Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002
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KOZHIKODE, FEB. 26. The CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, has warned that the ongoing indefinite strike of government employees and teachers will also have its impact on the ensuing budget session of the Assembly.
However, the CPI(M) leader declined to comment further on the strategies of his party or the LDF to be adopted in the next session. Mr. Vijayan was speaking to reporters at a `Meet-the-Press' programme organised by the Calicut Press Club here today.
He urged the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, to shed his stubborn attitude in dealing with the striking staff and instead come forward to hold a dialogue with the union leaders. ``Mr. Antony should show more maturity and be more realistic since the strike was organised by all the section of the employees barring political affiliations,'' he said.
It was foolish to threaten employees with draconian measures. This would lead to a worse situation in the coming days. Perhaps it was the first time that women employees were being targeted to crush the strike. ``Actions of these sort will intensify the strike rather than ensure a positive ending,'' he cautioned.
``The UDF cannot go on like this for long because the functioning of the Government has virtually come to a standstill,'' he said.
The CPI(M) politburo member alleged that the UDF Government was taking these stringent actions to please global financial institutions. ``The harsh measures taken in the name of austerity drive are actually the agenda of these institutions,'' he charged.
The UDF Government wanted to meet the demands of these institutions including amending and altering some of the labour laws. ``It was toeing the same line adopted by the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre,'' he said.
In course of time anti-labour laws such as the `hire and fire system' would come into force. Employees in private companies would be terribly affected on account of these new steps, he said.
Mr. Vijayan said that the CPI(M) was not adverse to the State Government taking loans from global financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB). ``But this should be done in a proper manner with no strings attached,'' he pointed out.
``It was true that the LDF Government also went to the ADB and WB for loans. But we finally refused to accept them mainly on the basis of the stringent anti-labour regulations attached to it,'' he said.
In fact, the best way to solve the economic crisis lies with the State Government itself. Collect the sales taxes from pending companies and put an immediate stop to the staying of revenue recovery procedures.
Reacting to the recent comment by Mr. Antony that all mainstream political parties were involved in the communal riots, Mr. Vijayan described it as ``sheer nonsense''.
`` He should think a little before making such irresponsible comments. His statements were only supported by the communal forces such as the National Development Front (NDF) and the BJP,'' he said.
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