Hundreds of activists, including women, of the Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI (Marxist) and three other Left parties staged a dharna in front of the deputy commissioner's office here on Wednesday against the alleged anti-people policies of the state and the union governments. Senior leaders of various parties demanded the rollback of the taxes imposed on the already burdened people of the state.
Earlier, the protesters organised a protest march in the town and raised anti-government slogans. All party workers who gathered here warned that if government failed to provide basic facilities to the poor people they would start a state-wide agitation against the government. Angry workers of the various parties also burnt effigies of the state and union governments.
Lashing out at the NDA government at the Centre and the Punjab government, national council member of the CPI Jagroop Singh said that both governments have completely failed to provide basic facilities to the poor people as well as small farmers and employees of various departments who work sincerely.
"The politicians are merely befooling people in one way or the other. Unfortunately, the poor are becoming poorer day-by-day and a big nexus of mafia-politicians is currently ruling the country. All parties who gathered here demand that the government should take concrete steps to safeguard the interests of working class. The work duration of daily wagers should be reduced from eight hours a day to six hours and the government should ensure employment to all eligible youth," said Jagroop Singh.
The CPI leader said that the system of contractual employment should be abolished as it affects the work culture of institutes. "The principle of equal work and equal pay should be implemented. Under no conditions, should contractual workers be paid less than the regular employees," he added.
Senior leaders of different parties suggested that the government should provide plots to labourers for houses and work under the MNREGA.
Among others who spoke on the occasion included CPI district secretary Kuldeep Singh Bhola, Narinder Kaur Sohal, Balkaran Moga secretary of All India Students Federation, Giani Gurdev Singh state council member of CPI, Darshan Singh Tuti vice president of Punjab Government Transport Workers Union and others.