CPM’S DREAM TEAM
Emphasising that the non-Congress, non-BJP parties that made a joint declaration last week had made it clear that they were responding to the “overwhelming urge of our people”, the CPM’s People’s Democracy says that the total number of MPs from the parties that signed the declaration is 300. Its editorial says: “the joint declaration of this meeting made it absolutely clear that this people’s yearning for relief can only be met by an alternative policy trajectory. As far as the economic policy direction and corruption are concerned, people see little difference, rightly so, between the BJP and the Congress… Thus, any alternative policy trajectory in the country can only come about through a political alternative that will necessarily have to be a non-Congress, non-BJP combination.”
The editorial stresses this alternative needs to be built up through a “process of movements and struggles”, adding, “In the course of these efforts, it may be necessary to rally those non-Congress, non-BJP forces which can play a role in defence of democracy, national sovereignty, secularism, federalism and defence of the people’s livelihood and rights. The emergence of such joint platforms should help the process of building the alliance of the Left and democratic forces…”
People’s Democracy also claims that the possibility of such an alternative has made those uncomfortable who consider political bipolarity to be a “win-win” situation. The editorial adds that the question of a likely prime ministerial candidate of such an alternative would be dealt with only after the polls. It calls Anna Hazare’s decision to support the Trinamool Congress “strange” and “sad”.
MODI IN PUNJAB
Accusing the BJP’s PM candidate, Narendra Modi, of giving out false facts, the CPI’s Newage says Modi fed “cooked up stories” to those at a public meeting near Ludhiana. Its editorial argues that Modi did so in an attempt to “connect with the Sikh masses” and to satisfy their “concerns for Punjabi farmers in the Kutch region of Gujarat”.
The latter, it alleges, are being evicted from their lands by corporate houses. It claims that the district authorities are complicit in this and that Modi’s government has appealed in the Supreme Court for “annulling the order passed by the Gujarat High Court quashing the eviction order…” The editorial says that if Modi really wanted to protect the rights of these farmers, he should “withdraw the appeal” from the apex court.
The CPI(ML)’s ML update focuses on International Women’s Day on March 8 and says that women workers, including in India, continue to work in unsafe and exploitative conditions. Women in India not only overwhelmingly work “in the 3D (Dirty, Dangerous, Demeaning) jobs” but are still “denied political equality and citizenship”.
“They are grossly under-represented in assemblies and Parliament, and it has become clear that India’s ruling parties are committed to delaying and denying 33 per cent reservation for women… What is most shameful is that our representative bodies, our governments, our ruling political parties, and even our courts are unwilling to uphold our freedom to love or marry a partner of our choice,” the editorial adds. “Every year on March 8, we hear some lip service paid by governments… But women continue to be denied the simplest needs and services. This year, with Lok Sabha elections soon to take place, we need to bring women’s rights and needs on to the political agenda,” it adds.
Compiled by Ruhi Tewari