The Left parties are planning a series of protests on a wide-ranging issues — the CPI has called for a protest on Monday while the CPI(M) will hold a nationwide campaign from September 17 to 22.
At a virtual press conference, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Issues such as the intensification of communal polarisation, targeting of minorities, largescale attacks on democratic rights and civil liberties of our people, mounting brutal attacks on women, Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalised sections, loot of national assets through privatisation and scrapping of labour laws will be highlighted along with demanding that the BJP Central government urgently address the immediate needs of the people.”
The CPI is demanding the resignation of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Its general secretary D. Raja said the economy is in ruins and democracy is in peril. The protest, he said, is to mobilise the people against the disastrous policies of the Modi government.
This campaign, Mr. Yechury said, will also focus on immediate cash transfer of ₹7,500 per month for the next six months to all families outside the income tax bracket and immediate distribution of free foodgrains of 10 kg per individual every month for the next six months among the needy.
The CPI(M) demanded that the BJP-led Central government urgently address the immediate needs of the people, he said.
Mr. Yechury was briefing the media a day after the party’s politburo met on September 12.
He also said that their demands would include expansion of the MGNREGA to ensure at least 200 days of work a year with enhanced wages.
The CPI(M) leader also demanded a promulgation of an Urban Employment Guarantee Act and announcement of an allowance for all unemployed.
The protest would be essentially to safeguard the Constitution and its fundamental guarantees of liberty, equality and fraternity for all citizens, he said.
Mr. Yechury also said that during the politburo meeting a slew of issues were discussed and these included the state of the economy as well the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the CPI(M) is opposed to the 11 ordinances promulgated by the government during the period of lockdown.
“Some of these, particularly concerning Indian agriculture, are extremely dangerous and damaging to our farmers, Indian agriculture and India’s economic sovereignty. The CPI(M) has moved a notice for statutory resolutions opposing these ordinances and demanding their withdrawal in both Houses of Parliament,” a statement issued by the party said.
The statement comes ahead of the Parliament’s Monsoon Session which is scheduled to begin from Monday.
The politburo during its meeting also decided that CPI(M) MPs will insist that major policy decisions like the New Education Policy, National Digital Health Mission and its associated programmes, Environmental Impact Assessment and New Mining Regulations be thoroughly discussed and scrutinised by Parliament before implementation, it said.
The politburo noted that during the past six weeks, the government has gone about aggressively implementing neo-liberal reforms, among others, according to the statement said.
It alleged that there is a complete subversion of the criminal justice system with blatant misuse of the agencies under the Central government like the Delhi Police, the NIA, the CBI and the ED to demonise political opponents.
The politburo demands immediate stop to arrest of innocent minorities, activists championing the rights of the people, especially the marginalised like the Dalits/tribals, on trumped up charges under draconian laws like the UAPA, NSA and the Sedition Act, the statement said.
The meeting also discussed issues like denial of GST dues to States, status of Jammu and Kashmir and the gravity of the coronavirus situation.