People's Democracy

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


No. 18

May 18, 2008




Addressing an election rally at Pursura in Hooghly, Tripura chief minister, Manik Sarkar said that a big win for the Bengal Left Front in the rural polls would mean a step forward for the struggle to change policies of the central government. He called upon the Bengal electorate to create another new milestone in the people’s struggle by ensuring a big win for the LF candidates. Sarkar addressed the opposition when he said that they, too, should feel proud of the excellent record of accomplishment of the three-tier Panchayati raj in Bengal.

The moot issue of the rural polls, according to the CPI(M) leader, comprised whether the developmental drive in the villages would get a further fillip or it would come halting. It was an issue that was wholly people-oriented. At the same time, the results of the elections would cast a lengthening shadow of depression on the ruling classes while brightening the prospects of a third alternative to emerge.

The UPA government was set up as a move to keep off the forces of religious fundamentalism. Yet, the UPA government turned out to be less-than-a-success in fulfilling the expectations the people had reposed in it. The runaway inflation and the price-rise threatens to touch an all-time high. Agricultural production has flagged, and then faltered, and then slid back. Joblessness is rampant. Peasants and farmers are forced to commit suicide in utter frustration as the remunerative price is held off and a damaging picture of crop pattern confronts the agricultural community.

In the circumstances, the Left has decided to build up a third alternative outside of the sphere of influence of both the BJP and the Congress, at the national level. The move is made to bring about a change in outlook at the level of the central government. One of the factors that would influence the practicality of the notion is certainly the outcome of the rural polls in the countryside of Bengal. The efforts of the Congress and its cohorts to dislodge the LF government in Tripura had failed, so such ill-gotten moves would fail and miserably, in Bengal this time around, Manik Sarkar has little doubt.

Veteran CPI(M) leader Binod Das presided over the rally where other speakers included Sunil Sarkar, Ashis Rana, and Dr Bishnu Bera.

(B P)