People's Democracy

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


No. 42

October 21, 2012



Left Parties Gear Up for

Sustained Struggle against Power Reforms


THE Left parties in Andhra Pradesh have decided to conduct a long term sustained movement against the anti-people power sector reforms being carried out in the state. They have resolved to conduct ground-level programmes up to November end to bring awareness among people about the root cause of high power tariff bills -- the neo-liberal policies being pursued by both the central and state governments.


Leaders of ten Left parties, among which included CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) New Democracy, RSP, Forward Block and CPI(ML) Liberation, addressed a regional convention in Hyderabad on October 14 against the power sector reforms undertaken by the Congress government. Such regional conventions were earlier held in Warangal, Tirupati and Vishakapatnam, headquarters of the four distribution companies.


The Hyderabad convention, held in CPI headquarters Maqdoom Bhavan, was presided over by CPI(ML) New Democracy state leader Jhansi and addressed by leaders of all the ten parties.

Speaking on this occasion, CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu suggested that the Left parties must draw up plans to conduct long term sustained movement against the unbearable burdens being heaped on the people in the form of high electricity bills. This movement must be taken forward by involving the people after convincing them about the root cause of such state of affairs in power sector. It is the responsibility of the Left parties to urgently undertake this campaign among the people before the full scale of impact of the reforms is felt in the coming period. This is necessary to prepare them for the sustained movement being planned, he said. In this regard if bourgeois opposition parties come forward, the campaign can be conducted jointly otherwise the Left parties must do it independently, he stressed.


The power utilities in the state are collecting over Rs 10,000 crore additionally from the people in the name of Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) and this amount may increase in the coming period. Both the central and state governments are shamelessly proclaiming ‘We have to raise prices and cut subsidies’ and opening their doors to market forces for profiteering, he criticised.


Raghavulu said in the present modern society, electricity has become almost an essential good and as essential to people for consuming as it is for capitalists to profit. He cited how ‘power exchanges’ on the lines of stock exchanges are being contemplated by governments to allow trade in electricity. Such ‘reforms’ were implemented in US and Britain with devastating effect for ordinary people there. Now they want to replicate the same in our country, warned the CPI(M) leader. This savage attack on people is not limited to just power sector but spread across. He cited how the Planning Commission was encouraging state government to ruthlessly cut subsidies and linking grant of funds to their progress on this front.


CPI secretariat member P G Chandrashekara Rao in his speech charged the central and state governments of unleashing multi-pronged attack on people. He stressed the need to prepare the people for sustained struggle against these neo-liberal reforms which were resulting in blatant loot of public resources by private corporations. Even as people were expressing their opposition to these measures, the government is aggressively continuing down that path, he alleged.


CPI(ML) New Democracy state secretariat member G Diwakar said the governments have become pliant tools for private sector to amass wealth. The entire policy regime is driven by the consideration of how best to benefit the large private corporations in the country. Subsidies, including cross subsidies, are being done away with even while huge burdens are being heaped on them. CPI(ML) Liberation and SUCI(C) leaders in their speeches highlighted how the already crisis-ridden agrarian sector is being affected adversely due to these power sector reforms. Lakhs of workers’ livelihood is threatened as the small and medium industries are closing down their operations due to long power cuts.


Earlier a booklet brought out on behalf of the Left parties on the power sector reforms and how they are adversely affecting people was released by MLC Chandrashekar Rao. The author of this booklet, CPI(ML)  New Democracy leader G Diwakar was felicitated on this occasion by B V Raghavulu.