CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday announced countrywide protests on June 16 demanding immediate cash transfers and free foodgrains on the poor.

countrywide protests on June 16

Accusing the Narendra Modi government of utilizing the Covid-19 pandemic for an excuse to change the democratic, secular and federal structure of the nation using a unitary type of theocratic government, Yechury said the Centre has recently virtually left the people of the nation to fend on their own in combatting the pandemic.

The Left leader addressed reporters via Facebook Live to brief them in regards to the decisions taken with the politburo in the party, which held its meeting on June 1 through a video link. This became the first meeting from the CPI(M) politburo following the nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24.

Yechury said the state governments which can be in the forefront of your battle against Covid-19 were denied even their legitimate dues including the GST payout.

He alleged that the pandemic will be useful for centralisation of authority, which, subsequently, is destroying a fundamental feature in the Constitution — federalism.

“A unitary state is now being created by the Modi government that can facilitate the disruption from the secular democratic republic of India and transition of your RSS political project of your theocratic state,” Yechury said.

The CPI(M) politburo statement said the Gross Tax Revenues (GTR) have fallen by over Rs 70,000 crore as well as the Corporate Tax Revenue (CTR) by over Rs 1,06,000 crore.

“This shortfall in governmental revenues will lessen the share of the states who are already starved of finances,” it added.

Yechury said the lockdown was imposed arbitrarily and lifted unscientifically.

The all-India protest to become observed on June 16 is always to raise key demands, including a quick cash transfer of Rs 7,500 each month for a period of six months to all families outside of the income-tax paying bracket, free distribution of 10 kg of foodgrains per individual a month for six months, increase of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) from your current 100 days to 200 days with enhanced wages.

“Extend the employment guarantee scheme to protect the urban poor. Immediately announce an unemployment allowance for unemployed persons,” Yechury said.