CPM Politbureau member Brinda Karat on Monday ridiculed the “second freedom struggle” call of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and said that the people of the country would not awaken to the call of a person who practises the “politics of communalism” and believes in the Hindutva agenda floated by his party, the BJP, and the Sangh Parivar.
“Modi should visit the Jallianwala Bagh, where those who were martyred at the hands of the British belonged to all faiths and religions and not to any one religion,” she said while flagging off her party's “Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha” march to the national capital from the historical monument here on Monday.
The march which Karat will be leading will reach Delhi on March 19, along with the other three such marches which have already commenced from Kolkata, Mumbai and Kanyakumari. In Delhi, a massive rally will be held, which will be addressed by the CPM's top brass as well as by other Left leaders.
These marches are aimed at exposing the “pro-rich” policies of the UPA government as well as the numerous scams that have taken place in recent years. Besides the Punjab unit of the CPM, others taking part in the march from Amritsar are party cadres from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Later, addressing a rally of party workers at Ram Bagh, Karat took a dig at Modi's projection as the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP. She said that the “corporate model” of politics which Modi follows in Gujarat will only appease a handful of big business houses, but the poor commoners, who are in majority, will reject this brand of politics as their main concern revolves around getting a square meal a day for themselves and their families.
“The BJP and the Congress are two sides of the same coin and follow pro-rich policies. If the Congress is involved in corruption at the Centre, the same is true of the BJP in states like Karnataka,” she said.
Taking on the UPA government, the CPM leader said that during its entire tenure, it had done nothing worthwhile except 'sarkari chowkidari' of corporate houses. In the past five years, the prices of petrol and diesel had risen by almost 125% and the net result was that this rise only led to inflation, hitting the common man, she said, pointing out that the prices could have been controlled had taxes on the two products been slashed.
“The government has no money for social security, but can give tax benefits running into several lakh crores to corporate houses. When the Prime Minister harps on the growth rate, he only talks of the growth rate of the rich and not of the poor,” said Karat.
She also lambasted the government for failing to give adequate remuneration to the farmers. She said foodgrains were rotting in godowns but the government was not ready to distribute them among the poor.
Karat also took a dig at the SAD-BJP government in Punjab and said that it got votes on the 'atta-daal' scheme, but now it had no money in its coffers to carry on with it. Even the measly sum of Rs. 250 per month given as widow pension is not being distributed in time, she said.
“If the Congress loots money in Delhi, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal does so in Punjab,” said Karat.
Others who spoke at the rally were CPM Central Committee member Hannan Mullaha, Punjab CPM secretary Harbans Singh Virdi, Haryana state secretary Inderjeet Singh and party leaders from neighbouring states.