CPI supports farmers’ ‘rail roko’ on February 18

The CPI has extended its support to the ‘rail roko’ called by the farmers’ associations on February 18 in protest against the new farm Acts enacted by the Central government.

Addressing the media here on Thursday, CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna said party workers and leaders would participate in the protest planned from 12 noon to 4 p.m. across the country.

The farmers’ associations had announced the four-hour blockade as part of their plans to intensify the agitation.

“The CPI will support the farmers’ demand for repeal of the Acts, which are against their interests,” Mr. Ramakrishna said.

VSP row

Referring to the Union government’s plan to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Mr. Ramakrishna demanded that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy call for an all-party meeting to discuss issue.

He also requested the Chief Minister to discuss the issue with the trade unions before meeting the Prime Minister. “Else, people will be forced to doubt the government’s sincerity,” he said.

“Why would the Prime Minister deny appointment if 28 MPs of the YSRCP seek it?,” he questioned.

Referring to the ward and village volunteers’ demand for hike in their “salary,” the CPI leader objected to Minister Botcha Satyanarayana’s remark that the volunteers were being paid “honorarium” and not “salary.”

“Public representatives too receive honorarium and not salary. Why are they being paid lakhs of rupees,” Mr. Ramakrishna asked, and appealed to the government to respond positively to the volunteers’ demand.

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