People's Democracy

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


No. 07

February 14, 2010



Moving to Build Wider Unity of Toiling Masses


                                       Rahul Sinha


THE CITUís Tripura unit organised its 12th state conference from February 2 to 4 in the Belonia subdivision of South Tripura, with the venue rechristened as Comrade Jyoti Basu Nagar. A total of 515 delegates attended the conference. The delegates session took place at the Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar Mancha in the Town Hall. The flag hoisting by CITU president Dr M K Pandhe, was followed by homage-paying at the martyrs column.




A fortress of mass movements, the town of Belonia witnessed a huge turnout at the open rally held at the BKI ground. Thousands of people belonging to the working class, peasantry and agricultural workers, men and women belonging to the tribal as well as non-tribal population, joined the rally in militant processions. Speaking at the meeting, Dr Pandhe said before the elections the Congress had promised to bring down the prices of essential commodities, but in reality the people have witnessed a spiralling rise in the prices. All the trade unions including INTUC and BMS have demanded control on the price rise and strengthening of the PDS, but the central government refuses to buy rice and wheat from the peasants and is encouraging forward trading. Because of the central policies, the PDS is in a shambles. The government has failed to keep its promise to reopen the closed factories also. Unemployment is on the rise. The government itself has admitted the fact that only a meagre 52 days of work in average could be provided under the NREGA. The assurance to start an employment programme for the urban poor has not been fulfilled, while Tripura with its very limited resources has started such a scheme for the first time in India. Pandhe said the global economic recession has affected India too. At least one crore people have lost jobs. The centre is unconcerned about them but has doled out relief packages worth two lakh crores to recompense the reduced profit of the corporates. All over the country, labour laws are being violated. Working hours have increased from 8 to 12. Initiatives are on to take away the existing rights of the working class in favour of the capitalists. Unorganised workers are not getting any benefit from the law enacted for them. Income disparity is increasing; 52 corporate magnets are controlling 25 per cent of the countryís resources; Mukesh Ambani has gifted his wife an aeroplane worth Rs 249 crore. The government is out to sell the PSUs which Nehru termed as temples of modern India. If this trend is not resisted forthwith, the disparities will increase further. Hence the coming days will be of intense struggles. If the broader unity of the toiling masses is not forged to take on this challenge, the working class will have to bear the burnt of much more subjugation.

Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar described the situation in the country as worrisome, with workers losing jobs, unemployment rising, farmers not getting remunerative price, food security at stake and the common people being helpless because of the rising prices. However, Tripura is committed to ensure delivery of essential commodities to at least 97 per cent of the population. We are demanding that the centre must provide at least 14 commodities at all over India at identical prices. But the centre is reluctant as it harms the capitalists, hoarders and black marketers who sponsor the huge electoral expenses of the ruling class parties. Sarkar accused that US imperialists and the forces of reaction have aligned to mount murderous attacks against the communists in West Bengal. But they should know that we are not afraid. He cautioned against the attempts to rejuvenate the extremist groups before the ADC elections and called for carrying forward the struggle for peace and development.

CITU vice president Shyamal Chakrobarty dwelt on the relentless attack on the CPI(M) and Left in West Bengal, with the TMC and the so called Maoists having joined hands to murder the CPI(M) cadres. But we would not succumb and emerge victorious just as Tripura successfully defeated the terror regime of 1988-93.

CITU state president Manik Dey and state general secretary Pijush Nag also addressed the rally.




Tripura finance minister and CPI(M) Central Committee member Badal Choudhury inaugurated the delegates session following the mass meeting. He said the US is trying to control the agenda --- from the issue of global economic recession to global warming. The national scenario too is grim. Factories are being closed, workers are losing jobs, unorganised workers have no security. Trade union rights are being snatched away. He mentioned the ASSP, TUEP and other pro- worker measures the Tripura left front government has taken despite resource constraints. But the forces of reaction are also active. The slogan of a separate state prior to the ADC elections is but a ploy to weaken the unity of the toiling masses.

Pijush Nag placed the political organisational report on behalf of the CITU state committee. 

On February 3, Shyamal Chakraborty addressed the session. Dwelling in detail on the problems of the unorganised sector and CITUís approach about it, he said the trade union movement must not remain confined to economic demands but make the workers politically conscious. We must strive to achieve a lasting alliance between the organised urban working class and the rural peasants and agricultural workers.

A total of 40 delegates from 19 district committees participated in the discussion on the report, stressing the need to forge a wider unity of the toiling masses to forge a relentless struggle against price rise. The stress was on organising more movements on local demands. A number of delegates called for solidarity with West Bengal, highlighted the problems of Anganwari and ASHA workers, called for further strengthening of the state labour department, and highlighted the problem of brick kiln workers and rubber plantation workers who are being exploited by the so called progressive owners. Some delegates demanded minimum wage for the women working as domestic help.

Replying to the delegatesí intervention, Manik Dey said there could be no lasting solution to the misery of the workers without uprooting the system which unleashes attacks on the working masses. For it, we need an organisation which is politically and ideologically equipped to take on capitalism. The economic policies of the Congress and BJP are but reflections of their class outlook. A wrong understanding of this will lead the trade union movement to faulty lines. He said within its limited resources the Left Front government is working for the people, and has given them a life of dignity. Hence it is the duty of the CITU to rally more and more people in support of this government, to ensure huge victory to the Left Front in the ensuing ADC elections and organise larger struggles of the working class with wider unity of the toiling masses. General secretary Pijush Nag too replied to the discussion.

The conference elected an 87-member state committee inducting 21 new faces, with Manik Dey and Pijush Nag re-elected as president and general secretary respectively.