(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 19, 2009
ELECTION campaign in support of the CPI(M) candidate for Mangalore constituency, B Madhava, was kicked off with a colourful procession of enthusiastic supporters of the CPI(M), CPI and the JD(S). The procession from the Jyoti Circle to the Nehru Maidan was attended by thousands of tile workers, beedi workers, construction workers and people from different walks of life.
CPI(M) general secretary, Prakash Karat along with the former prime minister and senior leader of the Janata Dal (Secular), H D Deve Gowda addressed the rally. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K Varadarajan and state leaders of the three parties were present on the occasion.
Addressing the rally, Prakash Karat said that it is becoming clear by the day that the people of the country are looking for an alternative to the Congress and the BJP. Both these parties are increasingly feeling insecure about their electoral prospects. The March 12 rally at Tumkur sent a clear message that a new alternative is possible and it would chart out pro-people policies. The coming together of about ten parties and the call to defeat both the Congress and the BJP is echoing through the country. The third alternative is going from strength to strength.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, all secular parties came together to defeat the communal BJP-led NDA. The CPI(M) played a role in ensuring installation of a secular government at the centre. However, the record of the UPA government is one of failed promises and betrayal of the National Common Minimum Programme. It has failed to address the agrarian crisis, the problem of unemployment, and hunger. The rich benefited while the poor suffered miserably. People are suffering due to high prices of essential goods even as the inflation rate is said to be at the lowest. PDS has been weakened. Recommendations of the National Commission of Farmers have been disregarded. The promise of a comprehensive law for unorganised workers was not fulfilled. Even as India has some of the richest persons in the world, 77 per cent of its population live on a meager Rs 20 per day.
The Congress has failed to resist communal forces. The shameful incidents of communal violence in Mangalore and brazen attacks on women took place even as the Congress remained a mute spectator and showed no political will in challenging these dark forces. The erstwhile allies of BJP and Congress have now deserted them. Congress has failed to address the impact of the global economic crisis and lakhs of workers are losing their jobs. In such a situation, formation of an alternative government which is sensitive to people's needs is indispensable. A vote for the CPI(M) is a vote for pro-people economic policies; resisting communal forces; pursuing an independent foreign policy; and ensuring social justice and equal opportunity.
Karat asserted that the third alternative is receiving widespread support and we are confident of victory. He called upon the people of Mangalore to give a clear mandate against communal forces and the Congress, which has turned a blind-eye to such attacks, and give a message that there is no space for communal and anti-people parties in Mangalore.
Deve Gowda in his speech said that the CPI(M)'s commitment and resoluteness in fighting communalism and for pro-people policies had given him the confidence that it would be the perfect foil to the politics of the RSS/VHP/Bajrang Dal-Ram Sena and the BJP. He called upon everybody to work for the victory of the CPI(M) candidate, Madhava and assured that he would come twice again to campaign in Mangalore. The candidate Madhava sought a mandate to carry forward his struggle for the toiling masses through the medium of parliament.