Trade Unions Call for Modi’s Removal on Quit India’s 81 st Anniversary
Trade unions called for defeating the Narendra Modi government in the 2024 elections in the state during a two-day protest in Kolkata.
Kolkata: Commemorating the Quit India Movement, launched by Mahatma Gandhi to oust the British in 1942, thousands of trade unionists called for the removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rani Rashmoni Avenue, Kolkata, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Amid “Remove Modi, Save the country” slogans, representatives of CITU, AITUC, UTUC, AICCTU, TUCC, INTUC and Railways, banks, insurance, power corporations and BSNL slammed the government’s increasing privatisation and the sale of strategic assets.
Protesting for more than 16 hours in two days, they said that the “corporate-friendly” government’s rule will end like that of the British and called for making efforts to defeat the Modi government in the 2024 elections in the state.
Bikash Dey (51), a school teacher in Sonarpur, called the rally “historic” and an effort to oust the BJP in the Lok Sabha election.
“Communal polarisation caused by the BJP is vitiating the country’s atmosphere. Only a strong class movement can defeat such inimical forces,” he told Newsclick.
BSNL employee Bimal Khara alleged that the BJP government first “restricted the major telecom player’s growth” and is now stopping it from acquiring cutting-edge technology to take on private telecom companies”.
“The government is selling the country’s strategic assets one by one. BSNL is a glaring example of the decapacitation of a glorious company that earned thousands of crores in government revenue,” he added.
Apart from speeches by the representatives, Indian People’s Theatre Association artists sang songs and presented collages during the two-day protest.
West Bengal’s CITU president Subhas Mukherjee addressed the protesters. Trade union leaders Debanjan Chakraborty, Basudeb Basu, Dipak Saha, Ratan Bagchi, Anindya Roychoudhury, Ashis Das and Kamarujjjamanorgansied the protest on day one. Trade union leader Lalit Mishra, Bank Employees Federation of India secretary Jaideb Dasgupta, 12th July Committee joint convener Sumit Bhattacharya and mass movement leader Rabin Deb were also present.
Inaugurating the rally, West Bengal CITU state secretary Anadi Sahu said that the BJP and the RSS have “surrendered to corporate entities and are hoodwinking the common people”.
“The government had promised two crore jobs annually and to unearth black money from foreign shores—but nothing happened. The country’s assets are on sale, the economy is inching towards bankruptcy and common people are facing the maximum danger,” he alleged.
Sahu said that the “government is the biggest obstacle in ensuring minimum wage and social security for workers”. “The prices of essential commodities like petrol and cooking gas are increasing.”
On the other hand, the country’s social fabric “is being torn to pieces. A communal campaign and a toxic environment are spreading throughout the country at the behest of the BJP and the RSS. Opposition voices are being muffled”, he said.
Urging people to “get rid of this fascist government, he said, “The farmers’ movement has shown how to not bow down to this government.”
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