TWO huge rallies and a massive public meeting were held at Vijayawada on September 15 for a political alternative in the state. CPI(M) and CPI state committees have jointly organised this programme. People from all over the state participated with great vigor and enthusiasm. Two special trains from drought stricken Anantapuramu and Chittoor were arranged and the people reached early in the morning. People from far off places came to Vijayawada by trains, special buses, trucks, jeeps, while the masses in nearby areas utilised seven seaters, autos etc for their conveyance. Workers, kisans, agricultural workers, tribals, dalits, minorities and women participated in the rallies in a big way.
One rally started from Railway Station at 2.30 pm and the other from Ramavarappadu junction at 3 pm and later reached the venue of public meeting, BRTS Road by about 3.30 pm. Leaders of both the parties were in the forefront of the rally while women and men with red flags in their hands marched towards the destination. Around three hundred strong ‘Drum Brigades’ in each rally were a special attraction. Conventional tribal cultural teams from Rampachodavaram, Paderu areas and also some people in fancy dresses attracted the public attention in a big way.
The public meeting was presided over by P Madhu, K Ramakrishna, state secretaries of CPI (M) and CPI. They explained the efforts of the two parties in putting forth the political alternative from the joint state convention to the recent bus yatras and thanked the people for their response. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat exposed the anti-people policies of the Modi government at the centre. The BJP government is looting public money and doling it out to the corporates and super rich, she said. About 40 thousand farmers have committed suicides in the last four year rule of Modi and the agrarian crisis has further deepened with the policies of NDA, she alleged. She narrated the ill effects of demonetisation, GST and the unprecedented prices of petroleum products in the BJP rule. In India, neoliberal economic policies were started by the Congress and the same were implemented by the BJP with even more pace, she lamented. She explained about the communal hatred and the lynching that were promoted by the Sangha Parivar etc.
Brinda Karat said that the TDP is now shouting about the Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, but was part of NDA government for four years and hence requested the people not to believe the slogans of Chandrababu Naidu. She questioned the peoples’ representatives of TDP and YSRCP why they have not opposed the BJP government on the issues of working class, peasantry, women, and minorities. She alleged that the yatra of YSRCP leader is for the ‘crown’ but nothing else. Brinda appealed the people to support the Political Alternative that is very much different in terms of policies, from that of BJP, TDP,YSRCP and Congress.
“The Left parties have been working on an alternative. The like-minded forces should join hands with the CPI and the CPI(M), which may have no representation in parliament but have the backing of the masses who are desperate for a change,” Suravaram Sudhakara Reddy, CPI general secretary observed. He said corruption was rampant in Andhra Pradesh. Sudhakara Reddy said the anti-people policies, attacks on SCs and minorities, and cooperation being extended to economic offenders such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi to escape to foreign countries were the highlights of the RSS-controlled NDA government. He said corruption has been another hallmark of the NDA government as evident from the Panama and Sahara papers.
Sunnam Rajaiah, MLA Bhadrachalam (CPI(M)), Muppalla Nageswar Rao, CPI state joint secretary and others spoke. Chintala Parthasarathy of Janasena party, Vidyasagar from VCK party, T Sivayya from MCPI (U), Bangarrao of CPI (ML- Liberation), Sundara Rama Raju of Forward Block, Pothina Venkata Rama Rao from AAP, Bheesetti Babji of Loksatta party also spoke and extended their solidarity to strengthen the Political Alternative. Cultural programmes including dance and songs enlightened the audience well.
The joint state convention was held on June 20 and it decided to conduct state level conventions of working class, kisans, agriculture workers, dalits, women, tribals, minorities and on urban issues and also to conduct two bus jathas covering the state. The culmination is the ‘Maha Garjana’ rally and public meeting held at Vijayawada.