India's problems lie in the government's inaction to implement the law of the land, and public pressure alone can help change the situation, Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has said. Taking a dig at Narendra Modi, Yechury said the prime minister had never said—neither in the parliament nor ouside—that he would protect the law of the land.
Interacting with members of the Indian Women's Press Corps in Delhi on Monday, Yechury who touched upon many aspects, maintained that the government's inaction had amounted to protection of the gau rakshaks and said the attack on dailits and cow vigilantism needed to be curbed.
Elaborating on the economic slowdown indicated by figures of poor loan off-take by MSMEs, the Left leader said that the problems of the people were not being addressed adequately by the government. The figures had signaled a slowdown in employment at a time when inflation, particularly of arhar and chana dal, were hitting the common man, said the CPI(M) politburo member.
*Kashmir issue *
Yechury said that Kashmir had reached a dangerous point, and lamented the lack of efforts to restore confidence, as was done during an earlier stone pelting incident in 2010. The Left leader was part of an all party parliamentary delegation that visited the Kashmir Valley and interacted with people from various sections in 2010.
The CPI(M) leader said his party was not kept in the loop with regard to developments on the GST Bill in Parliament. “Government is discussing only with the Congress; we are not privy to anything. At a meeting of the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Left and the Biju Janata Dal, they said that they were coming to an understanding with the Congress. But we don't know what that understanding is,” he said.
The GST, he said, would reduce the states to carrying a begging bowl before the Centre, if struck by any natural disaster or the like. “Our concern is that the right of the states to raise resources goes if the GST is implemented. They will have to come to the Centre for funds as they can't impose a tax or a cess. And, when Centre slaps a Swachch Bharat cess or anything like that, it is not shared with the states. What we are saying is that something should be done to address this. It is a very serious problem affecting the federal structure of India” Yechury elaborated.
Saying that India's foreign policy had been reduced to a “hyphenated existential equation” of India, Pakistan relation, Yechury questioned the “blow hot, blow cold” approach of the government towards the western neighbour. He pointed to the prime minister's Lahore visit to wish the Pakistan prime minister on his birthday, followed by the terror attack at Pathankot Air Force base, and also referred to the fact that India had allowed Pakistan to visit the air force base, while Pakistan had refused to reciprocate. Calling for a dialogue, Yechury also suggested that Pakistan be exposed before the international community. “Let them say in front of the international community that they don't want talks,” he said.
The 25 years of economic liberalisation, Yechury said, had resulted in a wide rift in the Shining India with 150 individuals owning half of India's GDP, while 90 per cent of families earning less than Rs 10,000 a month. Three years into liberalisation, the then prime minister had spoken of the need for a “safety net for people”, but that has been forgotten, as 93 per cent of people are working in conditions where no labour laws govern.
“Modi had promised a Minimum Support Price that would be one and a half times the cost price for farm produce, when he was campaigning ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. He has forgotten that all together, ” Yechuri further said.