Stop playing with life and livelihood of poor for Games: CPI-ML

By TCN News,

New Delhi: Protesting against miseries of the poor in the name of Commonwealth Games (CWG), and huge corruption in it, a massive protest rally was organized today by CPI (ML) Liberation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. The protesters warned the government not to forget poor people’s rights for CWG and stop playing with their lives and livelihood.

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The protest was attended by Delhi’s construction workers, street vendors, slum-dwellers, rickshaw pullers, university students as well as many social and political leaders.

Addressing the protest rally CPI (ML) Central Committee member, Swapan Mukherjee pointed out as to how CWG is affecting the lives of poor people. “The Delhi Government and Central Government claimed that CWG would turn Delhi into a world class city and boost India’s prestige. But they do not disclose tha reality that the official expenditure for CWG has gone up from the initial one of Rs 700 crore to Rs 28, 000 crore. To meet this vast expenditure, money was siphoned away from social welfare schemes including schemes for Dalits and deprived sections” said Mukherjee.

“Above all, the impact on Delhi’s poor and workers is incalculable: in the past 6 years, in the name of CWG, some 4 lakh people have been evicted from slums in Delhi. The homeless have been thrown out of Delhi as beggars and street vendors are being evicted from the streets and weekly bazaars scrapped in the name of presenting a posh appearance to international guests” he highlighted.

In his speech, CPI (ML)’s Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma blamed that the Congress government is creating poverty by underpaying to workers and then planning to hide poverty by herding the homeless into covered parks. “Actually, CWG has served as a pretext to intensify the assault on common people’s homes, livelihood and existence, and usher in the neoliberal and anti-people model of urban development” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Kavita Krishnan, Central Committee member of the CPI (ML) heavily came down Congress leaders: “The only beneficiaries from the Games have been corrupt Ministers of the Central and Delhi Governments, corrupt officials in every Government department, and a range of conies and brokers who have indulged in vast scams. Even the stadiums and other facilities created have all been of poor quality, suffering leaks, collapsed roofs, causing injuries to players, and exposing how corruption has led to compromise in quality of building materials” he said.

Santosh Roy, Delhi president of AICCT, strongly condemned the exploitation of laborers during the preparation of CWG: “Construction workers, mostly vulnerable migrant laborers, have been systematically robbed of their minimum wages and have worked night and day in the most insecure conditions, deprived of basic safety facilities. Several workers have lost their lives on such construction sites.”

On the occasion, Ravi Rai, General Secretary of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) explored the fact that not only slum dwellers and Delhi’s poor, but also a number of students in Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia have been thrown out of their hostels and to cap it all, we are being asked to remain silent in the name of ‘National Pride’! The ‘Commonwealth’ itself is nothing but a hangover from times of colonial subjugation.

The protestors demanded punishment to corrupt people attached with CWG without any delay and guarantee of rehabilitation and employment of displaced people as well as implementation of Labour Laws on construction sites.