(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 30, 2009
NATIONAL CONVENTION ON RIGHT TO FOOD
CPI(M) Calls for Intense Struggles to Ensure Food Security
Communist Party of India (Marxist) organised a national convention on
food and against price rise in
The convention was inaugurated by the Tripura chief minister and Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar and was addressed by eminent economists Professor Madhura Swaminathan and Professor Jayati Ghosh. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S Ramachandran Pillai chaired the session. Inaugurating the convention, Manik Sarkar emphasised that the Food Security Act that is being proposed by the Congress-led UPA government in its present form will only institutionalise food insecurity and it will further worsen the problem of malnutrition. He said even after 62 years of independence, we are still grappling with the issues of hunger, malnutrition and starvation deaths and this situation exists because of the policies pursued by the governments in power whose main aim was and is to safeguard the interests of the ruling class. Manik Sarkar exhorted the delegates to galvanise and strengthen the struggle for the basic rights of the people.
Swaminathan said we have a large number of hungry and malnourished
comprising 83 per cent of rural
Jayati Ghosh punctured the arguments of the central government for
denying the existing
35 kg of rice at Rs 3 a kg to all the people of
The second session,
by Polit Bureau member M K Pandhe, came up with the experiences of the
intervention in the Left ruled states. Speaking in this session on Left
interventions, the finance ministers of
The CPI(M) MLAs
The convention held two other sessions on (1) Anamolies in the BPL and APL categories and problems of access to the PDS; (2) Problems connected with production and procurement. These were chaired by Polit Bureau member, K Varadha Rajan, Central Committee members Subhashini Ali, A Vijayaraghavan, Suneet Chopra and Sudha Sundaraman, kisan leader N K Shukla and youth leaders Tapas Sinha and Sriramakrishan. Nineteen speakers from as many states recounted their experiences. They included delegates from tribal and scheduled caste areas, minority dominated areas, women including a widow of a suicide farmer, and speakers from the drought hit states.
The CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP, Brinda Karat placed the resolution on the Right to Food before the convention containing three sets of demands on drought, price rise and alternative proposals for the Food Security Act. The resolution was was passed unanimously after incorporating the suggestions made by the delegates.
Concluding the convention, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP, Sitaram Yechury, called upon the delegates to strengthen the struggles against the anti-people policies of the government and to bridge the gap between the ‘shining’ and ‘suffering’ India. He said with the main opposition party the BJP in doldrums, the government thinks they can do what they like. But the opposition comprises the common people against price rise and food insecurity, and the CPI(M) will intensify the struggle for justice and against inequalities, he said.