Left and Communist Parties organised a rally from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in the country’s capital city of Delhi on 18th February to protest against the Union Budget 2020. CPI, CPM, CPI(M-L), All India Forward Block, RSP and Communist Ghadar Party of India organised this rally under the banner “Mass Protest Against the Anti-people Budget”. This rally passed through Barakhamba Road and Tolstoy Marg to reach Jantar Mantar where it became a public meeting.
This rally was the culmination of a nation-wide campaign that was carried out across the country 12th-18th February. The demonstrators in the rally shouted slogans – “Let us put an end to this cruel rule, let us usher in worker-peasant rule!”, “Down with the corrupt and parasitical capitalist rule!”, “Down with Capitalism!”, “Down with the anti-worker budget!”, “Halt the sale of public resources and public services!”, and so on. They held banners and placards which read “Worker peasant rule is the only solution to price rise!”, “Down with anti-people budget!”, “Halt the escalating prices!”, “This budget is for the capitalists and not for the people!”, etc.
Representatives of the parties participating addressed the rally. Speakers said that the budget presented by the central government is anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti-national and anti-people. The tax relief being given on the profits of the big capitalist corporations through this budget will add Rs.25,000 crore annually to the surplus value. Prior to this, the government had announced a relief of Rs.1,44,000 on corporate tax. Taken together, the capitalists benefitted from Rs.1,69,000 crores.
They pointed out that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had no concern for the lakhs of workers who have lost their jobs due to the capitalist stagnation and anti-worker policies. She has no concern for the crores of peasants who are driven to commit suicide on account of not receiving remunerative prices for their harvest. Our youth are running directionless in search of jobs. Children of workers and peasants are forced to go hungry to bed.
Exposing the real situation of the severe stagnation of the economy, speakers said that the government is making every effort to hide this. The government’s policies have pushed down the purchasing power of workers and peasants, which is the principal reason for the stagnation.
They pointed out that the budget had cut fertiliser subsidy by Rs.69000 crore. Besides this, the tax burden on the people is being increased by levying nearly Rs.20000 crore worth of customs duty on imports. The budget allocation for Beti Padao Beti Bachao scheme has been reduced from Rs.280 crore to Rs.220 crore even as the security for the Prime Minister has been allocated nearly Rs.600 crores in the budget.
Speakers said that the wealth belonging to the people – like Indian Railways, Ordnance factories, public sector banks and insurance companies, public transport, ports, and coal, electricity, steel and petroleum factories are being gifted to the biggest capitalists.
Speakers gave a call to the workers present in the rally to uncompromisingly resist this anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti-social and anti-national budget and to raise our voices in protest against the loot and plunder of our country by Indian and foreign capitalists.
CPI(M)’s Prakash Karat, CPI’s D.Raja, RSP’s Najim, CPI(M-L)’s Ravi Rai and Communist Ghadar Party of India’s Santosh Kumar were among those who addressed the rally.