People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 10, 2006
People Demand Justice Dharna in Allahabad
Over three thousand of the poorest people gathered on November 29 at Koraon tehsil Office in Allahabad district in U.P. to protest against the series of irregularities of local officials. The issues of arbitrary sales of crops of dalits on land that was theirs, of false names on widows pension lists, antyodaya and BPL ration cards and the failure to deliver fertilisers despite advance payments of Rs. 8,17,416.77 in one tehsil alone. Nothing gets done without protracted struggle here.
The dharna was inaugurated by Suneet Chopra, Central Committee member, CPI(M). He pointed out that the presence of a secular government at the centre with left support was an advantage as it helped to unite people beyond the limits of caste and community. It had also contributed important gains for the masses, like the passage of the NREGA and the Right to Information Act which would empower the people only if they came forward to ensure their implementation. The CPI(M) was the peoplesí watch dog , constantly fighting for their rights. And even now the reduction of the petrol price was because of its efforts and agitations. But the people have to come forward on the streets to voice their demands, as simply parliamentary pressure is never enough, as we were functioning in a bourgeois-landlord state. He urged them to intensify their struggle to defend the people against exploitation and bureaucratic injustices and CPI(M), with its local MLA will always be there in the front line till victory was assured.
The CPI(M) MLA from Meja, Ram Kripal who has won the seat twice in succession assured the people that their demands would be taken up effectively this time too as in the past . And he assured them that in future too he would face lathis and bullets with them in their agitations as well as raise his voice for them in the Assembly.
Ambika Prasad Mishra, CPI(M) district secretary and state secretary of AIAWU stressed the importance of issues like BPL cards, pensions, social justice and the extension of the NREGA to districts like Allahabad whose rural areas were no less poor than neighbouring Jaunpur and Pratapgarh. He urged them to launch agitations from the village level up and ensure that they are carried on till they succeed. This could not be done without powerful mass organisations which they have to build to succeed in struggle.
CITU leader, Harish Chand Dwived assured them the support of the working class in their just struggles as always and urged them to fight the nexus between criminals and the bureaucracy that was getting a stranglehold on U.P. politics. He urged a stiff fight against this nexus. Local speakers gave detailed accounts of the corrupt practices of the BDO. The local SDM assured the gathering that the dalits prevented from harvesting their fields would be allowed to do so and the various lists referred to by the speakers would be looked into. It was decided that the Dharna would go on until all demands were met. The meeting was presided over by Jamuna Lal Maurya.