‘A POLICY alternative is needed now , not an alternative leader’, said Subhashini Ali, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M) while inaugurating a bus jatha at Anantapuram district of Andhra Pradesh on August 29. CPI and CPI(M) state committees have decided to mobilise people around a political alternative on the basis of policies that are different from those of BJP,TDP, Congress and YSRCP. The parties conducted series of conventions at state level, of various classes and sections of people, from June to August. In this phase, two bus jathas are conducted, one from Anantapuram and the other from Visakhapatnam (starts on September 1), both culminating on September 11, covering all the 13 districts. A mass rally and public meeting – Maha Garjana – is slated on September 15 at Vijayawada.
On the eve of the inauguration of bus jatha, a public meeting was held near the Municipal Corporation office, Anantapuram. Rambhoopal and Jagadeesh, district committee secretaries of both the parties presided over the meeting. Subhashini Ali lamented the failures of ruling classes in the last 72 years after independence. She explained the evil effects of demonetisation, GST and other retrograde measures of the BJP government at the centre. She exposed the nefarious attempts of Hindutva forces to divide the people of India on religious lines. The TDP was part of the NDA government till recent time and they were also responsible for the loss caused to the people through the policies pursued by the central government. Congress is the party that got the disastrous neoliberal policies in 1991 and now the Modi government has been implementing them speedily. The YSR congress, a regional party also had no other policies, which are different from the ruling class parties’ policies. She appealed the people to support the CPI and CPI(M), parties and forces coming with alternative policies. She also appreciated the gesture of people of AP in supporting the flood hit Kerala state.
CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna explained the efforts of CPI and CPI(M) in forming the political alternative and getting together the Janasena and other forces around that. V Srinivasa Rao, CPI(M) Central Committee member appealed to the people to dethrone the TDP- BJP, to defeat Congress- YSRCP and to support the political alternative. CPI(M) state committee members V Venkateswarlu, P Peddi Reddy, CPI state leaders R Venkaiah, Jayalakshmi and others participated. Artists performed songs and dance before the commencement of speeches.
Scrap PFRDA Act and Restore OPS: AP State Convention demands
A state convention organised jointly by the CPI(M) and the CPI, on August 19, at Vijayawada, demanded the government to scrap Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act (PFRDA) and restore old pension scheme for employees and teachers.
The convention was presided by V Uma Maheswararao, CPI(M) state secretariat member and Akkineni Vanaja, his counterpart of CPI. A resolution was moved by Uma Maheswararao, explaining the loss incurred by the employees and teachers recruited after 2004 with the PFRDA and the roguery of the BJP and Congress governments at the centre in putting the employees’ pensions at risk.
The convention criticised the stance of the state governments led by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Congress. The resolution appealed to the rank and file of various organisations to mobilise against the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and for the restoration of Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
Sukumar Kamble, national leader of AITUC said that it is the bounden duty of the governments to provide social security to the public servants after their retirement. He pointed that the successive governments have been pursuing neo-liberal policies and are withdrawing welfare schemes for workers, one by one. United movements against the dangerous CPS is the need of the hour, he appealed.
P Madhu, CPI(M) state secretary, lamented the formulation of CPS and exposed the role of the BJP and the Congress. He criticised that the TDP had failed to implement its election promise of restoring the OPS.
K Ramakrisna, CPI state secretary, said that all the ruling class parties are of the same attitude when it came to CPS and urged to strengthen a political alternative put forth by CPI and CPI(M), for pro-worker policies.
Members of Legislative Council (MLC) Boddu Nageswararao, Katti Narasimha Reddy, former MLC KS Lakshmanarao, CPI (ML- New democracy) leader P Prasad, UTF state secretary Babu Reddy and STU leader Sudhir Babu demanded that the government repeal the CPS and save the employees from financial insecurity.
Despite the heavy downpour for two days, employees and teachers from across the state attended the convention. This was the last convention of the series planned in the run up to build a political alternative in the state. Both the parties are gearing up to conduct two ‘bus jathas’ from August 29 to September 11 in the state. ‘Maha Garjana’ mass rally will be held on September 15 in Vijayawada.