National

Opposition to form panel soon to draft action plan against Centre

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on May 25, 2020 Published on May 25, 2020

CPI General Secretary D Raja   -  THE HINDU

Workers’ rights, deaths due to hunger and negligible relief package to be discussed

Opposition parties will form a committee to draft an action plan against the Centre’s dealing of the Covid-19 crisis. Senior Opposition leaders recently held a meeting and decided to expose the Centre’s attacks on workers and the democracy when people are fighting a pandemic.

Senior Opposition leader and CPI General Secretary, D Raja, told BusinessLine that the Opposition is concerned about the situation. “Poor people are going through a horrible situation. Deaths due to hunger are taking place. We will prepare an action plan exposing the government and expressing solidarity with the people. We will discuss the formalities soon. We will form a committee comprising various Opposition parties to draft this action plan.”.

Workers’ rights

He said that the crisis workers face has become an international issue with the intervention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). “These trade unions are affiliated to ILO. India is a signatory to ILO conventions. It is not a question of internationalising a problem, but a question of snatching away the rights of workers. Now, Rajasthan government has restored the earlier provisions. Why are these governments fighting the workers when the country is fighting a pandemic? BJP governments cannot fight trade unions’ rights,” he said.

He said that the Narendra Modi government lacks scientific approach which is why things have become worse. “The first case was reported in January. WHO cautioned all countries in February. But this government was busy with Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and polarising people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown without any preparations. The government should have prepared the people. A number of tragic deaths could have been avoided,” he said. He added that Modi gave an impression that the package is meant for addressing the present crisis.

Sinking economy

“But the package was all about some ongoing schemes. It is not 10 per cent of the GDP as claimed by the government. Our economy was sick and sinking even before Covid-19. The government should have conducted itself responsibly by talking to Opposition and other stakeholders. They did not hold any discussion of Covid-19 even when Parliament was functioning. They didn’t even consult the State Governments. How will they meet the present challenges?” he asked.

Published on May 25, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor