(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 20, 2011
Successful Anti Price-Rise Campaign Held
AT the all India call of the nine parties against spiraling price rise and all pervading corruption, the state committees held a successful campaign from Feburary 3–9, 2011. The following are the state reports we received as we go to press.
Twenty one political parties including CPI(M), CPI, AIADMK, MDMK and Forward Bloc held massive joint protest demonstrations on February 8 across the state of Tamilnadu against the unprecedented price rise. Leaders of these parties held the pro-corporate policies of the UPA II government responsible for this price rise and demanded their rollback. The speculative futures trading and forward trading were blamed for the significant rise in prices of essential commodities. The refusal of the central government to reduce the duties on petroleum products was also cited as proof of its anti- aam admi stance.
Protest demonstrations were held in all district centres and taluk headquarters including major cities like Madurai, Coimbatore, Thirunelveli, Salem, Erode, Tirupur and Thoothukudi in the state. The CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan and CPI state secretary D Pandian and senior leaders of AIADMK, MDMK addressed the protestors in Chennai.
Responding to the all India call of the nine parties against spiraling price rise and all pervading corruption, five Left parties in Jharkhand - CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc, RSP & Marxist Coordination Committee - staged demonstration in front of the Governors’ House at Ranchi. Before the demonstration, a massive rally from Jaipal Singh Stadium marched towards the Governors’ House and then a public meeting was addressed by leaders of the Left parties.
Addressing the public meeting, leaders held the central governments’ policies responsible for both the issues. Therefore, they requested the governor through a memorandum to convey to the prime minister of India the peoples’ protest against price rise and corruption and the six demands on behalf of the five left parties of Jharkhand:
1. As recommended by parliamentary standing committee, stop futures trading of food grains and other essential commodities; and stop speculative pricing of agricultural produce of other essential commodities;
2. Bring all under food security bill; implement PDS for all; give 35 kg food grains per month at Rs 2 per Kg to each nuclear family; immediately release stocked food grains in FCI godowns; supply other essential commodities through PDS;
3. By adjusting excise duty and customs duty, reduce prices of petrol and diesel;
4. Take action against hoarders and give exemplary punishment to hoarders and profiteers;
5. Check the all pervading corruption;
6. Constitute JPC on 2G Spectrum scam.
Amit Ray, Sufal Mahto, Nadeem Khan from the CPI(M), Prafull Linda of Kisan Sabha, Rangowati Devi Of AIDWA, P K Ganguky and Ajay Singh of the CPI, Radhakant Jha of RSP, Sushanto from Marxist Coordination Committee and other leaders lead the demonstration and addressed the public meeting.
On the culminating day of the week-long nationwide agitation against price rise, a state level dharna was organised jointly by the CPI(M), CPI and Forward Block before the Raj Bhawan in Bhubaneswar. The memorandum addressed to the governor covered all the demands raised by the nine Left and secular parties at the national level. In addition to that, the three Left parties demanded the proper distribution of PDS commodities at officially announced rate without any minimisation of quota and prosecution of all corrupt officials, storage agents and dealers who denied the poor consumers their right to be benefited from the public distribution system.
After hundreds of people reached in contingents, the venue of the sit-in demonstration, the protest meeting started with the presidium comprising Sivaji Patnaik CPI(M), Asis Kanungo, CPI and Sarat Mansingh, FB on chair. The demonstrators were addressed by Janardan Pati, Santosh Das, Jagannath Mishra, CPI(M), Dibakar Nayak, Ramkrishna Panda, CPI and Sarat Mansingh, FB. The delegation that submitted the memorandum comprised Dusmanta Das and Suresh Panigrahi, CPI(M), Asis Kanungo and Sura Jena, CPI and Sarat Mansing, FB.
The state level programme was preceded by local level demonstrations, dharnas and rastaroko agitations by the CPI(M) in different districts and localities.
THE Communist Party of India (Marxist), Chhattisgarh State Committee has successfully conducted anti price-rise campaign through out the state. The CPI(M) alongwith other Left parties and also non-Congress, non-BJP parties has given a call for massive anti price-rise campaign from Feburary 3–9, 2011 all over India. In Chhattisgarh, rallies, dharnas, demonstrations, street corner meetings, village meetings and leaflets distribution were done. 30,000 leaflets were printed and distributed. Dharnas, demonstrations and mass meetings were organised in Raipur, Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Dhamtari, Kawardha, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Korba, Koriya and Sarguja districts. Memorandums addressing the prime minister of India were given to the collectors of all districts demanding immediate control of price-rise, universal PDS, reversal of petroleum product prices, scrapping forward trading etc. 30 village meetings were organised in Dhamtari , Kanker , Rajnandgaon , Raigarh and Sarguja district. Sarguja district organised rallies and street corner meetings in each block from Feburary 3-9, 2011. In Kanker district, two separate programmes were held on Feburary 9, 2011 where a rally of 5000 people was taken out and mass meetings were organised. In Pakhanjore, a dharna was organised before the S D M office and street corner meetings were held. In Bilaspur, joint dharna was organised along with the CPI on Feburary 7, 2011. In all these programmes Party and mass organisations’ activists participated in large numbers. M K Nandy, Party state secretary, secretariat members D R Mahapatra and Ashok Sinha, state committee members Bal Singh, Lallan Soni, Rishi Gupta, A K Lal, Basudev Das, S R Nandy, N K Kashyap, S N Banarjee, Gajendra Jha and other state and district leaders actively participated and addressed the public meetings. All the speakers said that the wrong policies of the government of India are mainly responsible for the unbearable price-rise. Because of the decontrolling of prices of petroleum products, the oil campanies have increased the prices of petrol for seven times in a year. Even during the last one month, they have increased the price of petrol hugely. Forward trading continues unabated. PDS has been systematically dismantled. Lakhs of tons of rice and wheat are getting rotten in the FCI godowns, even then the government is not distributing it to the poor through the PDS. On the contrary, they have given a free hand to the black marketers and hoarders to loot the people. In Chhattisgarh, the state government has increased the water tax by three to four times and also proposed for electricity tariff like, which has further made the life of the people more miserable.
(M K Nandy)
On the call of the four Left and five other secular parties against price rise, dharnas and protest demonstrations were organised by the CPI(M) district units in several places.
Activists of the CPI also joined in certain places. Over 2000 strong procession was taken out in Fatehabad demanding effective steps to bring down prices of essential commodities, strict punishment to those indulging in series of corruption scams and proper implementation of schemes like MGNREGA, PDS and providing house sites to the landless. Prior to the procession, people gathered at the grain market where they were addressed by Party state secretary Inderjit Singh and others including Harpal Singh and Ram Kumar.
An impressive dharna was organised at Hisar. While addressing the dharna, CPI(M) state secretary Inderjit Singh gave a call to all sections to extend solidarity support for the February 23 Delhi march of trade unions. Mindless acquisition of fertile farm lands by Haryana government also came in for sharp criticism.
Similar protests were held in Rohtak, Panipat, Jind, Sirsa etc. Party activists from Faridabad, Gurgaon and Sonipat joined the protest in New Delhi.