People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 18

April 30, 2006

Election Campaign Of The Left Front 

Leaves The Opposition Far Behind  


CPI(M) campaign in progress in a rural area

B Prasant


THE statewide election campaign of the CPI(M) and the Left Front has been stepped further as the remaining three phases of the assembly polls approach fast.  The final round up of the house-to-house campaign is going on briskly in the districts that will witness polling in the next two weeks.  A total of 183 seats are in the fray in the next three poll phases coming up.


Right from early in the morning, CPI(M) and Left Front workers, sporting over-shirts and tee-shirts with the election symbols of the LF emblazoned in Red on a white base colour, are engaged in approaching each and every household, in villages and cities, speaking to the residents, and more importantly, listening to them with patience. 


Voters’ slips and handy leaflets containing the bio-data of the candidates are distributed and the part and serial numbers of the voters are communicated to the electorate.  The LF election manifesto and the clutch of leaflets bought out by the CPI(M) have already been distributed widely.


Inner bickering and a patent lack of electoral efforts have marked the Bengal opposition. With the rallies addressed by the Trinamul Congress chieftain attracting less and less people, the opposition leadership, and their patrons in the media and in the corporate world have started to push the panic button.


In the meanwhile, the central leadership of the CPI(M) are busy addressing meeting across expanse of the state.  General secretary of the CPI(M) Prakash Karat has addressed a string of rallies over two days of intense campaign work.


In his addresses to packed gatherings, Prakash Karat, speaking in Hindi, has emphasised the growing importance of the CPI(M) and the Left in the national political scene.  He has also pointed out how with the electoral successes in Bengal and Kerala under the belt, the Left would be in a position to evince an additional component of political zest amongst the mass of the people of the country.


Critical of the way the UPA government has tended to sway from the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), Prakash Karat said that the union government must be kept under increasing pressure by the Left compelling the UPA leadership to put into practice the pro-people aspects of the CMP.


Pointing to the palpable untruth uttered by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi during her election tour of Bengal, Prakash Karat said that in raising the issue of closed factories, the Congress adhyakshani  would not recall the union government’s policy that had brought things to such a pass, and all over the country. In Maharashtra, said the CPI(M) leader, many more factories had downed shutters than they had in Bengal.


It was the commencement of the ruinous policy of liberalisation under P V Narasimha Rao’s premiership, said Prakash Karat that had set the ball rolling along the lines of immensely damaging the national economy. 


Reservation quotients for the small industries sector are withdrawn and the import duties are allowed to wing down. This is what has caused the factories, unable to face competition of cheap imports, to close down in their lakhs.


What the Congress leader would not dare mention was the fact that it has been the industrial outlook of the Bengal Left Front government that started to draw the attention of the nation as the viable alternative path.


New factories, said Prakash Karat, were being set up across the state.  The rate of employment generation has started to accelerate.  Traditional industries are being modernised while new industries like InfoTech are coming up strongly.


Hailing the responsive and responsible role of the Bengal Left Front government in the reality of limited powers, Prakash Karat pointed out how in the Congress-ruled and BJP-run states, the core sectors like water supply, education, health, and power were offered on a platter to the private sector.  In a bright and shining example of an alternative outlook, the Left Front government in Bengal would continue to strengthen the state sector.


Profiling the anti-people outlook of the Congress, Prakash Karat said that the Congress-led UPA government was always too keen to take steps for the benefit of the capitalists and of the multi-national conglomerates.


The Congress-led regime appeared to be keen to emerge as the junior partner of the US imperialists.  It was dedicated to sacrificing the independent foreign policy stance of the nation, and put into practice what Prakash Karat referred to as the ‘common minimum programme of US president Bush.’


The opening up of the retail sector to the MNC’s, said the CPI(M) leader, would ensure a further depression of the crisis-ridden national economy.  Once the elections were over, assured Prakash Karat, the CPI(M) and the Left would organise a series of nationwide movements against this and other anti-people moves of the UPA government.


Noting the rapid alienation of the politics of communalism on the national scene, Prakash Karat said that the desertion of the BJP by its NDA partners was an indication of this development.  The people of Bengal were aware, said the CPI(M) general secretary, how the politically amoral Trinamul Congress was in covert alliance with the forces of communalism despite attempts to cover this up. 


The people of Bengal, he said, would be able to identify the road to progress and they would vote in the Left Front for the seventh time in succession.


Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), Sitaram Yechury too has addressed a series of meetings across south Bengal.  Addressing a massive rally at Bhangar in south 24 Parganas, Sitaram Yechury called upon the people of Bengal to vote in the seventh Left Front government in order to help the process of creating a new India.  The new India will be built for the interest of the working people of the country.  In this task, the Left Front government of Bengal shall have an important role to play in the days ahead.


The Red Flag alone, pointed out the speaker, ‘can rescue the country from the morass it has been made to sink into by a succession of anti-people union governments.’  The 2004 Lok Sabha elections have clearly depicted how no political outfit, alone or in alliance, would be in a position to run the country by ignoring the Left. 


The presence of the Left, ever stronger, on the national political scene has meant that the UPA government has had to reckon with a principled opposition to its anti-people and anti-poor policies.  The Left it was that had succeeded in incorporating in the CMP such provisions and settings as rural development, rural employment, and guarantee for 100 days’ of work.


Certainly, it was to keep away the communal forces that the CPI(M) and the Left, pointed out Sitaram Yechury, had to choose to offer a critical and conditional support to the UPA regime from outside, and based on the CMP.


The electoral success of the Bengal Left Front for the seventh time in succession, said the CPI(M) leader, appeared very much on the cards, and once this happened, a new history would have been created in the annals of the country and of the world.


Stirringly critical of the divisive nature of the politics indulged in by the Trinamul Congress and BJP, Sitaram Yechury pointed out that a big win for the Left Front was necessary for the advancement of the united struggle of the mass of the people, in Bengal, and in the country as a whole.