Mainstream, VOL LIX No 29, New Delhi, July 3, 2021
Resign to facilitate the formation of a National Government - CFD Letter to the Prime Minister
Friday 2 July 2021#socialtags
CITIZENS FOR DEMOCRACY (CFD)
GPF, 221-3 Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi-110002
“Ashadeep”, XI Cross, Saptapur, Dharwad — 580001, Karnataka
Email: srhiremath1944[at]gmail.com Ph: 94481 45930
June 25, 2021
Hon’ble Prime Minister,
Govt of India, South Block,
Sub: Urging you to submit your Resignation as Prime Minister (PM) along with your Government, to facilitate the formation of a National Government*, with broad political vision that can bring all sections of India together to effectively deal with the present health (covid-19), socio-economic and governance crisis, the worst since independence in 1947
Ref: 1. The Letter dt.12.05.2021 of CFD and similar-minded organizations and individuals to Hon’ble President of India and five other Constitutional Functionaries, with a copy to you, about the formation of a National Government; 2. The NOTE dt.12.05.2021 of Shri Anil Nauriya, Author and Advocate, SC on political and constitutional angles about the formation of a National Govt
1. We, in the Citizens For Democracy (CFD) and similar-minded organizations and individuals,are writing this letter to urge you to submit your resignation as PM along with your Government, as follow-up of the detailed letter of CFD et al dt. 12.06.2021 (ref. 1), to the Hon’ble President of India and five other Constitutional Functionaries, with a copy to you and all CMs. We are enclosing a copy of the said detailed letter of CFD et al dt. 12.05.2021 for your information and ready reference (ref.1), which gives details of the colossal failure of your government in dealing with the most serious all-round crises, we are facing as a nation, since independence in 1947.
We are giving further compelling reasons for the resignation of you and your government in this letter and also urge you to facilitate the formation of a National Government to face the challenges effectively.
What we need in this extraordinary situation is a National Government, with a broad political vision, that can enlist the cooperation of all political parties and sections of society and deal with these unprecedented all-round crises effectively.
Such a National Government can take steps to strengthen ourdemocratic institutions and restore ethical values in public life. Hence, this appeal to you to not only resign but also urge the President to convene a virtual special session of the Parliament to discuss the national crises and build consensus towards the formation of a National Government to (i) overcome this grave national crisis,(ii) to better prepare the nation for the third wave and (iii) for providing sustenance to the vulnerable sections of society like the migrant workers and other deprived people and (iv) to initiate comprehensive political and democratic reforms, strengthen our democratic institutions and restore ethical values in public life.
2. There are very good and effective precedents of National Governments: For example, in Britain in 1940, when Neville Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister, in spite of having a comfortable majority in the British Parliament and paved the way for a National Government under the Prime Minister ship of Winston Churchill with Clement Attlee, as Deputy PM. Also, in India, the early Governments under the Prime Minister ship of Jawaharlal Nehru, were National Governments “in the sense that”, despite the Congress having a majority, there were several non-Congress personages in the Cabinets that were formed. For example, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was the Law Minster from 1946 onwards. The NOTE of Shri Anil Nauriya, Author and Advocate, Supreme Court looks at National Government possibility in India from the political and constitutional angles, precedents etc (ref.2).
3. The Citizens For Democracy (CFD) was founded in April 1974 by Lokanayak Jayprakash Narayan (JP) for preserving, defending and strengthening democracyin the country.It is neither a political party nor a supporter of any political party. The CFD played a historic role in protecting democracy during the dark days of emergency rule by the then PM: Smt. Indira Gandhi during 1975-1977 and has continued its activities for the cause of democracy to date. The most recent activities include: (i) The NATIONAL CAMPAIGN on May 01,2021, urging the Union Government to uphold our decades-long policy of Free Universal Vaccination and drop the ill-conceived “The Liberalized Vaccination Policy (LVP) of the present Union Government, effective from May 1,2021. The LVP left the State/UT Governments to fend for themselves, rather than the Union (Central) Government acting on behalf of the whole country; (ii) Launching of the nationwide Campaign for a National Government witha detailed letter dt.12.05.2021 to Hon’ble President and others, to facilitate the formation of a National Government, (iii) Observing June 05,2021 as “Sampoorna Kranti Diwas”, in memory of Loknayak JP’s call on June 05,1974 in Patna, Bihar to the youth of this nation: and (iv) Observing June 26,2021 as (a) “Save Agriculture and Save Democracy” Day, as per the call of the Samyukta Kisan Marcha (SKM), to express full solidarity with the Farmers’ Movement and for their three genuine demands (details under para 4.1) and (b) intensify the CFD campaign on National Government by urging the resignation of PM along with his Government to facilitate the process of formation of a National Government. The CFD is organizing a National Webinar on the June 26th highlighting these demands and the need for political and democratic reforms, as was initiated by JP in the 1970s.
4. The compelling and historic reasons for the formation of a National Government: As it can be kindly noticed in the said letter of CFD et al dt.12.05.2021 (ref.1), under the heading: Background for the CFD call for National Government (in Paras 3 to 7 on pages 2 and 3), we have given some of these historic and compelling reasons especially that your Government remains ill-prepared and clueless to handle this unprecedented all-round crises situation since 1947 and still worse, at India’s gravest hour, the Union Government has increasingly become part of the problem and not the solution.
We are giving additional reasons in this letter as given below:
4.1 Historic Farmers’ Movement at Delhi borders since the Constitution day: November 26, 2020 and their three just demands: This largest and the most powerful nationwide movement will complete seven months on June 26, 2021; we fully support their three just demands: (i) Repeal of the three anti-farmer, anti-people and pro-corporate black laws, (ii) Legal Guarantees of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Procurement and (iii) Withdrawal of the Electrical (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The most important demand for the Repeal of three Black Laws is totally justified, because these were enacted (a) without any consultation with the farmers’ groups before the promulgation of Ordinances in June 2020; (b) by playing fraud on the Constitution, as agriculture is a State’s subject and therefore, administering a jolt to delicate balance of federalism in our Constitution by the Union Government and (c) by playing fraud on Parliament, as this legislation was enacted by the Union Government especially in the Rajya Sabha (RS), committing serious violations of Parliamentary procedure and Rules, by resorting to a voice vote, involving the Deputy Chairman of RS, instead of division of votes, as fairly demanded by opposition MPs. The entire nation has realized that these three black laws are a death knell for farmers and we all are fully determined to take the fight to its logical conclusion, culminating in the Repeal of these laws.
It is a matter of deep concern that the Union Government has not learnt from its miserable failure in the very first year of your government during 2014-15, i.e., when the ill-conceived “Land Ordinance, 2014” was promulgated by the Union Government on December 31, 2014, at enormous cost to the poor people including farmers; The Union Government was forced to withdraw the same, thanks to the spirited protests all over the country. It is still very surprising and sad that the Union Government has not learnt its lessons from history. It is also very pertinent to state here that the present historical and significant farmers’ movement is the result of diligent and sensitive efforts to forge unity among hundreds of farmers’ organizations and forming the Coordinating body, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM).
Further, this largest farmers’ movement, has successfully withstood your government’s tear gas shells, water cannons, lathi charges, arbitrary arrests. They have also faced abuses by being called Khalistanis, Naxalites and even terrorists, your government’s sustained campaign of falsehoods, day in and day out and worst of all, erecting cement walls with nails and barbed fence, as if they were the ‘enemies’ of the country. Now, what is most encouraging is that the farmers’ movement at Delhi border is receiving support, not only from the farmers groups from all over the country, but also other large groups like Workers, Dalits, Students, Youth and Women. The country is appalled by the arrogance, insensitivity and callousness of the present Union Government towards the farmers which is most likely to meet the same failure as the first misadventure, that is, the promulgation of the ‘Land Ordinance, 2014’ during 2014-15; there is increasing support to this historic farmers movement from all over the country.
4.2.The Repeal of 44 Labor Laws and formulation of 4 Labor Codes: The 44 Labor laws were enacted since the 1920s, through sustained struggles and sacrifice of the workers’ movements over the decades. The present Union Government has repealed these hard earned laws without any empathy for the workers and formulated four “retrograde” Labor Codes, enabling the employers (corporations) to hire and fire, whenever they want and the BJP-ruled State governments, are even trying to extend working hours, denials of bonus and perpetuating the contract labor system. All the Trade Unions have together formed the Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU) and have been protesting against the anti-labor and corporate dominated measures of the Union Government. Further, crores of workers joined the farmers’ protests on September 27, 2020, and again on and after November 26, 2020, protesting not only against the anti-labor policies, privatization of public sector corporations, but also against the three Black laws of your Government against the farmers.
4.3: Complacency, Callousness and Incompetence: features of the misgovernance and your highly centralized decision-making process and the present crises: It is these factors especially the PMO-centric decision making process and further high concentration of power in one individual, that led to the serious misgovernance. This was further aided and abetted by the unbridled political ambition of your party led by you, your Home Minister (HM) and others, to seek to ‘capture’ the West Bengal from the Chief Minister, Mrs. Mamata Banerjee and her party, Trinamool Congress (TMC), at any cost, that sowed the seeds of the health disaster for the country. All this led to the second wave of covid-19 becoming tsunami leading to loss of lakhs of innocent lives that could have been saved and the sights of death and suffering through heart-rending scenes everywhere from hospital to outside, parking lots becoming crematoriums, dead bodies floating in the river and patients literally gasping for oxygen and dying before the crying loved ones; This Himalayan failure of the Union government, in general and you both (PM and HM), in particular that have received the most severe flak from not only the media in India but also the international media and exposed how the Union Government threw to the winds, the sound advice of experts from task forces and the Report of the Parliamentary Committee headed by Ram Gopal Yadav, MP, which had clearly delineated the need for preparation for critical supplies, especially the medical oxygen, medicines and hospital capacities to be enhanced by effectively using the time between the first wave and the second wave. Consequently, such politics became part of the problem and gave the opportunity for the second wave of Covid-19 become tsunami, leading to the kind of unprecedented tragedy (death of over two lakhs of innocent citizens) that has shocked the conscience of our country alone but the whole world. You and your government, coupled with the above style of functioning and total lack of effective governance, are held squarely responsible for the loss of lakhs of innocent lives that could have been saved. The entire chronological developments showing your colossal failure, leading to the great tragedy, have been documented by senior journalists at the national and international level.
4.4 Free Universal Vaccination Policy since 1978 Vs. Your Controversial " Liberalized Vaccination Policy (LVP)” from 01.05.2021 and Government’s strange stand in SC on ex gratia payment of Rs. 4 lakhs: The timely and effective intervention of the Hon’ble Supreme Court (SC), who appropriately called the LVP as "Arbitrary and Irrational"and passed an excellent order dt.31.05.2021 in Suo Motu W.P. No. 3 of 2021. This decisive and timely intervention of SC, the pressure of Chief Ministers (CMs) from non-BJP state governments and the civil society groups like the Citizens For Democracy (CFD) forced the Union Government to make partial course correction through your address to the nation on June 7, 2021. At the same time, it reveals a dubious concern of your Government by reserving 25% of all vaccine doses for the private sector in health and thereby promoting inequity and seriously undermining the health of younger age group of 18-44 years, including the youth from poorer sections of society.
(i)This further course correction of 100% of vaccination by Governments alone needs to be done by the Union Government sooner than later and
(ii) We also urge the Union Government to pay a one-time compensation of Rs. 4 lakh each to families of people who died of covid-19; This is, in fact, a statutory obligation on the Union Government as per the Section 12 (iii) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and covid-19 has been declared a disaster. What is perhaps a matter of deep and serious concern is how the Union Government, through the Solicitor General: Tushar Mehta, is trying to wiggle out of its statutory responsibility of the Union Government by saying the Government has different priorities for spending its money, especially when the two judge Bench asked directly and repeatedly questions as to whether the Union Government has made a decision to not pay the statutory compensation of Rs.4 lakhs (ex gratia payment) or not made a decision at all. What the SC bench said is very significant, in view of ground reality and how it was difficult for an affected person to get help from Government, viz.,
”When humanity is gone and black marketing is happening, what can you say? Our priority is the common man”.
This is the report of a major English daily on June 23, 2021. The above narration also clearly shows that it is the Union Government trying to avoid a statutory obligation and leaving the poor to fend for themselves, thereby aggravating the problem especially when the breadwinner of the family died due to covid-19 and in some cases, both the parents died and the children becoming orphans. All this is further aggravating the problem and the heavy price is being paid by families of the innocent persons who lost lives that could have been saved. Now the Solicitor General is adding insult to the injury by the stand he is taking on behalf of a heartless Union Government. We urge you to intervene and see that the affected people are not left high and dry by the Union Government.
4.5: ‘Seven years later, Brand Modi is in on oxygen’ : A senior journalist and the supporter of the Union Government and PM, has succinctly stated in his column in a major national English newspaper:
“Seven years later, Brand Modi is in on oxygen. Your admirers and well-wishers are crestfallen by your silence to questions about your government’s ability to tackle the pandemic...A leader must take the responsibility for failures if he is to be considered a statesman”.
4.6: Further, your ambitious misadventure in West Bengal especially ‘the choicest invectives and adjectives’ that you and others in the BJP hurled at the Chief Minister: Mrs. Mamata Banerjee were not missed by the voters of Bengal, who chastised the BJP for your ‘Didi-o-Didi’ remark and saw to it that the BJP, aiming to get 200 seats, fell flat on its face, by giving TMC a significant victory of well over 200 seats. This country had never seen a person holding the highest executive office in the land, that is, the Prime Minister (PM) stoop so low as you did, in the campaign in West Bengal.
4.7: The people of this country have lost faith in the caliber of your regime. Further, they have seen the arrogance, insensitivity and incompetence of the political leadership of the Union Government and the colossal failure of almost all major policy decisions of your Government, right from 2014 itself (when the BJP-led Government was formed) till now. These include the ‘Land Ordinance, 2014”, the Demonetization in 2016, the Goods and Services Tax with great fanfare, the most severe national lockdown in March 2020, by giving only four hours notice that led to great tragedy of millions of migrant workers facing grave hardships and death on railway tracts, on the National Highways with no concern for them by the Union Government, the insensitivity and lack of empathy toward the Farmers’ Movement and not the least, the second wave, rather tsunami of the covid-19 pandemic and consequent loss of lakhs of innocent lives that could have been saved, if you and your government had acted responsibly by the heeding the advice of experts and the Parliamentary Committee. Further you and your sycophants, had managed to cover-up the serious failures of your government by false narratives, spread through a propaganda machine, which now stands totally exposed.
5. It is clear from the above that you and the current Union Government are in a severe credibility crises, leading to questions relating to political legitimacy, arising from the miserable failure in dealing with the gravest all-round crises: health, socio-economic and governance that our country has faced since independence. At this India’s gravest hour, we draw inspiration from the historic ’Independence Pledge’ that we took on January 26, 1930 all over the country by organizing public meetings, followed by hoisting of the national flag, based on the resolution of “Purna Swaraj” at the historic conference of Indian National Congress at Lahore, on the bank of Ravi river, on December 31, 1929. The excerpts from the text of the Pledge read:
“We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them, the people have a further right to alter it or to abolish it”
6.Hence, this appeal to you and your government to gracefully admit your colossal failure that led to the loss of lakhs of innocent lives and crores of people who have lost jobs facing severe socio-economic crises, to submit the resignation as PM along your government to Hon’ble President and urge him to facilitate the formation of a National Government with broad political vision that can bring all sections of India (all parties and civil society) together to effectively deal with the present health (covid-19), socio-economic and governance crises and also strengthen the democratic institutions and restore ethical values in public life.
We look forward to your positive response.
With kind regards,
1. S.R.Hiremath, President, CFD, Dharwad
2. Devanoor Mahadev, Founder, JMM*, Mysore
3. Prof. Anand Kumar, President, SCH*, ND
4. N D Pancholi, Gen-Sec, CFD, ND
5. Anil Nauriya, Author & Advocate
6. Mani Mala, NEC, CFD, ND
7. Dr, Ramesh Awasthi, Chairperson, IRI, Pune
8. Badagalpur Nagendra, Ch President, KRRS, B’lore
9. Rupa Hassan, PVV, Hassan
10. Prof. Ramendra Nath, President, CFD-Bihar, Patna
11. Mahi Pal Singh, Editor, Radical Humanist
12. Dipak Dholakia, Convenor, ICAN
13. Prof.Sandeep Pandey, Sr Activist, Lucknow, UP
14. Dr. Syeda Hameed Author & Activist
15. Dileep Kamat, Adviser, CFD
16. Anil Sinha, Secretary, CFD
17.H. S Anupama, Fdr President, JSP
18. Raghavendra Kustagi Author & Activist,
19. Prof. T R Chandrashekhar, President, CFD K’taka
20 V. Nagaraj, Convenor, DSS(C)
21. Ravi K Reddy, Fdr President, LMKNV
22. Khwaja Aslam Ahmed, VP, CFD-K’taka
23.Mallikarjun BS, Coordinator, JMM
24. S A Makkabi, Convenor, GGV
25. Guruprasad Keragodu, Dalit Sangarsh Samiti (DSS)
26. V R Patil, Secretary, CFD-K’taka
27. Amit Srivastav, Lawyers for Democracy
28. I G Pulli, Secretary, NCPNR
And more signatories
*JMM- Janandolanagal Maha Maitri
SCH- Society for Communal Harmony
NEC-National Executive Council
IRI- Indian Renaissance Institute
KRRS- Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangh
PVV-Prerana Vikas Vedike
ICAN- Indian Community Activist Network
JSP- Jan Sangram Parishath
DSS-Dalit Sangarsh Samiti
LMKNV-Lanch Mukt Karnataka Nirman Vedike
GGV-Gram Ganarajya Vedike
NCPNR-National Committee For Protection of Natural Resources