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Friday, May 21, 2021

Press Statement from CTUs

 

Press Statement from

Central Trade Unions (CTUs)

20th May 2021

OBSERVE 26TH MAY 2021 AS A BLACK DAY FOR INDIAN DEMOCRACY

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has given a call to observe 26th May 2021 as a Black Day For Indian Democracy. That is the day Narendra Modi Government took oath of office in 2014 and then again on 30th May in 2019. 26th May is the day when the Chalo Dilli Kisan Andolan completes 6 months. It is also the day when the All India Strike called by the Central Trade Unions becomes 6 months old.

The call to observe that day as a Black Day is because the Modi Government that has been in office continuously for the past seven years has not only failed to deliver on the tall promises made while assuming office, but is actually acting against the wishes of the toiling people with impunity. It is acting in a blatantly irresponsible manner in the face of the terrible second wave of the Corona pandemic, all on the basis of a brute majority in the Lok Sabha.

• It has simply disowned its responsibility in tackling the Corona pandemic and asked the States to provide medical help to the bewildered population: shortages of vaccine doses, oxygen, hospital beds, even cremation facilities are alarming, with irresponsible announcements of vaccinating the 18-44 age group, only to be withdrawn subsequently, shows that the Government is completely in the dark about what needs to be done in this hour of grave crisis.

• The Government is actually using the pandemic period to push through legislations that are tailored only for the benefit of the Corporates, be it the three Farm Laws or the four Labour Codes or privatisation of everything in the Government or Public Sector.

• It is the toiling people in the unorganised sector, including migrant workers, who need life saving support in terms of food grains, cash subsidy and employment. It is the duty of the Government to mobilise resources for this gigantic task : using FCI stocks, taxing the rich, insuring front-line fighters, providing funds for MNGREGA, bringing in similar employment guarantee scheme for urban areas, and so on. The Government has become paralytic on all these fronts.

• The Government is passing laws that nobody has demanded, be it Farm Laws, Labour Codes, CAA, New Education Policy, pursuing blanket privatisation policy and so on, while refusing to concede any popular demands such as enactment of a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price for the Farm Produce, bringing Petrol/Diesel under the GST regime, etc.

• While the Government has no funds to tackle the Covid pandemic, it is shamelessly going ahead with "Central Vista Project", costing Rs.20,000 Crore, supposedly to rebuild a new Parliament Building, floating non-transparent funds such as PMCARES, Electoral Bonds, while, in practice behaving in the most undemocratic way – for example, arresting anyone for criticising the Government, refusing to hold tripartite consultations, blatantly using Constitutional Agencies to frighten and browbeat any opposition, as seen from the use of CBI, ED, NIA, Supreme Court, RBI, Election Commission, State Governors against political opponents, engineering defections and undermining elected state governments with the use of money power and use of these Agencies.

This list can be added to. It is time to call a spade a spade. We begin by observing 26th May as the Black Day for Indian Democracy, wearing black badges, putting up black flags.

We resolve on this day, not to rest till we achieve our demands, not to rest till a message is driven home that the toiling people will not remain passive bystanders, watching the Modi Government do as they please.

 We demand:

- Free vaccine for all

- Immediate help to all unemployed people in terms of free food grains and cash subsidy of Rs.7500/- per month

- Repeal 3 Farm Laws, withdraw Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, enact law guaranteeing MSP

- Withdraw 4 Labour Codes and convene Indian Labour Conference immediately

- Put a stop to policy of privatisation/corporatisation.

 

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