JHARKHAND: Roll-Back the Draconian Bills

Surjeet Sinha

THE State level convention of the Left parties, mass organisations and social organisations held at Social Development Centre, Ranchi on September 23, demanded immediate roll back of the following black bills brought by the BJP led NDA government of Jharkhand

i)                Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Bill-2017

ii)              Remedy & Right to fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill-2017.

The latter indicates intent of usurping land for the big corporate houses while the former aims at breaking the historical unity of tribals forged during the long drawn struggle throughout the state against attempt of the government to amend the century old Chhotanagpur Tenanacy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (CNT and SPT Acts), which the government had to finally roll back amidst protests. The convention thanked the people for stiff opposition.

The aforesaid land related bill is an attempt to dilute the Land Acquisition Act 2013 and to deprive the rayats, by abolishing the Social Impact Assessment Clause from the Central Land Acquisition Act 2013. The convention criticised the government for its attempts to acquire land.

The speakers strongly criticised the pompous celebration of 1000 days in power by the Raghuwar Das government in Jharkhand, at the expenses of public exchequer. The convention termed the tenure of the BJP government as “1000 days of tragedy” for the people of Jharkhand. The NDA government completed 1000 days on September 22 in Jharkhand.

The convention decided that Left parties with different mass and social organisations would intensify their campaign by holding similar conventions in the districts and stage demonstrations at the district headquarters from October 2-15.

Over 300 representatives from five Left parties – CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), SUCI(C) and Marxist Co-ordination Committee along with representatives from different mass and social organisations including tribal organisations attended the convention.

The speakers criticised the NDA government at the centre for its anti-people policies that caused social and economic unrest throughout the country.

Speakers stressed the union government had failed to provide employment in the backdrop of its promise to create two crore job opportunities every year.  In contrast to the empty promises, the avenues of livelihood have shrunk due to faulty policies including demonetisation.

It has also been pointed out that demonetisation and the GST rendered lakhs of people jobless; many factories especially in the SME sector are on the verge of closure or are struggling to survive.

It was also noted that there was a spurt in communal flare up and incidences of communal violence have seen an unprecedented rise throughout the country in the past three years and the current regime has been responsible for the same.

Suicide of eight farmers in the state in the recent past, death of 162 children in the last four months, 20 deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor in state capital Ranchi, poor health care facilities, sharp deterioration of law and order situation, lack of food security, irregularities in the public distribution system were also highlighted in the convention.

At the outset, homage was paid to eminent journalist Gauri Lankesh, victims of police firing at Barkagan (Hazaribagh), Gola and Khunti during protests against the government’s attempts to amend the land laws.

GK Baksi, state secretary and Ram Chandra Thakur of CPI(M), Janardan Prasad, state secretary and Raj Kumar Yadav, legislator of CPI(ML), KD Singh, state secretary and BP Mehta, former M.P of CPI addressed the convention. Other speakers included Dayamani Barla, Vasvi Kindo and Sten Swamy. The convention was presided over by Rajendra Singh Munda of CPI(M), Mahendra Pathak of CPI, SN Mondal of SUCI and Mithilesh Singh of MCC.


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