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Brinda Karat for more pro-poor members in elected bodies On the campaign trail

Special Correspondent

CPI(M) leader seeks special Central package for weavers

— Photo: K. Gopinathan

Concern for poor: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat campaigning for party candidate R. Chandra Tejaswi at Doddaballapur on Monday.

DODDABALLAPUR: Polit Bureau member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Brinda Karat on Monday urged the people of Doddaballapur constituency to vote for the party candidate R. Chandra Tejaswi and also send a strong signal to people in other parts to send pro-poor candidates to the Legislative Assembly.

Ms. Karat said the Assembly election was a contest between democratic forces and fundamentalist elements. Joining the campaign of the party candidate here, Ms. Karat raised several issues affecting the town here and surprised the assembled people by her knowledge of the problems here.

Ms. Karat demanded from the Union Government a special package for weavers which should include new loans on soft terms and waiver of old loans.

“The UPA Government waived Rs. 60,000 crore towards waiver of farm loans which is a small step towards pro-poor policies. It is true that the Union Government had taken the step on the recommendations of the Left partners in the UPA, but things have to go beyond that,” she said.

Ms. Karat said Doddaballapur taluk once had more than 40,000 silk weavers who used to work on some of the finest silk fabrics in the world, but due to globalisation and liberalisation policies of the government they had lost their market and production units had closed down.

Observing that the parameters set by the Government for determining the BPL category was unscientific, Ms. Karat said the “the process and estimation of the level of poverty was not just erroneous but also discriminatory.”

She said the CPI (M) was concerned about the lack of pro-poor members in the Legislative Assemblies and in Parliament.

The Karnataka Assembly should not become a policy-making body that was filled with “people with agendas, mafias and vested interests,” she said. “We want such people in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies who will prevent privatisation of banks, Life Insurance Corporation and those who will support Bills such as the one for 33 per cent reservation for women,” Ms. Karat said.

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