New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Several civil society organisations have come together on one platform to launch a nationwide campaign highlighting failures of the ruling BJP-led NDA government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Titled “Desh Mera, Vote Mera, Mudda Mera”, the campaign will launch hundreds of simultaneous programmes across the country on March 23, which is also commemorated as ‘Shaheed Divas’ or the martyrdom day of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.
The organisations, which include the Swaraj Abhiyan, the National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements, the Pension Parishad and the All India Kisan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti, a joint platform of more than 200 farm organisations, said on Monday the campaign will aim to bring “real issues back into electoral focus” and increase awareness about issues like farm distress, hate crimes and unemployment.
“At a time when the narrative of elections is being hijacked under the garb of nationalism, it has become imperative that civil society organisations, social movements and groups who share a commitment to our constitutional values co-ordinate their energies to restore democratic balance,” said activist Harsh Mander addressing the media here on Monday.
Swaraj Abhiyan’s Yogendra Yadav said the aim of the campaign was to increase awareness about issues like farm distress, hate crimes, unemployment and attacks against Dalits, women journalists and human rights activists.
“Just when substantive and inconvenient issues had begun to surface in this election, the focus suddenly shifted to issues of national security that allows the current regime to avoid critical scrutiny of its record,” he said.
Salil Shetty of the No Voter Left Behind Forum said, “This campaign aims at bringing the focus back to real issues like unemployment, growing inequality, attacks against Dalits and minorities; the condition of marginal communities and deficits in the basic welfare provisions.”
AIKSCC Convenor V.M. Singh stressed the two pro-farmer bills — freedom from debt and guaranteed remunerative prices — pending before Parliament must be passed the earliest.
Hannal Moula of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) also raised the issue of land rights to the landless.
Representing unemployed youth, Sucheta De of Young India Adhikar March and Anupam of Yuva Halla Bol exposed the current regime’s shoddy record on employment.
Nadeem Khan of United Against Hate said the issue of lynching should be of concern to every Indian.