We Will Resist Walmart Stores

Today, CPI (M)’s Sangharsh Sandesh northern Jatha reached Ghadsana, a centre for CPI(M) led struggles in Western Rajasthan to a rousing welcome from peasants, workers and traders. Ghadsana is famous particularly for the struggle for canal water. At the outskirts of Ghadsana, Jatha was received by a large number of volunteers and a group of trade representatives. A large number of motor cycle borne youth accompanied the Jatha into the town.

Addressing a large public meeting at the Ghadsana Mandi, under a shed made famous by its history of previous struggles, Brinda Karat leading the Northern Jatha pointed out sharply that “poor don’t have BPL ration cards. The families of rural workers don’t have these cards and instead of that, they are given ameeri cards (APL cards)”. In her interaction with a large number of poor and working women before the beginning of the meeting, this fact was sharply brought to her notice.

In fact, one MGNREGA worker women pointed that her husband is a disabled and she has three daughters but she has got only an ameeri Card. Raising demand of universal PDS and 35 Kgs of grain per month to every family at the rate of not more than Rs. 2/- a kg, Brinda Karat also pointed out that the food security bill that is before the Parliament restricts access to staple food to not more than 2/3rd of population. She also talked of how BJP and Congress representatives on the concerned Parliamentary standing committee ganged up together against CPI(M) representative’s demand for universal food security. She also pointed out that it is now universally accepted that any family that spends more than 40 percent of their income on food is considered to be poor. “But in India, where a large majority spend nearly 80 percent of their income on food, government does not want to consider them as poor”.

Recalling the glorious tradition of struggles under the Left banner in this region, Brinda Karat pointed out that Sanghasrh Sandesh Jatha is meant to strengthen the struggle for a change in the society. She ridiculed a promise of Ashok Gehlot government of Rajasthan to provide 125 days of work under MGNREGA and pointed out that on an average only 40 days work is currently being provided in the state under this scheme. She also laughed at the fact that said promise is to be fulfilled only if Ashok Gehlot government is re-elected. Responding to support extended by trading community, Brinda Karat pointed out that the government may have manipulated the passage of resolution in support of FDI in retail in the parliament, but “any effort of marketing multinationals like Wal-mart to put their feet in India will be resisted by Left with the cooperation of trading community”. She also raised the question of Guaar farmers and promised to take up this issue with the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture. Talking of police repression on lawyers and subsequent events, Brinda Karat warned that “Gehlot government is playing with fire”. This can lead to very serious situation in the state.

CPI(M) central secretariat member Hannan Mollah explained the purpose of Jatha. Rally was also addressed by CPI(M) state secretary and central committee member, Vasudev, group leader of CPI(M) in Rajasthan assembly and Central committee member Amraram, local MLA Pawan Duggal, former MLA Hetram Beniwal and various other state and district leaders of the party. On 10th night, the Jatha was recieved at Anupgarh by a large number of activists and supporters and in the morning it reached Gadhsana.