CPI-M released manifesto in Himachal

SHIMLA: Taking a lead from the major parties like BJP and Congress who were opposed to the idea of releasing any State specific manifesto the Communist Party of India-Marxist here released a full 15 page manifesto document dealing in comprehensive political situation of the hill State. While releasing the manifesto in Mandi on Sunday the State party secretary Rakesh Singha and other secretariat members said that both the BJP and Congress are least concerned with issues concerning people and are indulged in mud slinging and one-upmanship.

He said they are not raising the level of discourse by discussing the peoples’ issues but are involved in perpetual criticism and self appreciation. He openly challenged both these parties to come out with answers to the problems being faced by the people of the hill State like tribal and T.D. rights, monkey menace, ecological depletion of State’s natural resources in the name of generating more hydro power, blatant allotment of hydro projects to private companies and unemployment.

He said that in Himachal Pradesh the successive governments are following anti-people and anti-State economic policies. Their policies have led to a grave financial crisis, huge unemployment, crises in agriculture and corruption in public life.

He said the financial position of State today is precarious and financial management is pathetic. Government debt liabilities at present are at 68.62 percent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) as compared to around 25 percent for the other States. Every Himachali is under a debt of rupees 30,000 at present.
The left manifesto said the State government has virtually turned the health and education services here into a private enterprising business. Contrary to the Alma Ata declaration on 1978 which promised “Health for All by 2000” national and state governments have adopted the path of privatisation in health services.

Health has been reduced to a commodity which can be bought and sold and is entirely dependent on market forces. Taking refuge of National Rural Health Mission, privatization in health institutions and services is being promoted in the name of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) and user charges are in vogue.

In the name of creating an education hub, the BJP government is tacitly opening an aura of private business hub for large number of private companies. Private universities, colleges and such other institutions have been the hallmark of the BJP rule. They have been just reduced to some unprofessional and unethical “teaching shops”.

Lack of industrialisation, freeze on government jobs, languishing agriculture, non-conducive environment for business and self-employment have added to the huge unemployment. In 2007, there were 7,56,980 registered unemployed youth and 10,28,579 marginally employed people to make a staggering total of 17,85,559 (more than 25 percent out of the total population of 68 lakhs) unemployed people. The present policies of slashing jobs and contract system are adding to this huge army of the unemployed and the semi-employed youth. With the adoption of the FRBMA, the state has drastically reduced subsidy in agriculture and horticulture sectors and squeezed employment, claimed the manifesto.

The policy of the state government with respect to the hydel power generation smacks of anti-State interests. The PDS has once again hit by the incumbent government so that they can get rid of this scheme altogether. BJP has polarized the people on regional basis and has tried to create a regional chauvinism for narrow electoral gains.

These anti-people policies and failures of the governments led by both BJP and Congress are the core election issues in the State. Both these parties are now following the same neo liberal economic policies which are tilted more towards the rich and powerful. The CPI (M) in the State will bring out an alternative developmental strategy that can be adopted for the comprehensive growth of the hill State and its people, promised the left manifesto.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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