(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 16, 2012
MASSIVE WORKERS RALLY IN AGARTALA
‘All Conspiracies will be Foiled;
Seventh LF Govt will be a Reality’
THE people of Tripura shall make a new history by re-electing the Left Front in the ensuing assembly elections to form the seventh Left Front government. Tripura will be the epicenter to generate waves of nationwide struggle in the forthcoming days against the misrule of UPA-II government led by Congress which is pursuing anti-people, anti-working class neo-liberal policies that are ruining the livelihood of millions of masses, said A K Padmanabhan, CITU president and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, while addressing an enormous rally of working class masses at Agartala on December 9.
rallies of tribals, dalits and youth, it was the turn of the
working masses of
the state to storm the capital city of
From noon itself, all the lanes and streets of the city were occupied by the working people who converged in the city from all parts of the state to be a part of another memorable rally at Vivekananda Play Ground (Stable ground) at Agartala. When four workers’ brigades in the name of four veteran trade union leaders namely, M K Pandhe, Baidyanath Majumder, Biren Datta and Bhanu Ghosh, were entering the rally site, it was found that within a short time the ground was filled to the brim and yet a large part of the procession had to be stranded on the streets.
Most of the participants came by vehicles managing fare by daily labour, a good section of rallyists particularly from Dharmanagar came by rail, and large section of them joined on foot. The colorful decorative processions with their respective trade based festoons had high pitched slogan: ‘Saptam Bamfront Sarkar Garboi garbo’, ‘Jana Swartha Birodhi Kaalo Rajatwer Nayakder Aar Firte Deya Jabena Jabena’ etc. (‘We shall inevitably form the seventh Left Front government’, In no circumstances, the black regime of Congress would be allowed to come back’ etc). The rallyists were greeted by the people standing in the thoroughfares.
Hailing the rally on behalf of the 55 lakh CITU members, Padmanabhan remembered the martyrdom and sacrifice of the people of the state in staging innumerable struggles under the leadership of Nripen Chakraborty, Dasaratha Deb, Biren Datta and Baidyanath Majumder. He also remembered the more than 300 martyrs who gave up their lives during the black regime of Congress-TUJS coalition during 1988-93. He said, “you the people of Tripura carry the glory of defeating that regime and establishing a pro-people Left Front government. This government under Manik Sarkar has repeatedly been admired by the central government led by none other than Congress party. Ironically, this same Congress party, from the position of opposition here, is trying to nail every pro-people measure of the government.” He urged the audience to remind every householder about that jungle rule during Congress-TUJS government.
Explaining the neo-liberal policies being pursued by successive governments at the centre since 1991 and its chilling impact on the common people, Padmanabhan said the country at present is passing through an unprecedented crisis. Unemployment is rising every day, retrenchment is rampant, exploitation, poverty, hunger etc are on the rise. To add salt to the wounds, in the name of the so-called ‘Food Security Bill’, the centre is trying to wind up even the existing ration system in the country. The attitude of the centre towards the more than one crore scheme workers is shocking and insensitive, having least concern for the weaker sections. On the other hand, it showers largesse on private corporates involving lakhs of crores of rupees of public money, apart from the many corruption scandals. All these are the manifestations of the neo-liberal policies, he asserted.
Elaborating about the resistance to the centre’s anti-people and anti-democratic moves, the CITU president referred to the nationwide strike on February 28, 2009, at the call of the 11 central trade unions, including the Congress-sponsored INTUC. More than 100 million workers from all sectors paralysed all the manufacturing and service sectors of the country. Yet the ruling classes were proceeding with the same ruinous policies. Considering the gravity of the crisis of the working people, the struggle has to reach new heights and it is now in the offing. All the central trade unions had jointly called for a two day general strike on February 20 and 21 next year, which will be the first time in the country. In this national perspective, we view the electoral battle of Tripura and hope that the Left Front’s victory in the battle would add fillip to the national movement against neo-liberal policies, so saying Padmanabhan concluded.
state’s working people for massively attending the rally at
the call of the
CITU, chief minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Manik
Sarkar spoke at
length about the national situation and the Left Front
government’s work in the
state. He said the nation has no dearth of resources. But
they are being handed over to private entities for their
even as millions of labourers are being exploited and
deprived of their due.
This is the law of capitalism. Thus even after 66 years of
20 crore youth are languishing in our country without any
job, 35 crore are
illiterate, 40 per cent infants are suffering from
malnutrition, 55 per cent
women suffer from anemia. “The British divided our country
on religious lines
and the Congress divided us in two distinct parts. One, a
Terming the UPA-II government as an enemy of the working class, Manik Sarkar lashed out at the employment policy of the centre, its ban on recruitment, ban on creation of new posts, abolition of existing posts, hiring contractual labour, privatisation and disinvestment, curtailment of trade union and workers rights etc. He said though the centre is mounting pressure on the states to impose their anti-working class policies, the Left Front government has categorically rejected to follow their policy because it would tantamount to declaring a war against the working class and poorer sections of the state. Thus while about 40 lakh posts in the central government departments are lying vacant, the Left Front government in Tripura -- even with its very limited resources -- has not stopped recruitment for a single day. It has also declared various welfare schemes including pension schemes for various sections of the working people of the state. Here lies the alternative approach towards the welfare of the working masses, he said.
Describing the Left Front government’s measures for the welfare of the workers, Manik Sarker said only big rallies are not sufficient to ensure victory. Nobody can imagine how low the power hungry opposition can stoop to grab power by manipulating people’s verdict. He elaborated the Rajib-Hrangkhawl secret pact on the eve of 1988 assembly election. To implement the deal the then TNV leader Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl carried out series of mass killings at selective areas mainly at mixed habited areas to break ethnic harmony and create mutual mistrust and tension between tribals and Bengalis. Within one week before the polling day, no less than 91 people, aged, women and infants, were butchered in the most ghastly manner.
Taking this as pretence, the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi unilaterally imposed the Disturbed Areas Act in the state and deployed army, not in the TNV-hit areas, but in the urban areas. While imposing the Disturbed Areas Act, Rajiv Gandhi did not consult with the state government, which was mandatory, nor did he take the consent of the Election Commission. The army jawans were used by the Congress to gain mileage in the polling booths. In spite of all these illegal efforts, when they found that majority was still beyond their reach, they adopted the same methods at the counting hall. Making mockery of the counting process, results of at least four assembly seats, including Majlishpur, were reversed in favour of Congress party. In Majlishpur, the Left Front candidate Manik Dey was declared winner. But the Congress under duress forced the Returning Officer to order a recount which the RO had categorically rejected earlier. And in this manner they managed a ‘majority’ of two seats in the assembly. And for this ‘benevolence’, B K Hrangkhawl, a mastermind behind the killings of hundreds of innocents, was being honored as a guest of prime minister and allowed to sit with the VVIPs at the independence day ceremony at Red Fort, he said.
Manik Sarkar said that even in the ensuing assembly elections, Congress is depending on the outlawed extremists to fight the Left Front. Dhanu Kalai, who was arrested by the police with Rs 25 lakh cash, divulged that he sent similar amounts to the NLFT leaders thrice earlier. All the transactions were arranged by one of the tribal state Congress leaders. And the last installment was paid at MLA Hostel No.1, which is exclusively used by the opposition MLAs, in the presence of that Congress leader. Though the extremists at present are on the verge of liquidation, Congress is trying to extend all material support to revive them. The extremists are mobilising on the other side of the border of Gandachhara, Kanchanpur and Chawmanu to get entry to Tripura to help the opposition. Whenever any extremist or their collaborators are arrested by the police, the Congress leaders jump up demanding their release saying they are innocent. Sarkar reminded that INPT, a traditional electoral ally of the Congress, is basically parent organisation of the extremists. Do these facts sufficiently not vindicate that the Congress is still maintaining contact with the extremists, asked the CM.
He concluded by saying that the Left Front activists must approach every voter, including those supporting the opposition parties, and persuade them politely with reasons, facts and evidence to win them over. At the same time it is imperative to keep vigil over the situation, not to fall prey to the trap of provocation but to foil any foul game of the opposition in cooperation with people and the administration.
In his presidential address, Manik Dey highlighted the pro-working class measures adopted by the Left Front government in Tripura. He said that the rights of the working people -- democratic, social and economic -- are protected under the Left Front rule. About 4.20 lakh families have benefited under RSBM Yojana; labour laws have been enforced in no less than 22 sectors; more than 31,000 families have been brought under the benefit of Construction Workers Scheme declared by the LF government; various allowances/schemes were introduced for the benefit of unorganised workers, bidi workers, handloom workers, salon workers, rickshaw pullers, transport workers etc which were hard to imagine during the Congress rule.
CITU state secretary Pijush Nag said that the Left Front government should not be judged only on the benefits it had rendered to the people. It must be judged on the alternatives evolved by it and the restoration of self-esteem of the working people that it has ensured. Thus the working people would repose their trust firmly on Left Front, hoped Pijush Nag.