(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 19, 2009
‘Defeat Congress, Pave Way For Third Front Govt’
M Venugopala Rao
THE formation of an alternative government at the centre without the Congress and the BJP is certain after the general elections and the electoral outcome in Andhra Pradesh is crucial for the emergence of such a political alternative, asserted Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M) and MP, with a redoubled emphasis. From April 10, 2009 onwards, Sitaram took part in the election campaign for four days and addressed media conferences in Andhra Pradesh in support of the candidates of four friendly parties - Telugu Desam Party, CPI(M), CPI and Telangana Rashtra Samithi - covering the districts of Kurnool, Nalgonda, Prakasam, Krishna, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam where the first round of polling is going to take place on April 16 in 22 Lok Sabha and 154 assembly constituencies in the state. He has participated in road shows, apart from addressing massive election meetings along with leaders of the four parties. Explaining the failures of the erstwhile NDA government led by the BJP and the present UPA government led by the Congress and the danger posed to national interests by their policies and the communal forces, Sitaram Yechury appealed to the people to exercise their franchise in favour of the four friendly parties to pave way for the formation of third front governments at the centre and in the state and to defeat the Congress and the BJP. Addressing public meetings first in Kurnool during his whirlwind tour, he has explained the utter failure of the NDA and UPA governments in solving the problems of the people. Pointing out that during the last two months about one crore people have lost their jobs and that another five crore people are likely to lose their jobs in the next three months, Yechury has accused the Congress government of miserable failure in facing the severe financial crisis of such magnitude. M A Gafoor, Central Committee member of the CPI(M), who is contesting from the Kurnool Assembly constituency, has accused the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government of utter failure in solving the problems of the people and looting the public money on a large scale through its corrupt practices.
On April 11, Sitaram Yechury participated in road shows organised at Narketpally, Kattangur and Nakirekal mandals of Nakirekal Assembly constituency from where the CPI(M) candidate Mamidi Sarvayya is contesting. Addressing the people, Sitaram explained the need for changing the national political agenda for preventing the financial crisis which is endangering the country. Pointing out the opportunities for emergence of the third front of secular forces, he has alluded to leaders like H D Deve Gowda, Jayalalitha and Naveen Patnaik coming forward in that direction. Asserting that the question of who would head the third front at this juncture is meaningless, Yechury reminded that the Deve Gowda government was formed in 1996 after the elections only and that the NDA and UPA governments, too, had emerged after the elections. Similarly, the victory of the four parties in Andhra Pradesh would help in the formation of the third front government at the centre, he said. The credit for bringing the issue of land reforms on the national agenda through the Telangana armed struggle of the peasants goes to Nalgonda district, he said. In a district with such a revolutionary history, the people should uphold that legacy by electing the Communist party candidate for the eleventh time in Nakirekal, the CPI(M) candidate Nomula Narsimhaiah from Bhongir Lok Sabha constituency and the candidates of the four friendly parties in the district, Sitaram appealed. Narsimhaiah explained that the four parties have come together to put an end to the corrupt rule of the Congress and appealed to the people to be vigiliant to defeat the attempts of the Congress to allure the voters through money power.
Addressing a public meeting on April 12 at Santanutalapadu in Prakasam district organised in support of the CPI(M) candidate, Jala Anjayya, and the TDP candidate, Sriram Malyadri, in Bapatla Lok Sabha constituency, Sitaram Yechury recollected his visit to the constituency during the elections in 1994 and the victory of the CPI(M) candidate then. He lashed out at the UPA government and the BJP for concentrating their attention on protecting the interests of monopoly houses, other capitalists and the landlords from the financial crisis and ignoring the interests of the common people. Responding to the question of prime minister Manmohan Singh as to who were there in the third front, Sitaram has pointedly asked whether Singh had entertained the idea of his becoming the PM after the elections in 2004. Addressing another public meeting in Vijayawada where the CPI(M) candidate Ch Babu Rao is in the fray in the elections to the Assembly, Sitaram Yechury asserted that once the third front government assumes power at the centre, efforts would be made to flush out the nearly 70 lakh crore Rupees kept in secret accounts in Swiss banks and the same would be utilised for implementing various welfare measures for the benefit of the common people. Explaining that after Barrack Obama has assumed charge as the president of the USA, his government has obtained the information pertaining to the transactions of the people of that country in the Swiss banks, Sitaram asked as to why the government of India is not moving in that direction. He criticised Manmohan Singh for maintaining stoic silence on the demand of the Left parties to get back the black money the Indians kept in Swiss banks. There are about 30 such banks in the world which maintain secrecy about information relating to their depositors where, too, Indian businessmen and political leaders had hoarded their unaccounted funds, he said. Reminding the slogan of shining India given by the NDA government, Sitaram pointed out that during that regime 36 Indians had become billionaires, while their number in Japan was 24 only. While it was shining for such billionaires during the NDA regime, under the UPA government the percentage of people who could not spend even Rs 20 per day has increased to 80, Sitaram has explained.
Addressing public meetings in Vijayanagaram and Nagur in Kurupam Assembly segment from where the CPI(M) candidate Kolaka Lakshmana Murthy is in the fray, Sitaram explained that a new front would emerge after the present general elections, as had happened several times in the past. Having severed its 11-year-old relation with the BJP, the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa and the TDP in Andhra Pradesh are holding discussions with the Left and there are clear indications for paving the way for formation of third front, Sitaram said. The president of the TDP, N Chandrababu Naidu, alleged that the huge sum of about Rs 25 crore caught at various places in the state during the present elections so far belongs to the Congress leaders only. He has estimated that corruption of the chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy has reached the mind-boggling figure of one lakh crore Rupees. Chandrababu appealed to the people not to take Rs 2000 per vote being offered by the Congress but to elect the candidates of the CPI(M) Dr M Babu Rao to the Lok Sabha and Lakhsmana Murthy to the assembly. The lot of the people would improve under the third front government, he maintained. S Punyavathy, member of the Central Committee of the CPI(M), and other leaders also participated in the meetings. V Srinivasa Rao, member of the Central Secretariat, and Dr K Hemalata, member of the Central Committee of the CPI(M), are also campaigning, while B V Raghavulu, Polit Bureau member and state secretary of CPI(M), has been campaigning extensively and addressing public meetings in constituencies where the candidates of the Party are contesting as also in other constituencies along with leaders of the friendly parties.
Police Seize Money & Material
The police in Andhra Pradesh have been seizing large sums of money and materials intended for luring the voters in the elections all over the state. After A K Mohanty, a rule-minded officer known for his integrity and firmness, took over as the Director General of Police replacing his predecessor S S Yadav who was removed unceremoniously in connection with the general elections for his unbecoming panegyrising of chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, the drive by the police against pumping money into the elections has become a regular feature. Almost every day, money, gold, silver, diamonds, cell phones, sarees, dhotis, cricket kits and other articles of sports, liquor, etc., intended for distributing to the voters are being seized by the police. The income tax officials also are conducting searches of vehicles, etc. for finding out unaccounted money in connection with the elections. The amount seized all over the state has already crossed Rs 25 crore. Detonators, grenades and other explosive materials also are being seized. According to the chief electoral officer I V Subba Rao, already 425 cases have been filed in connection with seizing of money till April 8, 2009. Mohanty said that more than 11,000 cases of liquor distribution have been booked and 9053 people were arrested. Needless to say, what has been seized is only the tip of the iceberg.