THE struggle for implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act for the “disadvantaged groups” and “weaker sections” --- as given in the act and upheld by the Supreme Court --- is being carried out for the third successive year in Mumbai and receiving an overwhelming response from the downtrodden sections. The movement has widened in scope as well as intensity during these three years, with more and more parents coming forward to avail of free education for their children.
THE cry for reservation in the private sector is growing louder. Promises were made during the election campaign. But, the very fundamental question still remains. That is, whether the existing policy of reservation in government and public sector is being implemented in its true spirit or not. The experience shows it is not.
THE CPI(M) has demanded re-poll in 301 booths in five Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal for which elections were held on May 7. In a memorandum submitted to the Election Commission, the Party has said that rigging and violence in the elections held on May 7, have completely distorted the process of conducting free and fair polls. The Party has said that for the restoration of the people’s faith in the electoral process, it is essential that re-poll is conducted in the booths where rigging has taken place.
A REPORT in The Hindu (May 6) suggests that the Planning Commission is at its old game again which is to “remove” poverty in the country through a sleight-of-hand, by taking recourse to spurious statistics. Consumption expenditure estimates from National Accounts Statistics show a far higher level than those arrived at on the basis of the National Sample Survey.
AS we go to press, the penultimate eighth phase of this marathon nine-phase general election has been completed. Though only one phase is left, this would be a decisive phase in certain states like West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. While the polls have, by and large, not been marred by large-scale violence and terror, there have been notable exceptions. During the last phase, the third phase in West Bengal, large-scale reports of terror intimidation and booth capturing by the ruling party in the state, Trinamool Congress, have been reported.
IF Chief Minister Siddaramayya is secular and progressive, he should bring an ordinance within 24 hours and prohibit caste discrimination practised in Udupi Sri Krishna temple, demanded G V Sreerama Reddy. He was inaugurating the indefinite dharna called by the CPI(M) state committee at Udupi on May 5. The dharna was held in the backdrop of an incident at Udupi temple on April 15 (Soura Ugadi – Solar New Year Day).
THE last phase of the Lok Sabha election which will conclude on May 12 has brought forth certain disturbing features. First, the communal temperature has been rising with the concerted communal campaign being conducted by the BJP and the RSS, which is especially concentrated in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
MORE than 24,000 drivers and conductors, working in the transport division of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST), recently went on a two day heroic strike to protest against the unilateral action of the management to enhance working time from 8 to 12 hours, adversely restructuring their service conditions.
The strike was total in the entire BEST operation in all the 26 depots across the Mumbai city, totally paralysing the service on April 1 and 2, 2014.