Joint Left Protest Week against Economic Slowdown and Rising Unemployment

LEFT parties concluded their week long campaign against Modi government’s economic policies and attacks on livelihoods of common people on 16 October in impressive mass mobilisations at many centers of the country. Rallies and protests were held on this day in all state capitals and big cities involving lakhs of people mainly from the downtrodden sections of society who are most adversely affected by the Modi regime. All major leaders of left parties took part in these protests and demanded a roll back of policies resulting in a severe Modi-make economic slowdown, high prices and loss of jobs. They demanded to stop transferring national wealth to the big monopoly corporates, rich and wealthy at the cost of the people and instead increase the expenditure on employment generation and public welfare schemes to stop the economic slowdown which was triggered by the twin evils of demonetisation and GST.



The protesters specifically raised the demands of increased public investment to generate employment, unemployment allowance, minimum wage of Rs. 18,000 per month, monthly living wages for the large number of workers who have been terminated due to economic slowdown, to stop privatization of the Public Sector undertakings, withdraw 100% FDI in defence and coal sectors, halt the large scale privatization of BSNL, ordnance factories, Indian Railways, Air India etc, enhanced allocations for MGNREGA to ensure the payment of past dues and for providing a minimum of 200 days of work at the designated minimum wage, a one-time loan waiver to the farmers to meet agrarian distress, stop growing farmers suicides and announcement and implementation of the minimum support price one and half times higher than the input costs, and to raise minimum monthly old age/widow pension to Rs. 3000.



During the week since 10 October left parties jointly held campaigns in all states in various forms ranging from propaganda pamphlets to street corner meetings and general mass contacts and rallies.



Intense campaigns were conducted in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Karnataka. In Bihar the issue of flood victims was also raised during these protests.



CPIML comrades of Tamil Nadu participated with enthusiasm in Joint Left Demonstrations across the state condemning fascist BJP government's war on Kashmir and it's systematic attempt to deflect the attention from economic crisis and recession. CPIML participated in Joint Left demonstration on 16th Oct in several districts of Tamil Nadu. State Secretary Comrade NK Natarajan and Com Varadharajan participated in Chennai along with other senior leaders of Left parties while CCM Com Balasundaram and SCM Asai Thambi addressed the Left demonstrators at Pudukkottai. State Committee Members and district leaders participated in various districts including Kanchipuram, Villupuram, Trichy, Salem, Dindigul, Madurai, Karur, Dharmapuri, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. In Coimbatore, CPIML held a demonstration independently in front of DC office. SCM Comrade Balasubramanian and district leaders addressed the gathering.

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In Nalanda District the CPIML, CPI and CPM on the first day of this campaign, held several street meetings at Harnaut, Noorsarai, Chandi, Nagarnausa and Shahpur addressed by CPIML leaders Manmohan and Sunil Kumar, CPI State Council member Mohan Prasad and District Secretary Ram Naresh Singh, and CPM District Secretary Janardan Prasad. Big rallies were held in every major city and town in Bihar on 16th October.

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In Dehradun at protest sit-in was organized on 14 Oct. and another was held in Rudrapur, dist Udham Singh Nagar of Uttarakhand on 16th October.

A rally was held in Sabarkantha district on Gujarat on 10 October at Himmat Nagar. This was attended by industrial workers and adivasis in large numbers. CPIML leaders Dashrath Simhali, CPIML Araballi District Secretary Comrade Bhavan Bhai Pagi, Jivaji Damor, Sukh Lal Kalal, CPM Araballi District Secretary DR Yadav and CPM Sabarkantha District Secretary Purushottam Parmar addressed this rally. The leaders also submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate protesting the government’s pro-corporate, anti-adivasi and anti-worker policies.



In Delhi on 16th October, left parties including CPIM, CPIML, CPI, AIFB, RSP and Gadar Party held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar which was addressed by CPIM GS Sitaram Yechury, CPI GS D Raja, CPIML Politburo member Kavita Krishnan, and other left leaders.

CPIML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya addressed the huge protest rally held in Kolkata on 16th October.