People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIII

No. 52

December 27, 2009

ANDHRA PRADESH NEWSLETTER

 

CPI(M) Takes Up People's Issues

N S Arjun

 

AT a time when genuine issues of the people are being sought to be obscured by the ruling class parties through divisive movements, the CPI(M) is doing its bit to bring such issues to the fore. That the people are also willing to respond to such an effort was apparent when the siege of the district collectorate in Kurnool city demanding a special package for the flood-ravaged people of the district became a big success.

 

Thousands of people came in numerous rallies from all parts of the city and sorrounding areas to the collectorate office and laid siege to it on December 18, 2009 at the call of the CPI(M) district committee which sought a concrete action plan from the administration to bring the lives of the flood affected people back to normal. The government employees and officials were prevented from entering the collectorate. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and AP state secretary B V Raghavulu and central committee member and former MLA M A Gafoor were the main speakers in the meeting held during the course of the siege.

 

It is 75 days since floods ravaged this region, particularly inflicting heavy damage in Kurnool district. Standing crops in around 3.5 lakh acres were damaged totally. The state government conveyed to the centre that the damage amounted to around Rs 12,000 crore in the district and sought assistance. However a measly 120 crore was given under Calamity Releif Fund, from which cash assistance of Rs 8000 to the city dwellers whose houses were damaged in the flood was doled out by the government. Even this was tainted by corruption charges. The farmers who lost their everything were left to the lurch. The ruling parties MLAs and MPs hardly bothered about this situation. The CPI(M) had been raising these problems through dharnas and memorandums all through this period. With the administration still not acting, the district committee gave a call for laying siege to the collectorate office. Under pressure, the collector announced two days earlier that Rs 30 crore is being released for compensating the farmers.

 

In this context the CPI(M) call evoked good response from the people. Addressing the gathering Raghavulu demanded that the government should announce a special package for the flood affected people of the district keeping in view the unprecedented damage inflicted. He lashed out at the chief minister and ministers who keep claiming that relief has been provided. He asked them to visit and see the plight of the people. He also criticised the TDP and Praja Rajyam parties for remaining silent on this issue during the assembly session. “Why are those rushing into the well of the House in assembly or parliament shouting Jai Telangana or Jai Samaikhya Andhra keeping mum on this injustice to people?”, he questioned. He attacked the Congress party for taking up two opposing positions on statehood issue in the concerned regions. He charged it of trying to make the people fight each other in order to divert the people's attention from pressing problems and appealed to the people not to fall into the trap. Raghavulu said that the administration in the state has come to a standstill in the last 25 days since these divisive agitations have been going on.

 

M A Gafoor in his speech attacked the 14 MLAs of the district for absolutely doing nothing to help the flood affected people. “If the government is yielding to the pressure of bogus hunger strikes through saline drips, we will show what hunger strikes are by getting 200 farmers to embark on indefinite hunger strike at this very place if the government does not act on these demands”, he said. CPI(M) district secretary T Shadrak also spoke.