The New Year may not augur well for the Congress-led UPA Government with the CPI(M) readying to intensify its campaign against the "neo-liberal" economic policies of the Centre.
The CPI(M) has admitted, in the latest editorial of People's Democracy, that in 2006 it was not able to entirely force the roll back of certain policies of the Government. At the same time, through the protests and nation-wide agitation programmes carried out by the Party, it was able to "partially succeed in halting, if not rolling back, the neo-liberal agenda of economic reforms in India," the editorial said.
The CPI(M) counted the stalling of the pension bill, the banking bill and forcing the government to hold back moves to increase the FDI cap in sectors like insurance and preventing PSUs from being privatised among it's partial success stories. "Needless to say, these struggles will have to be intensified in 2007 as it would be naïve to believe that the neo-liberal pundits would abandon their agenda," the editorial said.
It added that the agitation in 2007 would continue to focus on the need to shift the focus of the Government's economic policies or "reforms" from being "preoccupied with capitalist profits and towards improving the people's welfare." The Government should bring in more people-oriented legislations like the Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Right to Information Act, the editorial said.
On the issue of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, the CPI(M) has said in the editorial that it has to be ensured that UPA Government does not allow US imperialism to either influence India's independent foreign policy or undermine its sovereignty. With the help of non-UPA parties, the Government was forced to declare that it would not ignore any of the nine issues raised by the CPI(M) and the Left, the editorial said.
The party said it would focus further on the agricultural crisis. "The crisis in rural India is deepening. No number of packages announced by the Prime Minister have stemmed the tide of growing suicide by farmers. Agricultural growth continues to stagnate at levels disturbingly lower than the all-India growth of over 9 per cent tom-tomed by official spokesmen," it added.
BJP would be trying hard to communalise and divide the country on religious lines in 2007, the write-up forecast as well. "..the communal combine has, as the year ends, begin to refurbish its arsenal. It said the assembly election in UP that would be the testing ground to spread communalism."