Differences emerge in CPI over SEZs, Telangana

March 26th, 2008 - 8:33 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, March 26 (IANS) Differences cropped up in the Communist Party of India (CPI) Wednesday over the issue of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the demand for a separate Telangana state. At the party’s ongoing 20th national congress here, the delegates expressed divergent views on SEZs and Telangana while debating the draft political resolution.

Some wanted that the SEZs not be allowed at all and the relevant Act be scrapped, while others were of the view that since an SEZ Act was already being implemented, it should be suitably amended.

Briefing newsmen about the deliberations on the fourth day of the five-day meet, party congress spokesman Shameem Faizi admitted that there was difference of opinion. He, however, denied there was division during debate on the resolution relating to SEZs.

The resolution, adopted unanimously Tuesday, demanded amendments to the SEZ Act to prevent governments from acquiring lands and to enforce trade union laws in the SEZs.

The draft political resolution, which will be adopted Thursday, said SEZs are neither inevitable nor necessary for industrialization.

Differneces also cropped up at the meet on the demand for separate statehood for Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.

“The demand for carving out a separate state of Telengana has grown among the people of that region. Taking note of this growing demand, the CPI supports the formation of Telengana,” the draft political resolution said.

A party leader admitted that views on the issue were divergent. While leaders from Telangana region backed the demand on the ground that there were strong sentiments among people for separate state, party delegates from coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions felt the party should stick to its previous stand against the bifurcation of the state.

The party voiced deep concern over entry of corporates in retail trade, saying this threatened the livelihood of over four million people.

“The retail MNCs like Walmart and domestic corporates likes Reliance, Bharti Mittal have entered the retail market in a big way. They are big sharks with surplus money at their disposal,” the resolution said.

The CPI also condemned POSCO’s move to set up a giant steel plant in Orissa by adopting violent methods.

It alleged that the Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government of the state signed 49 MoUs with MNCs like POSCO, Vedanta, Mittal, Essar and Tata to hand over more than 200,000 hectares of agriculture and forest land, displacing thousand of tribals.

The resolution on agrarian crises demanded that the central government implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee to ensure remunerative prices to farmers for their produce. It noted that agriculture and farmers were facing unprecedented crisis.

“The suicides of more than one and half lakh (150,000) farmers in different parts of the country provides evidence of the gross insensitivity that gripped the Indian state.”

The meet also demanded that the central government implement land reforms as promised in the common minimum programme. It congratulated the agricultural labourers, poor peasants, tribals and activists who carried on a land occupation struggle in Andhra Pradesh to demand land to landless. The party urged the government to withdraw the charges against them during the struggle.

The party demanded that the bill for providing 33 percent reservation to women in legislative bodies be tabled in the budget session of parliament. Delegates felt women should be given greater role in the party and suggested 22 percent reservation for them in the party.

The CPI also appealed to the new government of Pakistan to grant clemency to Sarabjeet Singh, saying this would go a long way in improving relations between the two neighbours.

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