Protests Against Rail Fare Hike

The rail fare hike was greeted with protests by CPI(ML) from the very first day.

Party workers all across Bihar came out on the streets on 21 June as part of a nationwide protest and expressed strong protest over the Modi government’s stiff rail fare hike of 14.2% in passenger fares and 6.5% in freight charges. The Patna-Gaya passenger was stopped at Masaudhi due to which rail traffic in that sector was obstructed for hours. In the capital Patna scores of ML leaders and activists took out a protest march from the radio station to station circle. Protest marches were also taken out and effigies of PM Narendra Modi burnt at various places including Ara, Fatuha, Paliganj and Naubatpur of Patna rural, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Siwan, Aurangabad, Gaya, Arwal, Nalanda and Madhubani.

The march in Patna was led by Party leaders including Central committee members Com. Meena Tiwari and Shashi Yadav, State standing committee member Com. RN Thakur, Patna city secretary Santosh Sahar, Patna city leader Murtaza Ali, and a meeting was organized at station circle. The meeting was presided over by Com. RN Thakur.

Earlier during the march from the radio station, party workers shouted slogans such as “Achhe din ki shuruaat”, “Abki baar sabse mahangi sarkar”, “Modi sarkar sharm karo, janadesh ka samman karo”, “Petrol diesel rasoi gas moolya vriddhi nahi sahenge”, “”Rail kiraya badhotri vaapas lo”, “Corporate poonjipatiyon ki samarthhak Modi sarkar sharm karo”.

At Masaudhi (Patna rural) Com. Gopal Ravidas led the campaign to stop the Patna-Gaya passenger train. At Fatuha about 200 party workers led by State committee member Com. Umesh Singh and Block secretary Shailendra Yadav blocked NH 30 and burnt the effigy of Narendra Modi. Protest marches were also taken out at Naubatpur, Paliganj and other places.

A protest march was also taken out at Ara, and State committee member Naeemuddin Ansari, AIPWA leader Sohila Gupta, Jainath Yadav and other leaders led the march at Siwan. 50 party workers led by ML youth leader Com. Neeraj Singh marched in protest at Aurangabad and burnt the effigy of Narendra Modi. Protest marches and effigy burning were also conducted at Jehanabad, Arwal, Gopalganj, Gaya, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Bhagalpur, Betiya, Muzaffarpur, and other places. CPI-ML leaders said that strong protest movements would be organized against this government which is attacking the democratic rights of the people.

On 23rd the CPI(ML) held protests all over the country against the massive hike in railway fares by the BJP Government.

In Delhi, at Jantar Mantar, CPI(ML) activists gathered to protest the rail fare hike. The protesters raised slogans and displayed placards saying “Acche Din Poll Rhetoric Has Turned Into Bure Din Reality – Shame On Modi Govt.” Mocking the Modi campaign poster of ‘Bahut Hua Mahengai ki Mar, Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar’ (Enough of being hit by price rise, This Time Elect Modi govt), protesters displayed posters saying ‘Ab ki baar phir mahengai ki maar, sharm karo Modi sarkar’ (This time again we’re hit by price rise – shame on Modi govt). The protest gathering was addressed by Delhi State Secretary of CPI(ML) Sanjay Sharma, AICCTU Delhi State President VKS Gautam, AICCTU leader Mathura Paswan, CPI(ML) Politburo member and AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishan, AISA leader Agnitra Ghosh, Jan Sanskriti Manch’s Sudhir Suman, CPIML Delhi State Committee member Surender Panchal and trade union leader Shambhu Kumar and Munna Yadav.

Protests were held at various places in Uttar Pradesh also, the very day that the fare hike was announced. In response to the national call for protest on 23rd June, a protest march with a massive effigy of Narendra Modi was held at Lucknow, from the party’s office at Lalkuan through the busy Husainganj crossing, where the effigy was burnt amid slogans. Protests were also held at various places in Ghazipur district, as well as Balia, Chandauli, Mau, Bhadohi, Jalaun, Ambedkarnagar, and Pilibhit. At Mathura, CPI(ML) held a protest jointly with CPI.

Protests were held at Puducherry, and statewide protests were held all over Tamilnadu. At Chennai, on 22 June, workers demonstrated in front of the Ambattur Railway station. At Coimbatore, demonstrations were held in Pricol plant 1 and Plant 2 in which hundreds of workers participated. Both the programmes were addressed by Com Kumarasamy, PB member of CPI(ML), as well as State committee members N K Natarajan, Damodharan, and Balasubramanian. At Vilupuram, the Ulundurpet Railway station was gheraoed on 25 June, and police arrested party cadres including state secretary of the party Com Balasundaram and district secretary Com Venkatesan. They were later released in the evening. At Pudukottai, demonstrations were held at Athanakottai and Gandarvakottai. At Nagapattinam, a demonstration was held at Mayiladuthurai on 26 June; at Namakkal on 30 June and at Cuddalore, the RYA held a demonstration.