it is the BJP government which has given full freedom to Hindu fundamentalist organisations like Bajrang Dal and Sri Rama Sene, including BJP cadres, to wreak havoc on women in the name of protecting culture. Kumaraswamy gave a call to throw out the BJP government from power. On the formation of Third alternative, he recalled that Left parties’ breaking ties with UPA on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal paved the way for formation of a Third alternative at the national level. Hence, only the Third alternative can give a real alternative to anti-people policies of both Congress and BJP, he said.