January 26, 2014

Non-Cong, Non-BJP Alliances Can Transform Polity: Yechury

S P Rajendran

ONLY strong alliances forged by Left parties with non-Congress, non-BJP secular parties like BJD, JD(U), JD(S), AIADMK and others, can help drive out the "twin evils" of corruption and fundamentalism from the country, said CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP, Sitaram Yechury. “If our Party aligns with strong regional parties like above, it can transform our polity. Only such an alliance based on alternative pro-people policies and not individuals like BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, can drive out the twin evils of corruption and fundamentalism which people long for," he told a public meeting at Kanchipuram, the silk town of Tamilnadu on 19th January. Yechury, who received Rs 8.56 lakh collected from the public as election fund for the Party from G Mohanan, district secretary, said the amount would be used for the coming Lok Sabha polls and added that the Party's policy was not to receive funds from corporates. He said CPI(M)'s demand that corporates who fund parties should be compulsorily made accountable to Lokpal had been opposed not only by the Congress, but by the BJP also. He said only parties like AIADMK, BJD & JD(U) voted with the Left parties on this issue in Rajya Sabha. Significantly, UPA's erstwhile ally DMK, had voted against such a proposal. Yechury reminded that it was due to the support of Left parties that Congress could form the UPA government in 2004. But that party had let down the people by not implementing the agreed Common Minimum Programme in full. The Right to Food Security and Right to Education legislations remain unfulfilled because of budget constraints but at the same time thousands of crores of rupees of public wealth are looted in scams like 2G and coal scam and an equally large amount is doled out to the rich in the name of tax incentives, he alleged. The meeting was also addressed by T K Rangarajan, central committee member and MP, N Gunasekaran, state secretariat member and S Kannan, state committee member of the Party. EDITORS MEETING Earlier in the day, Sitaram Yechury addressed a meeting of the editors of Party-run dailies and weeklies at the Tamilnadu state committee office in Chennai. V Srinivasa Rao, central secretariat member and G Ramakrishnan, state secretary also participated in the meeting that was attended by 16 representatives from various states. CONFERENCE OF LICAOI "The Centre of India Trade Unions (CITU) will oppose any move to invest employees provident fund in the share market as also further disinvestment of the Life Insurance Corporation', said A K Padmanaban, president of CITU. Inaugurating the fourth south zone conference of Life Insurance Corporation Agent’s Organisation of India (LICAOI) on 17th January at Madurai, he attacked the UPA-II government for turning a deaf ear to the 10-point charter of demands put forth by all central trade unions, and which the prime minister Manmohan Singh himself had called as the demands of the people. Stating that over 12 crore people took part in the two-day nationwide strike in February 2013, but the Centre had not even started a discussion with trade unions regarding the issues till date. Padmanaban said that LIC has amply proved that its present set up has been beneficial for the people, its employees and also to the nation as its huge funds have been utilised for development of the country. “Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority report says that private players were no match to the LIC. Any move for further disinvestment will be met with stiff resistance,” warned Padmanaban. He also criticised the move by LIC to reduce the upper age limit for policy holders in certain products to 55 years. “Life expectancy in the country has increased to around 65 years. LIC should introduce products that are people-oriented and nation-oriented, and not toe the line of foreign insurance companies,” he added. Padmanaban also flayed the UPA-II government for its failure to control steep rise in prices of essential commodities, especially food articles, even when food production was up. “It is not that prices are rising; prices are being raised. The little amount of money available with the working class is being looted in this manner,” he said and charged the Manmohan Singh government of doing nothing concrete to control the spiralling price of essential commodities. The conference was also addressed by Basudeb Acharya, leader of CPI(M) in Lok Sabha and president of LICAOI, B G Dilip, general secretary of LICAOI and other fraternal leaders. The conference elected AV Bellarmine, former MP of Nagarcoil as South Zone president, Narayanan as working president, M Selvaraj as general secretary and PN Sudhakaran as tresurer.