People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2004



Agartala Rally Seeks Massive Mandate For Left


THE Left Front has called upon the people of Tripura to play their due role in the formation of a truly sovereign and secular government at the centre by ensuring the re-election of the CPI(M) candidates in both the parliamentary constituencies of the state. This call emanated from a mammoth election rally organised by the LF on April 17 at Astabal Maidan in Agartala.


The Left Front’s sweeping poll campaign has received enthusiastic support, particularly throughout rural Tripura at the cost of the Congress party. The torrent of transformation sweeping rural Tripura was evident in the Left Front’s rally also. From the podium of this rally, a leader of the NSPT (which broke way from the outlawed extremist organisation NLFT’s over ground political wing INPT) declared to fight insurgency to the finish, and rendered all out cooperation to the state’s development. It may be recalled the NSPT had ousted the INPT from power in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (ADC). The entire rally was resplendent with many new faces, those who had owed their allegiance to the erstwhile Congress-INPT combine during the last year’s assembly elections in Tripura. There has been massive erosion in the support bases of the opposition with about 20,000 families statewide joining the Leftist camp in the span of the last ten months. This was after the miserable failure of this heinous alliance to hijack the assembly elections of 2003 at extremist gunpoint. Naturally enough, the Agartala rally primarily meant for West Tripura and South Tripura districts populace, reflected the spontaneous and spirited participation of people even from remote extremist infested areas, where during the last assembly elections holding a red flag had meant risking one’s life in extremist attack. Such transformation has also been triggered by a change sweeping the rural and urban Tripura alike – the spectacular development process unleashed by the Left Front government in the face of tremendous odds.


The rally was presided over by the Left Front convenor Baidyanath Majumder and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat was the main speaker. It was also addressed by Polit Bureau member and chief minister, Manik Sarkar, central committee member Aghore Debbarma. Prasanta Kapali (CPI), Sudarshan Bhattacharjee (RSP), Brajagopal Roy (Forward Bloc) and Hirendra Tripura (NSPT) also spoke.


Addressing the rally, Prakash Karat emphasised that the BJP and its allies must be routed in the ensuing polls because in the event of their return to power, the country’s Constitution will be entirely changed to suit the RSS programme. There will be efforts to model the entire nation on Narendra Modi’s Gujarat where security and democracy are murdered with impunity, he said. On the economic front, the Vajpayee-led government has been subservient to the richer sections as never before in independent India, creating a countrywide crisis for the poor and the downtrodden, charged Karat. He warned that in the event of returning to power the BJP would not only sell but also split the entire country to serve the imperialists’ purpose in the sub-continent. This would not be surprising at all because during the country’s freedom movement under foreign yoke, the RSS’s only role was to stoke communal strife, he pointed out. As regards the Congress party, he said that it had no fundamental difference from the BJP in respect of economic policies. Hence, it is imperative for the sake of the country’s survival, to reinforce the Left presence in the parliament, since that alone could catalyse the consensus for formation of a secular government at the centre whose basic minimum programme would be to ensure the country’s integrity, secularism and democracy, he maintained. He gave a clarion call to all sections of the state populace to give an all time high massive mandate to the LF’s two Lok Sabha candidates.


Addressing the rally, Manik Sarkar gave a fervent call to the state’s urban populace to match up to the mood of ideological change sweeping the rural Tripura in favour of the Left Front. He candidly questioned the urban Tripura as to why it is still averse to the Left Front, which has been leaving no stone unturned to implement development programmes throughout the state. He highlighted the Left Front’s successful three-pronged strategy of counter-attacking the extremist insurgency by ideological, administrative and developmental means. Hundreds of extremists have been surrendering, scores are being killed or captured in encounters with security forces (they were being increasingly tipped off by the tribals) and numerous others are falling to bloody factional feuds. The ADC has been freed from the clutches of extremists due to the vertical split of the INPT, which had usurped the Council at extremist gunpoint in the 2000 ADC elections. Manik Sarkar described the experience of his recent poll campaign trail statewide, and pointed out that the remote places which were off limits for Left Front activists a few months ago due to extremist atrocities, assumed a festive look with the flying of red flags. Maintaining that such radical change is due to the ideology of the Left Front forged in the fire of mass movements, Manik Sarkar fervently called upon all sections of the state populace to extend support to the Left Front so as to intensify people’s struggle against anti-people and anti-national policies being pursued by the BJP-led government at the centre.