People's Democracy

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


No. 37

September 16, 2012


Left Parties Demand

Effective Food Security Bill


HUNDREDS of activists of the four Left parties – CPI(M), CPI, AIFB and RSP held a demonstration at the Food Corporation of India headquarters in New Delhi on September 12 to demand an effective Food Security Bill that would guarantee cheap food grains for all irrespective of the BPL-APL categorisation.


Earlier they assembled at Mandi House from where they marched in a procession to the FCI headquarters. The procession was led by national leaders of the four parties – Prakash Karat, general secretary, CPI(M); S Sudhakar Reddy, general secretary, CPI; Debabrata Biswas, general secretary, AIFB and Abani Roy, secretary, RSP.


The demonstration at the FCI headquarters was addressed by these leaders. In his speech, Prakash Karat lambasted the UPA government for its utterly callous attitude towards providing any meaningful food security. FCI godowns are overflowing with foodgrains but the government prefers to let rats eat them or to export them as cattle feed rather than making them available at cheap prices to the people. While the government has no objection to the loot of natural resources by corporates as in the case of the Coal Scam or presiding over gigantic corruption to the tune of lakhs of crores of rupees, it refuses to provide subsidies necessary to universalise the public distribution system. He warned the UPA government that if it does not bring a strong legislation that ensures 35 kg foodgrains per month to each family, it will have to face an intensified struggle that may include steps like distributing the surplus foodgrains stocked in FCI godowns.


Other speakers highlighted the major demands of the joint Left campaign like universal PDS; scrapping of Planning Commission’s fraudulent poverty estimates; no cash transfer in place of foodgrains etc. The demonstration ended with the resolve to carry forward the struggle on the crucial issue of food security.