Five Left parties in India – CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), AIFB and RSP – issued on February 4th a statement titled “Nationwide Protests Against Anti-People Budget February 12 to 18”. The statement reads:
The Left parties will conduct a nationwide protest against the wide range of anti-people policies contained in this year’s budget which will further squeeze the livelihood conditions of the vast majority of our people. The Modi government has destroyed the Indian economy, imposing unprecedented burdens on the people. At the same time, it has been giving concession after concession to the rich and the corporates, which has widened economic inequalities amongst our people to levels never seen ever before in independent India.
The Left parties protest actions will highlight the following issues and demands:
- Rollback the largescale privatization of national assets including the disinvestment of LIC, which is a repository of people’s lifelong savings and security.
- Against the unprecedented levels of unemployment and retrenchment due to closure/downsizing of factories; provide for a minimum wage of Rs. 21,000 and adequate unemployment allowance.
- Against the deepening agrarian distress demanding one-time loanwaiver for the farmers.
- Against the largescale cuts in government spending in crucial areaslike food subsidy (Rs. 75,532 crore); agriculture and allied activities including fisheries (Rs. 30,683 crores); MNREGA (9,500 crores); social welfare (Rs. 2,640 crore); urban development (Rs. 5,765 crore); health (1,169 crores) etc, that will push crores of Indians into poverty, demanding at least the restoration of earlier levels of spending if not an increase.
Such criminal attacks on people’s livelihood are being perpetrated at a time when the Modi government is assaulting our Constitution and dividing our people by implementing its hardcore Hindutva agenda, CAA-NPR-NRC and generating an atmosphere of growing hatred and violence among people across the country.
The Left parties call upon all their state units to organise these week long protests in accordance with the concrete conditions prevailing in the states.
- Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist).
- D. Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (CPI).
- Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, All India Forward Bloc (AIFB).
- Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML)-Liberation.
- Manoj Bhattacharya, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP).