The Left parties have issued the following statement:
The Left parties extend their solidarity with the international working class on the occasion of May Day. Left Parties join our working class in the struggle to combat the pandemic and safeguard the rights of the working people.
India today is in the grip of the worst humanitarian health crisis since independence. Worse, the scourge of the pandemic continues to intensify. Immediate measures to combat the pandemic, protect people’s lives and livelihoods are needed to be undertaken by the central government on a war footing.
Immediately the following must be done:
1.Provision of oxygen to all hospitals and people needing it must be ensured.
2.Launch a Free Universal Vaccination programme across the country. Spend the budgetary allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores; release the monies collected in PM Cares Fund and stop construction of the Rs. 20,000 crores Central Vista, use this money for procuring vaccines.
3. Invoke Compulsory Licensing to produce both vaccines and life saving drugs by all competent facilities.
4. Strictly control prices of essential drugs and oxygen. Clampdown on their hoarding and black marketing.
5. Direct transfer of Rs. 7500/- to all families in the non-income tax paying bracket; free distribution of foodgrains to all needy.
The government must immediately ensure the availability of hospital beds, ventilators, ICU beds, particularly in the rural areas where the pandemic is spreading rapidly.
One whole year has been wasted by this government which did not heed any of our suggestions. Instead the government promoted mega super spreader events.
Now, India cannot afford to lose any more time.
As the least minimum government must immediately deliver on the above. Otherwise, the central government completely loses its moral authority to continue to remain in office.
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
D Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India
Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation
Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, All India Forward Bloc
Manoj Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Revolutionary Socialist Party