People's Democracy

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


No. 41

October 11, 2009



Joint State Convention on Price Rise, Food Security


Asha Nand


THE Punjab state units of the CPI(M) and CPI recently organised a joint state level convention against price rise, for food security and drought relief for the masses. Taking place at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall in Jalandhar, the convention was presided over by CPI(M) state secretariat member Rachhpal Singh and CPI state executive member Kulwant Singh. About 1,500 delegates of both the parties from all over the state participated in the convention. The resolution which the convention unanimously adopted, was placed by CPI state secretary Bhupinder Sambher and endorsed CPI(M) state secretary Charan Singh Virdi. The convention called for holding a mass rally at Ludhiana on December 2 on these issues.

The convention was addressed by Joginder Dayal (National Executive member of CPI), Charan Singh Virdi, Bhupinder Sambhar, Beant Singh Brar (National Council member of CPI), and Raghunath Singh and Lehambar  Singh Taggar (state secretariat members of CPI-M). The stage was conducted by Vijay Misra, state secretariat member of the CPI(M), and Harbhajan Singh, state executive member of the CPI.

While addressing the convention, the speakers said both the Congress led UPA government at the centre and Akali-BJP government in Punjab were responsible for the price hike. They said these governments are implementing the policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation but the experience tells us that wherever these policies were implemented, the masses of that country were ruined. They said the central and the state governments must immediately stop implementing these policies and control the price hike, so that the masses of the country could be protected against increasing unemployment, poverty and other problems. The speakers demanded a ban on all future trading in essential commodities, strengthening of the public distribution system, and restoration of original grain allocations to the states which were slashed for the APL sections. They also demanded dehoarding measures and withdrawal of the hike in petrol and diesel prices. They said the governments must implement the NREGA in the real sense. They demanded that the drought affected farmers must be provided adequate relief including the payment of Rs 1400 per quintal as the price of paddy and Rs 150 per quintal as the bonus. The food security act must be implemented in true sense, so that the masses of the country are really food secure. Also, the old age pension must be enhanced from Rs 400 to Rs 750 per month. Another demand was that the process of unbundling of the Punjab state electricity board (PSEB) must be stopped and the loan which is being taken to this cause, must be expended to strengthen the PSEB. They demanded that the recession affected industrial workers should be provided a lump sum relief of Rs 20,000 each. The central government must provide a Rs 45,000 crore package to Punjab to revive the agriculture and industry in the state.

This state level convention has set in motion the process of holding district level conventions on these issues, so as to organise the masses through meetings, rallies and village level conferences all over the state. It asked the cadres of the two parties to work wholeheartedly for the success of the proposed rally on December 02, 2009.

Jagroop Singh, Hardev Arshi, Gurnam Kanwar and Pirthipal Singh Marhimegha (National Council members of CPI) and Gurmesh Singh, Gurmeet Singh Dhadda, Bhoop Chand Channo and Bant Singh Namol (state secretariat members of CPI-M) were also present on the stage.