Appeal to President
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The CPI(ML)'s ML Update focuses on the closure of relief camps in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar. Attacking the UP government, it calls for the intervention of the president, under Article 355 of the Constitution, to stop the closure, ensure relief and rehabilitation and arrest all perpetrators: "The new year dawns with horror stories from Muzaffarnagar's relief camps that are an affront to democracy. Thousands of people, who have watched their loved ones killed in cold blood, and who have been raped, and lost their homes and means of survival, languish in the relief camps of Muzaffarnagar... The Uttar Pradesh government seems to have abdicated its duty to ensure relief, rehabilitation and justice for the survivors, and arrest of those accused of communal violence and rape. Instead the UP government is bent on forcibly closing the relief camps..." Taking a dig at the Congress, it says that it is not enough for leaders from the ruling party at the Centre to make visits and score political points. An advisory should be issued under Article 355 to the UP government immediately to prevent the closure of camps, ensuring adequate relief and rehabilitation for all survivors, to be monitored by the president's office.
NO UPA 3, NO BJP
CPI veteran A.B. Bardhan believes that while the Congress is on its way out, the BJP will fail to muster the numbers to form government in 2014, opening the space for non-Congress, non-BJP parties. In an article in New Age, Bardhan says that although the main opposition BJP is trying to exploit the situation, taking advantage of people's discontent and disillusionment with the Congress, it will not cross the 200 mark. However, about the AAP, he says: "The future of the AAP is yet uncertain. Is it an urban Delhi phenomenon or can it spread to other places, rural areas included? What is the AAP's policy on economic issues, specifically the neoliberal policy which is at the root of high prices, corruption and so forth? What is its stand on fighting communalism, which is the BJP's characteristic agenda?" Bardhan feels it is essential that a clear alternative policy and programme for a non-Congress, non-BJP government be spelt out.