Thousands of people from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh participated on the third day of the Left parties dharna on 1st August. The leaders of the Left parties congratulated the people who had come to participate in the dharna travelling hundreds of kilometres and braving many odds. They highlighted the fact that the thousands sitting in dharna in Delhi are joined by thousands more who are protesting in various parts of the country. They criticised the government for its failure to address the agrarian distress and its faulty agricultural policies.
Addressing the gathering, the leaders said, the government, instead of supporting the peasants by announcing remunerative support prices, is leaving them to the vagaries of market. Moreover, it is encouraging the cultivation of commercial crops for export, rather than cultivation of food grains. As a result, the production of food grains in the country has declined and this together with the speculative activities like forward trading is contributing to the rise in the prices of food grains and other essential commodities. This is leading to a situation where even the producers of food grains too are unable to buy them from the market. They demanded the government to immediately address the concerns for storage of food grains. Instead of letting the food grains to rot, the government should take steps to distribute them through the PDS by strengthening it.
S. Ramachandran Pillai, Polit Bureau member of the CPI (M), D. Raja, National Secretary of CPI and Member of Parliament, Amarjeet Kaur, National Secretary of CPI, Basudeb Acharia, Member of Parliament and Leader of the CPI (M) in Lok Sabha, Subhashini Ali, Central Committee member, CPI (M), Ashok Ghosh of RSP, Charanjeet Singh of AIFB addressed the protesters along with the state leaders of the four Left parties. Leaders of various mass organisations: AIDWA, AISF, DYFI and SFI too addressed the dharna. Jan Natya Manch performed a play highlighting the impact of price rise on the common people.