VISAKHAPATNAM:The CPM on Thursday made a strong pitch for making reservation mandatory for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in private and public-private sector jobs too. CPM PolitBuro member Brinda Karat said,”We will do everything in our capacity -- build pressure and raise the issue in Parliament for a legal framework and also fight outside the House.”
She, further, said that her party knows how to bring others on board to make it happen. With public sector jobs shrinking, there is no other go but to demand reservation for the marginalised people in the private sector also. The CPM also demanded that the implementation of SC Special Allocation Plan and Tribal Sub Plan be made mandatory through an appropriate law. According to Brinda the CPM members have been asked to press the government in this regard.
In fact, the 100-day National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Forest Rights Act were originally proposed by the CPM and later adopted by the then UPA I Government .Interestingly, Brinda cited the same UPA Government’s ‘poor record’ as the reason for the BJP’s landslide victory in last year’s LS polls.
With the CPM suffering a major setback in West Bengal, a state where it was in power for 34 years, and the Kerala unit almost in tatters, the CPM, at its 21st Party Congress, seemed all set to chalk out a strategy for its resurgence.
Brinda blamed the neo-liberal economic policies, adopted in the last two decades, for the increased hardships of the marginalised communities. “In spite of the mandatory reservation in jobs, both government and public sector, there’s a huge backlog... that is, 24,779 posts were lying vacant till 2011,”’ she said, pointing out that the figure did not include Group A, B, C jobs in state government sector.
“Since the government is no position to generate more jobs and comply with the rules, the private sector has to chip in. The party said it is not limiting itself to the struggle for the Dalits and Advasi rights. It has also called for the implementation of Sachhar and Ranganath Mishra Committee Reports, reminding Narendra Modi Government of its declaration to move forward on the Sachhar Report.
On whether the party would go by the reservation demands within its own fora, Brinda quipped, “We already have many Dalit leaders on our committees. I know the media had asked this on Wednesday as well...’’ On why the party was talking about reservation for only the SC/STs and minorities and not Hindus, Brinda said, “I know the Hindutva do not see the SC/STs as Hindus and won’t allow them inside their temples. We don’t see it that way...we do not talk in terms of religious groups or communities, but fight for the rights of those who need our support.”
With ‘class struggle’ not getting much resonance with the social media savvy youth, the CPM is going full-on into empowerment politics. So, Dalit and Muslim representation will rise in the party.
Kerala or Andhra fare
A speculation that’s doing the round at the Party Congress is whether the next time it will be Andhra cuisine or Kerala fare that will be served. It will depend on who becomes that the party general secretary.
Sita Goes for a walk
Those backing Sitaram Yechury as the best bet to succeed Prakash Karat, point out how he is being mobbed by locals for selfies at the beach. Yechury has been going for early morning walks, every day.
Advice from NE
‘’How do we tell Com Karat, a Left party can grow only if there is agitation. Where is the andolan?’’ an N-E delegate asks. Cites AAP’s fast growth after the ‘corruption agitation’ against UPA Government .