Rally in Delhi against Privatisation and Govt.’s Betrayal of People’s Mandate

The rally on 2 Nov. 04 marching towards Jantar Mantar

The Delhi unit of CPI(ML) held a rally protesting against privatisation of all basic amenities and betrayal of the people’s mandate of 2003. Hundreds of workers, students, intellectuals and women participated in the rally with red flags, banners and placards demanding ‘Shiela Dixit Jawab Do’. After the rally, a delegation met CM Shiela Dixit and handed over a 12-point demand charter. The rally was led by AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee, CPI(ML) Central Committee members Prabhat Chaudhary and Srilata Swaminathan and Delhi State Secretary Rajendra Pratholi.

The rally marched from Ramlila Maidan to Delhi Secretariat where it culminated in a mass meeting. Addressing the meeting Swapan Mukherjee said that people of Delhi had totally rejected blatantly anti-poor and pro-rich policies and ousted the ruling BJP from the State as well as the Centre hoping that the new Govt. would act sensitively to bring relief to their hardships. But the Congress governments both in Delhi and the Centre have betrayed the mandate and are adding to the miseries of already suffering people.

Rajendra Pratholi said the process of privatisation of Delhi Transport Corporation, Jal Board and Sanitation System has already started on the lines of Delhi Vidyut Board. Education continues to be privatized, while free treatment is no loner provided even in government hospitals. Distribution of BPL cards is yet to be completed and those who have received it are forced to buy ration at general rates only. No civic amenities have yet been provided in the resettlement colonies that replaced slums. Electricity tariffs have doubled since installation of new electric meters. Amenities that are basic for a decent living are being handed over to the profiteers. All this has made life for Delhi’s common citizens extremely difficult. He said that a consensus has emerged among all ruling parties that the policies of privatisation have to be implemented come what may. Only a popular resistance movement can reverse and oust these policies.

The issue of unorganised sector workers and the demand for constitution of a Board for security workers in Delhi were also raised through the rally. q