Taking out Jaatras, the next stage of CPM strike

Taking out Jaatras, the next stage of CPM strike

The CPM will take out “jaatras” (political caravans) from four corners of India to highlight issues of corruption and dismal impact of ‘neo-liberal economic policies’ pursued by the UPA on the poor.

The “jaatras,” the southern leg of which will be first flagged off from Kanniyakumari on February 24 by the CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat will pass through Kerala and Karnataka on its onward march to New Delhi, where all the four “Jaatras” will converge in a huge rally at the National capital on March 19.

Speaking to the reporters about the agitation on Friday, CPM State Committee Secretary G Ramakrishnan said that the other three “Jaatras” will commence their respective journeys in March first week from Calcutta (East), Mumbai (West) and from Amritsar (North). All these will culminate in New Delhi’s protest rally.

Karat will also kick-start the “Jaatra” from Calcutta, while senior Politburo members, Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat will launch it from Mumbai and Amritsar respectively.

Highlighting negative impacts of the new economic policies, Ramakrishnan said, besides galloping inflation which the Congress was unable to rein in, the rate of employment growth in India had shrunk from 2.7 per cent in 2000-05 to just 0.80 per cent during the next five years (2005-10).

The proposed “Food Security Bill” that threatened to “dismantle” the country’s public distribution system, the dangers of direct cash transfers to the poor and deregulation of prices of diesel and petrol will be among the other issues the CPM will focus in the ‘Jaatras’, he added.

The CPM also disagreed with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s decision to cancel the “Asian Athletics Championships (AAC)” slated to be held in Chennai in July, on the ground that the State could not allow participation of Sri Lankan athletes.

“Even if diplomatic relations deteriorate between two neighbouring countries, sporting activities should not be mixed with the former as they are part of wider people-to-people contacts,” said Ramakrishnan, urging that “AAC” be de-linked from the latest protests by political parties against Sri Lanka.

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