New Delhi, Jun 3 : The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (M) on Wednesday hailed people of Kerala and the Left Democratic Front government in the state for the ‘exemplary manner’ in which the state is combating the COVID-19 pandemic and criticised Union government, saying “it has virtually left the Indian people to fend for themselves in combatting the pandemic”. The CPI(M) responded after its meeting of the Polit Bureau, the highest decision making body of the party, which held its first meeting through conference on June 2, 2020.
“Having flattened the curve of the rise of infections, Kerala has now intensified its efforts to meet the challenge of the second wave as people are returning from abroad and different parts of India into the state. The 'Kerala Model' has been lauded internationally. But in India the central government refuses to learn from this experience”, the PB said in a statement. The Left party said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “having declared an unplanned, unilateral, abrupt lockdown”, has neither used the period of sixty three days for either augmenting the health facilities required to combat the pandemic nor in providing relief to the people who have been agonised cruelly by not getting any time to prepare to meet the consequences of the lockdown”.
The CPI(M) also said the easing of restrictions, is, once again happening in an unplanned fashion with the Union government abdicating its responsibilities and leaving it to the states to decide. “Instead of containing or controlling the spread of the pandemic or the death toll, the lockdown period has seen a constant spike in the numbers. On March 24, India had 564 positive cases and 10 deaths. Two months later on May 24 there were 74,560 active cases and 3,867 deaths. As of June 2, these figures stand at 2,07,615 and 5,815”, the party said.
The Left party also alleged that instead of single-mindedly focusing on combating the pandemic and providing relief to the people, the union government went about systematically implementing its aggressive agenda of communal polarisation and the pursuit of neo-liberal economic policies. Referring to the Modi government’s financial package, the CPI(M) said, the Rs. 20 lakh stimulus was a re-packaging of earlier schemes with the additional commitment of expenditures being around a mere 1 per cent of the GDP. “This financial package is the blueprint for implementing the neo-liberal economic reforms, creating new avenues for profit maximisation by foreign and domestic corporates, aggressively pursuing privatisation of all national assets, sale of public sector units and opening up all sectors of the economy for FDI'', it charged. The Left party also demanded the Union government and state governments to reschedule the academic session “so that examinations can be conducted in the normal way and students do not suffer the loss of a year”.
“Using the lockdown, the Union government government is seeking to implement its retrograde education policy, unapproved by parliament and imposing digital teaching/learning methods'' they said. The Left party said the digital divide should not be superimposed on the country's education system. (UNI)