People's Democracy

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


No. 34

August 31 , 2008


'BJD Must Snap Ties With BJP To Save Orissa'

THE CPI(M) Orissa state committee has demanded the ruling Biju Janata Dal party to snap its ties with its coalition partner BJP in order to save Orissa from communal forces.

Addressing a press conference in Bhubaneswar, CPI(M) state secretary Janardan Pati highlighted how the communal forces were gaining ground in the state by engineering communal clashes for the last eight years all the time using sections of state administration with their clout as a ruling partner in the state government. The RSS and its affiliates perpetuated their communal agenda using this arrangement, charged Pati. In an unprecedented manner, the VHP goondas had earlier even ransacked the state legislative assembly hall.

The communal forces let loose a reign of terror on the hapless minorities in the state, particularly the poor dalit and tribal people who converted to Christianity. In a gruesome manner, they had burnt to death Graham Steins and his two minor sons during NDA regime at the centre.

In the latest violence unleashed by these forces from August 24, more than 20 people have been killed. Many schools, hospitals, old-age homes, orphanages, asylums, churches, mosques etc were destroyed.

The CPI(M) leader countered the propaganda of forcible conversions pointing out that the total Christian population in the state was a mere 2.4 per cent and that of Muslims less than 2 per cent. The minorities are totally unsafe when BJP is part of state power and therefore to save the state the BJD must snap its ties, he demanded.

Saying that VHP has made made Orissa its second laboratory after Gujarat, Pati said tridents, swords and guns were being distributed and training imparted rampantly during the BJD-BJP rule. He held the BJD primarily responsible for bringing BJP to state power.

The CPI(M) has demanded arrest of all criminals involved in the killings, rape and arson in this latest round of violence against minorities.

He criticised the Congress, the main opposition party in the state, for not countering this communal threat except for issuing statements.

Meanwhile the CPI(M) has organised peace marches in different towns protesting this communal onslaught and calling for restoration of peace. But the burning of houses and killing of people is going on at the time of filing this report and the state government is continuing its protection to criminals and rioters.