The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is preparing to flag off its Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha which will consist of political rallies starting from different corners of the country, culminating in a rally on 19 March 2013 in Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi. The rallies are expected to start from Kanyakumari, Amritsar, Kolkata and Mumbai, moving towards Delhi.
The agenda driving the jatha is to raise issues that plague the country and to provide alternative policies as solutions. The press release issued by the party states, “The policies of the UPA government at the Centre have resulted in continuous price rise, agrarian distress, growing unemployment and massive corruption. There is no difference between the Congress and the BJP as far as their basic policies are concerned.” In order to tackle these problems effectively, the party has carved out six main areas of focus for the jatha. These are: right to land and housing, demand to curb price rise and right to food, right to education and health, right to employment, demand for social justice and women’s rights and a call to end corruption.
The jatha from Kanyakumari to Delhi will be the first, starting on 24 February 2012. It will be lead by S Ramachandran Pillai. Prakash Karat will lead the jatha from Kolkata on 1 March 2013 folllowed by Brinda Karat from Jalianwala Bagh, Amritsar on 4 March 2013. The jatha from Mumbai, led by Sitaram Yechury will start on 8 March 2013.
A series of jathas will also be conducted in smaller towns and cities. These will link up to the rallies in the major cities and reach Delhi. It is expected that 10000 kilometers will be covered. Ten lakh copies of booklets explaining the relevance and aim of the jatha have been published in various languages.
CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat speaking to TEHELKA said, “We decided that there was a need to have a country wide campaign to project the stand of the Left as distinct from that of Congress and BJP. We want to set out our policy positions on crucial issues such as land, education, health and social justice.” Explaining that the jatha was for the people he said “We are going to the people. We will be stopping at various places, explaining our stand on crucial issues and putting out the Left position.” He claimed that at least one lakh participants are expected at the rally in Ramlila grounds culminating in a list of demands that will be drafted.