People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIII

No. 47

November 22, 2009

TRIPURA

Left Front Holds Huge Rally at Agartala

                                                                                      Rahul Sinha

 

A BIG mass of people took the pledge, on November 15, to intensify their struggle against the anti-people policies of the central government when the Left Front Committee of Tripura organised a state level rally at the Stable Ground in Agartala. It was part of the frontís ongoing campaign on 11-point charter of demands on food security and against the skyrocketing rises in the prices of essential commodities. The rally marked the successful culmination of the intense month long campaign carried out throughout the state, which made a number of new faces come over to the Left after shivering ties with the Congress and INPT.

 

From noon itself, the people coming from different subdivisions of the state flooded the capital town, with all the streets appearing to be headed towards the Stable Ground. The slogans the processionists shouted voiced the anguish of the common masses against the unabated price rise of the essential commodities.

 

The meeting was presided over by CPI(M) Central Committee member Bajuban Reang, while CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar, its state secretary Bijan Dhar, Central Committee member Aghore Debbarma, CPI state secretary Prashanta Kapali, RSP state secretary Sudarshan Bhattacharya and Forward Bloc state secretary Shyamal Roy addressed the gathering. Octogenarian leader Baidyanath Majumdar was also present in the meeting. At the very outset, the meeting paid homage to the innocent tribal people massacred by the NLFT extremists on November 9 at Pushparam Para in Kanchanpur.

 

Addressing the mammoth rally, chief minister Manik Sarkar attacked the Congress led UPA government for its callous attitude towards the spiralling prices and the resultant suffering of the common masses. He said all we want is that the prices of essential commodities are kept within the reach of the people, which can be done by strengthening and universalising the public distribution system (PDS). But the successive governments at the centre have brought the PDS at the verge of extinction. Except the three Left ruled state and Tamilnadu, the PDS has virtually ceased to exist all over India. The Congress talked of Aam Aadmi (common man) and promised food security before the elections, but forget its promises after grabbing the power. Stern action against the hoarders and black marketers shall benefit the 110 crore people of the country, but the government declines to act against them because of its class outlook. The Congress has always safeguarded the interests of the landlords, capitalists, hoarders and black marketeers who are its sources of election fund. So after the elections they are obliged to give them free hand so that they can plunder the common masses. Sarkar said this government had promised a legislation on food security. But in reality they are writing off the entire APL population from the PDS, reducing the number of BPL and slashing their quota of rice by 10 kg while increasing the price by one 1 rupee. While the government has given a tax concession of 4,15,000 crore rupees to the corporates, it refuses to spend only Rs 94400 crore extra to provide adequate foodgrains for all. Manik Sarkar said even after 62 years of independence the centre has failed to provide assured irrigation to the farmers. But in Tripura we have brought 90 per cent of the irrigable land under irrigation and are working to cover 50 per cent of total cultivable land by next three years. He said though more than 60 per cent of the stateís population are BPL, the centre refuses to provide cards for more than 40 per cent of such families. The state government will, however, soon start a fresh BPL survey and issue new ration cards without going by the faulty guidelines of the centre. Sarkar told that by taking advantage of the setback suffered by the Left, the Manmohan Sing government has launched an all out offensive against the common masses, and the decision to sell off 10 per cent shares of the profit making public sector units is a proof of their haste. The ruling classes also know that these assaults on the people wonít be tolerated for long. The setback of the Left is a temporary phase.

 

Mentioning the incident at Pushparam Para, the chief minister said the continuous process of surrender by the disillusioned youth has not gone well with the extremists and their political mentors, and the November 9 massacre was the testimony of their frustration. He urged upon the masses to intensify their struggle against the anti-people policies and for the demands related to the stateís development while keeping a vigilant eye on the functioning of the panchayats and other elected local bodies.

 

Bijan Dhar said the mammoth rally was the culmination of more than a thousand meetings held in support of the 11 point demands. While the Left Front is waging a struggle on the burning issues, the Pradesh Congress leadership is busy with their infightings for the PCC president post. They are also attacking the elected representatives of the Left Front at the panchayat level to hamper the process of development.

 

Aghor Debbarma said itís a matter of shame that even after 62 years we have to struggle for food security. He stressed on the need to further consolidate the tribal-non-tribal unity in the state and work for peace and development.

 

All the leaders of the Left Front stressed on further strengthening the Left unity to intensify the struggle against the anti-people policies of the centre.