People's Democracy

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


No. 25

June 24, 2012



CPI(M) Presses for Long-Pending Demands


Vijai Rawat


ON June 1, a CPI(M) delegation, comprising its state secretary Vijai Rawat and Bachi Ram Kanswal, Surendra Sajwan, S P Deoli, Amit Joshi and Anant Akash, met the Uttarakhand chief minister, Vijay Bahuguna, at his residence, and apprised him in detail of the problems facing various sections of the people of Uttarakhand as well as of various struggles being waged by the CPI(M) for a solution to these problems. Some of these problems are such that the state government and administration can resolve in no time them through appropriate action.


The CPI(M) delegation told the chief minister that they had raised these issues during the BJP rule as well in the state, that the former administrations had given categorical assurances about resolving these problems, but that nothing had come out so far. The CPI(M) delegation expressed the hope that these issues would receive due attention from the new chief minister who would initiate appropriate action on the same, instead of dishing out hollow promises.


The seven-point memorandum which the CPI(M) delegation handed over to the chief minister, listed the following demands. 


1) For long, the CPI(M) has been agitating for restoration of lands to the allottees who came as refugees from East Bengal at the time of the country’s partition. At present these lands are in illegal possession of moneylenders.


2) The CPI(M) has been agitating for punishment to those executing the Beong-Phata hydropower scheme, for violations of environmental and forest laws as well as the people’s rights, thus causing untold damages to water, forests, lands and dwelling houses. The delegation also demanded compensation to the affected people for the losses they have suffered.


3) The delegation demanded withdrawal of all cases launched in 2005 against the CPI(M) workers when they were agitating for universalisation of the public distribution system and an end to the black-marketing of sugar, kerosene oil and some other items. 


4) The delegation demanded the creation of a mechanism for ensuring minimum support prices for the hill produce and their proper marketing. In other words, remunerative prices need to be assured for peasants’ produce in plain as well as hilly areas.


5) The delegation reiterated the demand of universalisation of the public distribution system covering the BPL as well as APL sections, ensuring at least 35 kg of cereals to each cardholder at Rs 2 per kg.


6) The delegation demanded ensured provision of at least 100 days of work to each job cardholder in a year under the MGNREGA and enhanced minimum wage of Rs 125 a day for each of them.


7) The delegation also asked the chief minister to form a proper policy for protection of agriculture and village communities from the damages caused by wild animals. The compensation for the losses caused by such damages must be substantially increased.


On the basis of their ground level experiences, members of the delegation apprised the chief minister of various facets of Uttarakhand situation. Though the chief minister assured that he would see to it that the demands are conceded, the results are still awaited.


On its part, the CPI(M) is continuing its endeavours to fetch relief for the people through militant struggles.