People's Democracy

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


No. 21

May 23, 2010

Maharashtra: AIAWU Holds Seventh State Conference


Rajan Kshirsagar


IT was a hot day in the Partur city of Jalna district of Maharashtra district, but the spirit and confidence of the rural labour created more heat against the anti-labour policies of the Congress-NCP government of the state. Thousands of agricultural workers and poor peasants from Jalna and adjacent districts participated in the rally organised on the occasion of seventh Maharashtra state conference of the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) on May 2. AIAWU general secretary A Vijaya Raghavan, on this occasion, attacked the anti-rural poor policies of the UPA government which is also trying to wind up the NREGA and divert funds to the hands of contractors, and also to deprive the rural poor of the PDS food supply. To fight against these injustices, the rural poor must raise the red flag and march forward for big struggles, he added. AIAWU vice president Kumar Shiralkar appealed to the rural poor to fight against the pro-rich and anti-labour policies of the Congress-NCP state government of Maharashtra. The meeting was presided over by Babasaheb Saravade.


Partur is a historic city where the communists and socialists had jointly organised the first convention of Hyderabad Mukti Sangram Parishad against the Nizam’s rule in the erstwhile principality of Hyderabad, in solidarity with the Telangana people’s armed struggle 1946-51. The venue of the seventh AIAWU conference was named after Comrade Gangadhar Appa Burande, a legendary leader of the rural poor in Marathwada region. Babasaheb Saravade hoisted the AIAWU flag while he, Indira Chavan, Dilip Shapamohan and Narayan Gaikwad comprised the presidium which the conference elected. Anna Savant, chairman of the reception committee, welcomed the participants while Vijaya Raghavan inaugurated the conference. In his speech, he explained the necessity of a strong movement of the rural labour on various issues facing the rural poor, at a time the policies of the UPA government have completely devastated agriculture and the rural economy. He appealed for an expansion of the base of the organisation and preparation for mighty struggles. Udhav Bhawalkar (CITU), Madhuri Kshirsagar (JMS), Dada Shinde (SFI) and Bhagwan Bhojane (DYFI) greeted the conference.


AIAWU state general secretary Praksah Chaudhary presented the report. Out of 160 delegates from 14 districts, 53 delegates including 11 women participated in the discussion. They contributed their experience of struggles, and also pointed out the weakness and obstacles. The conference adopted the report and also adopted resolutions on struggle for forest and government wasteland, for work and NREGA and MREGS, on PDS and food supply, sugarcane harvest workers’ struggle, against atrocities on dalits and adivasis, and for equal rights for women workers. Kirtikumar and Nathu Salve presented the credentials report.


The new state committee, with a youthful composition, has Prakash Chaudhari as president, Rajan Kshirsagar as general secretary and Babasaheb Saravade as treasurer. In his concluding speech, Kumar Shiralkar talked of the need of hard work and of strengthening of state and district centres with proper focus on village committees. Responding to the youthful voice of the conference, Vijaya Raghavan dwelt on proper organisational steps and cadre policy. While deciding on the future tasks, the conference decided to forge a statewide agitation.