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Socialists plan joint action against BJP

New Delhi | Updated on July 15, 2019 Published on July 15, 2019

Preliminary meeting of splinter groups, parties and trade unions, chalks out a joint political programme

Multiple splinter groups of socialists met over this weekend to plan a joint strategy to counter the BJP’s overwhelming political expansion in the country.

At the two-day preliminary meeting, here, leaders of various groups and political parties charted a common course of action, which include closed-door meetings and protests against the Narendra Modi government.

Representatives from socialist parties such as the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal attended the meeting, along with the NDA partner Janata Dal (United). A number of academics, social activists also attended the meeting.

Social manifesto

Former Congress East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit demanded that the socialists revive the old Congress Socialist Party within the Congress, so that the ‘Left to Centre’ nature of the Congress can be regained.

A social manifesto, which was prepared at the meeting, will be sent to all political parties so that they discuss the issues of “common people” during elections.

“The country is going through a tough time. The socialists have a role to play to mitigate these problems. We have played a similar role during the independence struggle, too,” said political and social activist Sunilam.

‘Fight similar to Emergency’

He said the present atmosphere demands a struggle similar to the national movement and that against the Emergency of 1975. “The Sangh Parivar is taking away all the democratic rights of the people. This is Modani Raj (Modi-Ambani). We will seek the cooperation of all non-Sangh Parivar forces to fight against this Modani Raj. This meeting was the beginning of the process of forming a front against Sangh Parivar,” claimed Sunilam.

The meeting decided to hold a national convention of all socialist groups and individuals in Bihar in November. “We will also hold workshops and consultation programmes on socialism for young people. We want to attract youngsters to socialism,” said Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) president Harbhajan Singh Sidhu.

Remembering the 1974 railway strike led by the socialists, he said the Railways and the public sector are going through dire straits under Modi. “Twenty big PSU such as BHEL and SAIL are facing losses. Airports and Railways are being sold off to Multi-National Companies and big corporate houses. Our effort is to bring the focus back to people’s issues,” Sidhu told BusinessLine.

On the anniversary of Quit India movement, the socialists will hold meetings in various cities. A committee will be formed to oversee the process of rebuilding the socialist block. The meeting also discussed issues of farmers and workers, roadmap for socialists and contemporary challenges.

Published on July 15, 2019
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