CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and leader of Western Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha, Sitaram Yechury has charged the Manmohan Singh government of deliberately being lenient towards the Italian government on the issue of Italian marines shooting down our fishermen. He said this amounted to a compromise of our sovereign rights as a nation.
Addressing a press conference at the Gwalior district committee office of the Party on Saturday, March 16, Yechury traced this attitude of appeasing the western governments even when their citizens have violated our laws to the adoption of liberalisation and globalisation policies by the central governments. He cited the cases of US citizen David Headley involved in Mumbai blasts but still safely residing in that country. This is despite India having an extradition treaty with US. Similar has been the treatment to Warren Anderson of Union Carbide and the accused in the sensational Purulia arms drop case, he reminded.
Asked about possibilities of a third front government in the coming polls, Yechury made it clear that the goal of CPI(M) is to work not just for an alternative government but one that will implement alternative policies. In this regard he mentioned how there is growing pressure from below, from the mass base of parties like Samajwadi Party against neo-liberal policies that cut the subsidies to poor and result in unprecedented price rise.
About Justice Verma committee’s recommendations, Yechury stressed the need for political consensus on issues like reducing the age of juveniles from 18 to 16 years. He cautioned against hasty decision and said that the all party meeting convened by the government would be an opportunity for evolving such consensus.
Replying to a question, he felt there is no possibility of early Lok Sabha election despite the fact that this government is a minority one surviving on outside support of SP and BSP. “Although there is instability, we think even these two parties are not in a position to go for early polls”.
Later in the day, the last public meeting in Madhya Pradesh was held in Kailaras of Morena district in the afternoon. Among those attending were a large section of workers of a cooperative sugar factory here that was closed down around 4 years ago. The CITU has conducted struggles demanding reopening of the mill and payment of backlog wages. Even though only Rs 1 crore was required to make the factory run again, the BJP government has stubbornly refused to grant this amount. On the other hand it gave out subsidies of Rs 5 crore to many private-run sugar factories. A delegation of workers submitted a memorandum to Yechury on this issue.
In the evening the jatha passed briefly through Rajasthan and later through Uttar Pradesh. It was received with enthusiasm at Mathura by Party activists. Later in the night around 7 pm, a big meeting was held in Ballabgarh of Haryana which was addressed by leaders of the jatha. Secretaries of Haryana and Delhi, Inderjeet Singh and PMS Grewal were also present.