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Gujarat: Massive rally planned against 'corporate-bend' Modi government
Rediff Correspondent | March 12, 2009 12:55 IST
The Lok Sangharsh Morcha has organised a joint rally of Left forces at Ahmedabad [Images] on 17th March 2009. According to Morcha leaders --Ambarish Rai and Pratibha Shinde thousands of tribal, peasants, workers, Dalits and minorities are expected to attend the rally.
Mass organisations and the Left parties have decided to highlight the people's agenda for advancing long-term struggle and also opposing the persisting policy of corporate led development in Gujarat on the name of making Gujarat 'vibrant'.
Twenty thousand people are expected to come to Ahmedabad exploring the new possibilities for making a third alternative in the polity of Gujarat based on mass movements instead of building opportunist alliances.
Morcha leader Rai alleged, "Gujarat has now become an experimental place for practicing neo-liberal economic policies along with the communal and autocratic agenda of state. That is why industrialist Ratan Tata [Images] has chosen Gujarat for Nano and easily succeeded to receive a huge subsidy of 30 thousand crores from state government."
Morcha's grouse is that, "The state government of Gujarat is now busy to attract other industrialists too, at the cost of heavy prices, which has to be paid by the people of Gujarat. Modi government is providing free land along with cultivated lands under Special Economic Zone, infrastructural facilities and other huge subsidies to the corporate houses at one hand; while on the other hand, the people of Gujarat are being dispossessed from basic amenities like education, health, employment opportunities and other livelihood resources."
"The rally will also highlight the unbearable agricultural crisis including farmers' suicide and debt, increasing hunger and poverty, low wages for workers, job cut of diamond workers (recently about 15 lakhs workers lost their jobs), declining public distribution system, failure of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in the state, huge migration from rural areas, cast discrimination and human rights violation could be seen everywhere in the state, which is enough to expose the pitiable situation of Gujarat," Rai said.
"Gujarat adivasis are not getting legal rights yet over possessed forest lands, despite after two years of the enactment of the Scheduled tribe and other forest dwellers (recognition of forest rights) Act, 2006. Implementation of the act is not only being delayed but also ignored by the government officials. Forest and revenue departments are not getting ready to approve genuine claims of tribals, while their displacement continues from their cultivated lands," the leader said.
The Morcha is not only fighting "injustice" of Modi government they are also against the Centre's policies.
Their leader calimed, "Due to similar economic policies and common repressive measures followed by the Congress at the Center and in its ruling states, Congress is unable to take initiative as a strong opposition party in Gujarat. We have never seen the Congress fighting on any issue in Gujarat, which now they are falsely claiming, against the misrule of the Bharatiya Janata Party [Images] government."
The rally will ask the people of Gujarat to build a real opposition in the state, so that fight for pro-people development could be intensified. State level campaign, known as 'Gujarat Jan Abhiyan', would be also launched by the participants for raising people's issues and for the emergence of real political alternative in Gujarat. It will also make an appeal to all the Left and democratic forces working in Gujarat for coming together and join the campaign.
The Lok Sangharsh Morcha, the New Socialist Movement, the Communist Party of India--Marxist Leninist, the Socialist Unity Centre, the JSM will participate in the rally. The Communist Party of India is also expected to join.