For the first time since 1978, Tripura on Wednesday observed the International Labour Rights Day, also known as May Day, without a government holiday. The state government had dropped May Day from the list of government holidays last year and included it among ‘restricted holidays’.
Upset with the development, the CPI(M), the main opposition party in the state, took out a rally in Agartala to observe the day. “It was the workers and labourers who first came out in movement against the BJP-led government’s policies. BJP made promises in abundance in 2014 Lok Sabha elections to attract workers. Workers held nationwide movements and strikes in 2015, 2016, 2017 and in January this year. But while the movements were being held, anti labour legislations were passed,” CPM leader and former chief minister Manik Sarkar told a gathering of Left supporters in front of Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhawan.
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The communist leader said his party has failed to reach out to all workers and labourers in the state and urged Left trade unions to organize labourers and workers from the unorganized sector.
Asserting that the BJP would not come in power again, Sarkar said mere change in government would not fulfill aspirations of the working class and appealed people to continue struggle for their necessities.
“The prime minister is tired, frustrated, his body language doesn’t reflect the previous zeal. We can’t predict and have to wait for the election results. But even if a new government comes, it would be foolhardy to believe that all our aspirations would be automatically fulfilled. You should unite yourselves to continue this struggle. We are in this fight together”, he said.