ON 12 January 2019, the All India People’s Forum along with the Chhattisgarh Nagrik Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (CNSSS) held a convention at which citizens and people’s movements were invited to discuss a draft People’s Charter for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Speakers at the Convention included senior journalist and activist of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation Lalit Surjan; former member of the Railway Board Mahendra Mishra, Son Singh Jhali; lawyer and civil liberties activist of the Christian Alliance from Bastar; Bhim Rao Bagde of the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha and AICCTU; IK Varma of the Chhattisgarh Pragatisheel Kisan Sangh; and Dr Vikram Singhal of the All India Progressive Forum. Guests included AIPF Campaign Committee member Radhakanta Sethi from Odisha, and AIPF Campaign Committee members from Delhi - Kavita Krishnan and Vijay Pratap.
Speakers at the Convention congratulated the people of Chhattisgarh for showing India the way in the recent Assembly polls by ousting the BJP Government which was a threat to India’s democracy, and in particular for rebuffing the attempts by PM Modi to brand Chhattisgarh-based rights activists as ‘Urban Naxals.’ The speakers also took the new Chhattisgarh Government to task for promoting the notorious police officer Kalluri who had presided over large scale atrocities against adivasis and hounding of human rights activists and journalists. The Convention enthusiastically endorsed the draft People’s Charter.