CPI(ML) activists have covered hundreds of kilometers on foot during a Jan Davedaari Yatra (People’s Assertion Campaign) in second week of March to reach out to thousands of households in distant hills of Pithoragarh. While they made a lively dialogue on various issues party is raising in this election, it was quite disheartening to know that people in those villages still living under the trauma of devastating calamity happened last year as no relief and rehabilitation measures have reached to them significantly, even government officials and elected representatives have not cared to visit them. As roads and pathways are still unrepaired, people in dozens of villages have to spend thousands of rupees only on cartage of essential goods like foodgrains leading to unaffordable costs and hardships. The common salt can be purchased only by paying upto Rs. 70 for a kilogram! Then sorry plight of facilities like health, education, transport, and electricity can easily be understood.
The CPI(ML) has demanded that at least rations be supplied free of cost till the situation gets normal. With governmental and administrative apathy, the last year’s calamity stands prolonged indefinitely for those villagers of Dharchula district. The plight of such people in other districts of the state is no better.
Continuing with the campaign, the third week of March was spent on general propaganda in Dharchula town as well as rural areas, where activists campaigned against candidates representing parties, especially Congress and BJP, fostering on corporate money and corruption and asked for contribution for the campaign of CPI(ML) Candidate Vijay Kumar. Many people came forward not only to contribute funds but also to support and campaign for the issues party is raising. The major issues being raised there, besides the Charter of Demands and Manifesto of party, are an effective relief and rehabilitation policy, to give at least 3 acres of land in terai area to the calamity displaced families, proper development package for these border areas and, most importantly, the dignity of the people. It is well known fact that two chief ministers, Vijay Bahuguna and Harish Rawat, have completely failed in rehabilitating the affected people irrespective of various false claims being made by them.
A block level cadre convention was held on March 30 in Dharchula which was addressed by comrade Vijay Kumar who visited this region during his election campaign of Almora-Pithoragarh parliamentay seat. This was also addressed by party’s State Standing Committee member Purushottam Sharma who told that 56 big scams were reported during Congress govt. in state while this number was 65 for the BJP governments, and not a single case has been registered so far for any of the scams.
Party activists are engaged in similar campaigns in Garhwal and Nainital constituencies too involving a large number of youth and students.