The time is nowhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-time-is-now-2/

The time is now

An article in CPI’s New Age takes on illegal mining in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh

The time is now

In an article in People’s Democracy,CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat says the Left could use the current political situation (the UPA’s vulnerability and the BJP’s troubles) to effectively resist neoliberal policies. Karat argues the recent assembly elections have weakened the UPA’s political authority: “In the case of the president’s address,the role of the Samajwadi Party and the BSP proved crucial for the passage of the motion. This will become the pattern. Every time the government seeks the passage of an important legislation,it will have to negotiate and barter its way through,” he says. “For the Left and democratic forces,this is a favourable time to advance the resistance to the neoliberal policies. The Manmohan Singh government-favoured legislations for opening up the banks and insurance sector to more FDI,the pensions bill,the foreign education institutions bill,etc — all need to be stopped and thrown out,” he says.

He also acknowledges the CPM drew a blank in the recent assembly elections. “Without expanding the party and strengthening Left unity by bringing all Left forces on to a common platform,it will not be possible to utilise the opportunities that exist,” he says.

The MP mafia

An article in CPI’s New Age takes on illegal mining in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh. It argues that the image of the state as an island of peace has taken a beating due to the recent spurt in crime — be it the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood or the killing of IPS officer Narendra Kumar. It claims that“the government is patronising terror and corruption in the state. The mining and the liquor mafia cannot flourish without the protection of the state government,” the article asks. It says many ministers,MLAs and MPs are hand-in-glove with criminals with open connivance of state and central leaderships of the BJP. The situation is such that even IPS officers are not secure. “The question is why subordinate policemen like the officer’s personal security did not stand with him when he got into [the operation. The family of the deceased IPS officer demanded a CBI inquiry but the government ordered for a judicial inquiry,” it says.

It also says the state government must enact a stringent whistleblower protection law. “The present system supports the corrupt and victimises those fighting them. The nexus between the political bosses with bureaucracy must be broken. The state government is responsible for maintaining law and order and it will not stop the unlawful activities if it patronises and protects the mafia and murderers,” it says.