National

Thousands Gather For CPI-M Backed Mazdoor-Kisan Sangharsh Rally In Delhi

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| September 5 , 2018 , 12:05 IST

Thousands of farmers, farmworkers and labourers from the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have gathered in New Delhi on Wednesday for the CPI(M) Mazdoor-Kisan Sangharsh Rally.

The first-ever combined rally by outfits affiliated to the CPI(M) including Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agriculture Workers Union (AIAWU) is marching from Ramlila Maidan to the Parliament, demanding farmers rights.

The CPI(M) in a statement said, "This rally is the expression of mounting protests by the distressed peasantry seeking land rights, pensions, food security, remunerative prices, loan waivers and other demands. What makes this rally unprecedented is that peasants and agricultural workers will be joined by industrial workers and employees who have been struggling against the Modi govt. for better wages, better social security, against privatisation and against dilution of labour laws, among other demands."

The statement continues, "The BJP Government had come to power riding a wave of popular discontent against the Congress-led UPA. Modi had promised that the BJP Government will usher in “achhe din” for farmers, declaring all kinds of policies to attract them in the 2014 elections. Four and a half years down the line, each of the promises made to the farmers and rural poor stand betrayed."

The main demands of the workers and peasants are:

  1. Curb price rise; universalise Public Distribution System; ban forward trading in essential commodities
  2. Implement concrete measures for generation of decent employment
  3. Declare minimum wage of not less than Rs 18000 per month for all workers
  4. Retract anti worker labour law amendments
  5. Ensure remunerative prices for the peasants as per Swaminathan Committee recommendations; and timely public procurement
  6. Implement debt waiver for poor peasants and agricultural workers
  7. Pass Comprehensive Central legislation for agricultural workers
  8. Implement MGNREGA in all rural areas and amend the Act to cover urban areas as well
  9. Ensure Food security, health, education, housing for all
  10. Provide Universal social security
  11. No contractorisation of employment and equal wages for equal work for men and women.
  12. Implement Redistributive land reforms
  13. Stop forcible land acquisition
  14. Provide Relief and rehabilitation for the victims of natural calamities
  15. Reverse neoliberal policies

Due to the protests, the Delhi Police have closed down certain routes in the capital, including Sansad Marg, Janpath and Kasturba Gandhi Marg for traffic movement, advising travellers to take Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Ashoka Road as alternative routes.