People's Democracy

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


No. 09

March 03, 2013




Coal Worker Flags off MP Jatha


A 13-day long Madhya Pradesh state level Sangarsh Sandesh jatha has begun from Bijuri in Anupur district on February 25. The jatha, led by CPI(M) state secretary Badal Saroj, was flagged off by a coal contract worker Karan Nishad. The jatha will cover seven districts in the eastern part of the state, mainly coal and tribal belt region, and culminate at Singroli on March 9 near UP border. State leaders Ramvilas Goswami and Shailesh Bohare are other members of the jatha. At the time of writing this report, the jatha had covered over 300 km and over 10 meetings. There were two demonstrations in front of SDM offices on the issue of Forest Rights and MGNREGA.


One of the main issues being highlighted in this jatha is the largescale dispossession of land from poor farmers. During the last nine years of BJP rule in the state, over 6.10 lakh acres of land were forcibly acquired from peasants and handed over to private corporates. There are around 70 thermal private power plants being set up in this region by private corporates like Reliance, Essar, Tata etc. The BJP government has been so eager to please these companies that where some had asked for 350 acres of land, it acquired and handed over 700 acres. The compensation paid to the oustees has also been very meagre, nowhere exceeding Rs 60,000 per acre. The CPI(M) had been agitating on this issue for long and it decided to make this issue the main campaign point in this jatha.


Another issue the jatha is highlighting is the rampant corruption in the state. The politician-bureaucrat-corporate nexus is thriving and looting the public money. The magnitude of the loot can be gauged from the fact that the IT department in a raid on senior IAS couple Arvind Joshi and Tinu Joshi unearthed assets of over Rs 350 crore. So, one can well imagine the scale of corruption among ruling political class. The jatha will expose BJP government on this issue and the main opposition Congress party for its silent collaboration with government on neo-liberal policies.


There are simultaneously district level jathas to cover the areas which are not touched by state level jatha and the two all India jathas that would pass through Madhya Pradesh.