“The Comptroller and Auditor General report on farm debt waiver, submitted to parliament yesterday, points to a fair amount of wrong doing. The CPI(M) demands an inquiry into it”, said Brinda Karat today in Chandigarh. Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh, she said “because of the scandalous implementation of farm debt waiver scheme, farmers across the country are still facing a situation where the banks are not willing to lend farm loans. This has forced them into deep debt and is threatening the livelihood of not only farmers but also agricultural workers”.
Brinda Karat also said that the poor implementation of MGNREGA is forcing the agricultural workers to raise small loans from private individuals and become bonded labor. She criticized low the wage rate for MGNREGA and demanded the government to immediately take steps to implement the notified wages under MGNREGA. To ensure proper livelihood for all the people, she said that the party is demanding comprehensive land reforms and implementation of rural housing scheme.
She said the farmers in Punjab are deeply indebted because of health concerns, a consequential by-product of green revolution. “They are particularly suffering from cancer and its treatment is forcing the people into deep debts which is a cause for concern”, she said.
“The tremendous response to the Jathas is an expression of their anguish against the attitude of the governments both at the centre and the state”. She demanded that the governments at the state and centre, instead of playing political football, had to work out together to sort out the health emergency that the state of Punjab is facing.
She expressed concern over the socio-economic and political discrimination meted out to dalits and minorities. In this context, she felt that addressing the issues of social justice becomes critical.
Explaining the objective of the Sangarsh Sandesh Jatha, Brinda Karat said that the party is projecting and working for a substantial alternative platform based on the policies and she expressed hope that these Jathas will pave wave for the struggles which will result in emergence of policy based alternative rather than mere electoral alliances. Replying to a question, Brinda Karat said that the party is more concerned about the rights of people and is striving to present a credible platform for alternative to the present political arrangement. “This movement is to force the political agenda” said Brinda Karat.
Responding to a suggestion that the increasing influence of economic reforms lead to fascism, Brinda said “the party is looking at the erosion of democratic rights and institutions, which is a deep concern.” She also said that the democracy is linked to equality and equity which is at stake due to criminalisation that threatens the democratic institutions.
Charn Singh Vridhi, state secretary, CPI(M) Punjab, Hannan Mollah, Party Central Secretariat member and Inderjeet Singh, Haryana state secretary were also present in the press conference.