CPI’s Daswinder faces sweltering heat, challenge of eroding party base : The Tribune India

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CPI’s Daswinder faces sweltering heat, challenge of eroding party base

Converting support into votes is major test

CPI’s Daswinder faces sweltering heat, challenge of eroding party base

CPI candidate Daswinder Kaur in Amritsar. Photo: Sunil Kumar



Tribune News Service

PK Jaiswar

Amritsar, May 18

These days candidate of Communist Party of India (CPI) Daswinder Kaur is busy in chalking out strategies, meetings and activities along with senior leader Amarjit Asal at the party’s office located near historic Pipli Sahib Gurdwara in the Putlighar area.

Over 60-year-old office, which remained centre of many political activities during the tenure of communist stalwarts’ Dang couple Satya Pal Dang and Vimla Dang, Parduman Singh and Sohan Singh Verka, has witnessed a steep decline in the party base during the past couple of decades.

The fact she also admitted, but said that it was surely a challenge for her. Daswinder Kaur is hopeful about the revival of the party in the near future.

A national council member of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and national president of the All India Domestic Workers Federation, Daswinder Kaur is contesting from the CPI ticket for the third consecutive time from the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency. In past two General Elections, the party got less than two per cent votes and remained fourth.

In 2019 General Elections, Daswinder Kaur got 16,335 votes (1.90 per cent) while in 2017 by-election she received 17,886 votes (1.76 per cent). In 2014, 12,902 votes (1.28 per cent) were cast in favour of the CPI candidate Amarjit Singh Asal.

“Even today, oppressed and aggrieved people approach Left parties for resolving their problems rather than going to big politicians. Recently, the CPI held a rally against microfinance companies that have been duping poor women, especially in the rural areas. Around 15,000 people, majority of them women, attended the rally,” Daswinder Kaur said while adding, “Unfortunately, we failed to convert our support into votes due to lack of adequate resources.”

Daswinder Kaur starts her day at 7 am at the party office by meeting individuals and party workers along with Amarjit Asal. In the afternoon, she meets people in different areas, including the rural belt, dominated by the labour class and the marginalised community.

During meetings, she stresses on the issues of unemployment, uncontrolled inflation burning hole in the pocket of common man and rampant drug abuse. She emphasises on opening of the Attari-Wagah land route for trade and setting up rural-based industries, including MSMEs, for generating employment opportunities. She says, “Unemployment is another major cause of drug abuse. Employment opportunities would help in dealing with the drug problem.”

Besides unemployment she also rakes up the issue of poor health and sanitation conditions and the education system. She says, “Whitewashing old structures in the name of development and constructing new ones without recruiting adequate staff in the health and education sector would improve nothing. Major political parties are making false promises to the people.”

As the CPIs support base is labour class, marginalised people, the party candidate and workers meet them in the evening. Due to financial constraints, they are not holding major rallies and rather meet people face to face for garnering support.

After returning to office in the late evening, Daswinder Kaur meets party leaders and chalks out programme for the next day.

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