People's Democracy

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


No. 19

May 17, 2009



CPI(M) Receives Positive  Response In Tehri Garhwal

Vijay Rawat

IN Uttarakhand, on behalf of the Left parties, the CPI(M) is contesting the Tehri Garhwal parliamentary seat and Bachchiram Kaunswal is the party’s nominee here. CPI(M) state secretary Vijay Rawat and his CPI counterpart Samar Bhandari were present on the spot when Kaunswal filed his nomination papers on April 18, 2009.

This Lok Sabha constituency includes the well known Gangotri and Jamnotri areas, covers the Pratap Nagar and Tehri assembly areas that have been affected by the construction of the Tehri dam, and extends to Mussoorie, Sahaspur and Vikas Nagar assembly areas in Dehradun district as well as to Raipur, Rajpur and Dehradun Cant. This Lok Sabha seat comprises 13 assembly segments and has a total of 11,48,000 voters who would go to 1840 polling booths for exercising their franchise here. Apart from the area’s voters, 8141 male employees and 3447 female employees would be voting here. The scheduled polling date was May 13 here.

As soon as the CPI(M) decided upon Kaunswal’s candidature, party workers moved into action in several areas like Raipur, Rajpur, Mussoorie, Dehradun Cant, Sahaspur, Vikas Nagar, Heeri, Pratap Nagar, Ghansali and Gangotri, and formed about 700 booth committees. All the party units thus joined in the campaign that started on April 18 itself. Since then, the party’s candidate has so far addressed more than 50 election meetings in this extremely difficult terrain.

The party’s campaign picked up momentum when the CPI(M)’s Polit Bureau member, Brinda Karat, visited the Tehri and Uttarkashi areas on April 30. She addressed public meetings at Kirgani in the Tehri assembly constituency and at Gangotri in Uttarkashi assembly constituency, appealing to the people to make Bachchiram Kaunswal victorious. In Uttarkashi, she laid a wreath on the statue of martyr Shridev Suman before addressing the public meeting, where she recalled the anti-feudal tradition of Tehri and the communist revolutionaries of the area who nurtured and strengthened that tradition. She said the CPI(M) has fielded a candidate here precisely in order to safeguard the heritage of anti-feudal struggles of the area and to take the tradition ahead. She told in plain terms that only the Left could offer a credible alternative to the anti-people policies which the Congress and the BJP have been pursuing so far.

On the very next day, Kaunswal addressed big mass meetings in Mussoorie and Dehradun on the occasion of May Day. CPI state secretary, Samar Bhandari, also attended these meetings, expressing his party’s full support to the CPI(M) candidate in this election. CPI(M) workers also took out a procession in Dehradun, the state capital, on the day. It started from Gandhi Park and went up to Esslay Hall after wending its way through Paltan Bazaar and Gandhi Road (Inamullah Building).

CITU president and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, Dr M K Pandhe, came to Dehradun on May 3. On the day, he addressed a crowded press conference in the White House, and later addressed a meeting of the tea garden workers in Arcadia, appealing these workers to vote for and fully support the Left candidate Bachchiram Kaunswal, as only the Left can safeguard the interests and the future of the working class. Pandhe also addressed a mass meeting at Raipur-Gharat. The CPI(M)’s candidate also addressed all these meetings.

In support of the CPI(M) candidate, Jan Natya Manch (JNM) staged street plays in Jhanda Mohulla, Satto Wali Ghati, Chandra Shekhar azad Nagar, DBS Chowk, Sahaspur, Vikas Nagar, Dharmaawala etc in Dehradun district, and at Chamba, Koti Colony, New Tehri, Bauradi, Ghansali, Budha Kedar and other places in Tehri district.

On May 8, Subhashini Ali, CPI(M) central committee member and president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), addressed mass meetings in Vani Vihar, Chandra Shekhar Azad Nagar, Cement Road, DBS Chowk, Bhudi Chowk, Nayagaon, Sahaspur, Bhauwala and several other places. She said that at the centre there was a strong possibility of the formation of a secular non-Congress government in the coming days and that the CPI(M) would be playing a key role in this process. She appealed to the voters of Tehri Garhwal to send Bachchiram Kaunswal to the Lok Sabha and thus contribute to paving the way for the march-ahead of third alternative in Uttarakhand. Later she addressed mass meetings in Chamba, Ghansali, Mussoorie and some other places.