CPI(M) issues 16-point demand, says "Centre using pandemic to advance the BJP-RSS agenda"
The CPI(M) also announced a protest week from August 20 and said that it will be one of the biggest mass mobilisations under the current conditions.
Firing fresh salvo at the BJP-led government at the Centre, the CPI(M) issued a 16-point charter of demands and announced that the left front will be observing a 'protest week' from 20th August all across the country.
Addressing reporters over a Facebook live conference, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the government has lacked in preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic despite a strict nationwide lockdown and has used this pandemic to further the "BJP-RSS" agenda.
"The government has opened up the economy and trade, but both the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are on a rise. Instead of addressing this issue, the government has abdicated its responsibilities and people have been left to fend for themselves," said Yechury.
Yechury criticised the government's recent decisions saying "Under the economic reforms and in the name of Atmanirbharata, what is being given is the blueprint for self-subservience. Under this, all PSUs are being privatised and the national resources are being kept open for loot by the foreign and domestic corporates."
In this press conference, Yechury also read out the resolution from their Central Committee meeting and issued a 16-point charter of demands to the Centre.
The demands include a direct cash transfer of ₹7,500 eah month to all families falling outside the tax bracket for the next six months, and free distribution of 10 kgs of food grain to every individual for the next six months.
Yechury came down sharply on the ruling party for trying to destabilise governments in different states and said that the BJP is now using to the Kerala gold smuggling case to destabilise the CPI(M)-led state government in the state.
Speaking about the Rajasthan political crisis, he said both the CPI(M) MLAs will stand by the state government and thawrt the attempts to destabilise the Gehlot government.
The CPI(M) general secretary also accused the BJP government of sharpening the communal polarisation during the lockdown by rounding up peaceful anti-CAA protesters and targeting the muslims.
"This plan of the RSS-BJP to utilise the situation to advance their agenda, is actually the most dangerous development that is taking place, which is undermining our strength, India's self-reliance and India's capacity to combat the pandemic effectively."
"Even in the case of the Delhi violence, the victims are being prosecuted, but the culprits who perpetrated such violence are being allowed to roam scott free. This communal polarisation is part of the larger agenda of consolidation of a communal hindutva votebank, by which country's integrity is being severely assaulted," remarked Yechury.
Their other demands from the Centre included expansion of rural employment gurantee scheme to ensure at least 200 days of work in a year with enhanced wages, promulgation of an urban employment guratee Act and an allowance for the unemployed.
They also demanded that all funds collected under PMCARES should be transferred to the state governments and a one-term financial assistance to all the families of those who have sucumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about CPI(M)'s upcoming 'protest week', the general secretary said that it's going to be observed all across the country and on all levels - right from the local level to the state level - adhering to precautions and restrictions that are prevalent in the concerned areas.
"This protest action will be one of the biggest mass mobilisations under these conditions in the recent period," said Yechury.