We are not against all industries: Maoist leader

Dispelling the general perception that the CPI(Maoist), the left wing extremist outfit, is opposed to all industrial projects, Odisha-based top red leader Sabyasachi Panda said going all out against industries would shatter the livelihood of labourers.

The secretary of the Odisha organising committee of CPI(Maoist) clarified this while speaking to a select group of journalists at an undisclosed location in Kandhamal district, about 250 km from here, on Thursday evening.

“Communism always gives priority to the working class. If all industrial projects and mining operations are brought to a halt, labourers will suffer,” Mr. Panda said reacting to a question on the CPI(Maoist) demanding ‘protection money’ from industries.

He said: “We are closely watching industrial development in the State. As a matter of fact we have decided to oppose alumina projects. As alumina refineries cause pollution and displace poor tribals… these types of project need to be opposed.”

“The decision to oppose the project was not taken overnight. The issue of pollution caused by alumina refineries has been debated in intellectual circles at great length. In fact, we have taken a stand on the issue of land acquisition. We will oppose all projects that seek to displace peasants,” he said.

Mr. Panda elaborated that industries should be regulated by empowering people to take control of the industries.

Commenting on the ongoing panchayat election, he said: “The party has already made it clear that it does not believe in electoral politics. Both ruling and Opposition parties are both sides of one coin. Results of the electoral politics are corruption and repression. We want to achieve people’s democracy.”

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