Left to launch campaign against communalism

SansadTV Bureau

CPI-meetingIn a first step towards expanding the Left block, six Left parties met on Saturday and decided to launch a joint nationwide campaign against communalism and the problems afflicting the people’s lives and livelihood.

Leaders of two new entrants — Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation and Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), joined those of the CPI (M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc, at the two-hour meet where they decided to conduct a week-long protest campaign from December 8-14 in different parts of the country.

Charging that the Narendra Modi government was “being backed fully by the corporates and the Hindutva forces”, CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said, “We have put out a nine point charter of demands which includes the attack on MGNREGA by the Modi government, its decision to increase FDI in the insurance sector, its failure despite election promises to take firm steps to unearth blackmoney.”

Taking on the RSS, he said it was trying to “infiltrate” the education system, various social and cultural institutions. “There is this so called ‘love jihad’ campaign by the RSS and the Hindutva outfits.”

Asked about plans to join hands with other secular parties, Karat said, “First our effort is to strengthen the Left and unite the Left forces. After that we will see about other things.”

“Its a process of widening and strengthening the left. There are other forces also in the Left. We will try to bring them together,” he said.

During the protest, the parties would focus on price rise, “exorbitant” price of medicines and drugs, against hike in FDI in insurance, unearthing black money, stopping of ‘love jihad’ hate campaign and other forms of communal propaganda and atrocities on women, Dalits and downtrodden sections.

Besides Karat, those who attended the meeting were Debabrata Biswas {AIFB}, Kshiti Goswami and Manoj Bhattacharya {RSP}, Swapan Mukherjee and Kavita Krishnan {CPI(ML)- Liberation}, Manik Mukherjee and Ranjit Dhar {SUCI(C)}, A B Bardhan and D Raja {CPI} and S Ramachandran Pillai {CPI(M)}.

Karat said the decision was taken to protest against the policies adopted by the Modi government which were “adversely affecting the people”.

He said the Hindutva communal forces “have also become very aggressive and active” in the last five months since Lok Sabha elections were held.

“We have made a beginning that the Left will unitedly move on these issues and we are hopeful that in the coming days we will be able to gather all other Left forces to go towards presenting a strong Left-based alternative in the country,” Karat said.

CPI National Secretary D Raja termed the move of all Left Parties coming together as “significant” since the Modi-led government was “moving towards extreme right.”

“This is a significant move and all Left parties have come together in the wake of Modi government moving towards extreme right and RSS dictating everything,” he said.

RSP leader Kshiti Goswami said the Left parties have been taking up people’s issues and this unity was not just for electoral purposes. “With a major challenge of communalism threatening the national fabric, we are looking at larger unity of the Left forces.”

Asked about RSP being part of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala, Goswami said this was due to state-specific issues and “we don’t have a policy of hobnobbing with the Congress at the national level.”