People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIII

No. 41

October 11, 2009

RLDF MEETINGS IN THANE DISTRICT

 

Pouring Rains Do Not Prevent Thousands

From Hearing Their Leaders

 

N S Arjun

from Dahanu (Maharashtra)

 

IT has been raining incessantly in this part of Maharashtra since October 4, morning. All the four major bourgeois parties in the state cancelled their rallies and meetings scheduled on the day due to this reason. But the campaign meetings of the RLDF in favour of the CPI(M) candidates in Thane district were not cancelled. And the people of Dahanu showed why. Thousands, predominantly tribals, began their march into this town from their villages around 10 to 20 km  from 10 a.m. itself.  The public meeting in which former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury were to participate was scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. but could only begin at around 1 p.m., again due to disruption in the travel plans of the leaders due to the rain. They had to come by road from Mumbai, instead of by helicopter as originally planned due to the heavy rain. Yet the gathering stood in the ground braving heavy rains, some under umbrellas, some under the trees and most just drenching in the rain. They waited patiently for the arrival of the leaders.

Deve Gowda in his speech said it was remarkable that in such rains also there was such  a big turnout and more remarkable was the fact that the people stayed put despite the delay in the start of the meeting. He expressed confidence that the CPI(M) candidate would get re-elected from here. Yehcury too praised the people of Dahanu for proving right the confidence of the Party in going ahead with the meeting in this inclement weather.

 

CALL TO ELECT

RLDF CANDIDATES

H D Deve Gowda and Sitaram Yechury both appealed to the people of Maharashtra to give a push to the recently formed Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF) in the assembly polls. thus paving way for emergence of a durable nationwide alternative to the Congress and BJP-led alliances.

 

They were addressing a huge election rally in Dahanu on the day in favour of the CPI(M) candidate Rajaram Nathu Ojare, who is seeking re-election from Dahanu (ST) consituency. Thousands of people, predominantly tribals, attended this meeting braving incessant rains.

 

Deve Gowda in his speech asserted that both Congress and BJP pursue similar economic policies which have resulted in wealth getting concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving out vast sections of rural population from the growth process. “They are two sides of the same coin. Reject both and elect the secular alternative of RLDF in the coming polls”, he appealed. He attacked the BJP as “a menace to the nation” with its communal politics. He also termed the Congress as a party which opts for soft Hindutva. Gowda recalled how, during his brief tenure as prime minister, he initiated many measures for the welfare of farmers and the poor under the guidance of the late CPI(M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet. 

 

Yechury in his speech said there are two Indias and two Maharashtras at present. One is a shining India in which the number of billionaires has jumped sharply while another is suffering India in which 80 per cent of people live on less than Rs 20 per day. He cited how one industrialist in Mumbai is constructing his home at the cost of Rs 400 crore while millions are starving. Price rise, which is ruining the lives of ordinary people, is due to rampant speculation in commodities. This is not being curbed by the Congress-NCP UPA government because they are in favour of such speculators. He said there is a need for an alternative which will implement alternative economic policies. And in this quest, the people of Maharashtra can help by giving a push to the RLDF. Yechury expressed happiness at the blue flags (RPI) and red flags coming together after decades. “The forces fighting against caste-based oppression and the forces fighting against economic exploitation have consolidated their ranks. This has a significant direction for the future of Maharashtra and indeed of the country,” he said.

 

Later, Yechury also addressed a rally in Vikramgarh in Thane district from where CPI(M) candidate Ratanraoji Budhar is contesting. Here also, people turned out in good numbers despite rain. Deve Gowda also addressed another meeting in Boisar constituency where the JD(S) is fighting.

 

CPI(M) state secretary Ashok Dhawle, CPI(M) former MP and state secretariat member 

Lahanu Sirvah Kom, and leaders of RPI, JD(S) and Samajwadi Party were among those who addressed the meetings.