People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIV

No. 10

March 07, 2010

                        Buddhadeb Addresses

                        Big Rallies in North Bengal

                        B Prasant

 

BENGAL chief minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has recently addressed a series of rallies in north Bengal, at Siliguri, Coochbehar, and Falakata in Jalpaiguri. Each of the rallies was packed with people from all sections of the society with women present in notably large numbers.  They hung to Buddhadeb's words of hope, of development, of poverty alleviation, of peace and lustily cheered his simple approach to the issues of the day.

The Siliguri rally on February 12 was held under the aegis of the Darjeeling Left Front.  Speaking strongly for the unity and integrity of the nation, Buddhadeb pointed an accusing finger at the separatist moves initiated by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), and said that there must not be a separate state carved out of Bengal, reminding the mass rally that these were the words that he had earlier communicated to the union home minister P Chidambaram when the latter had come Kolkata to discuss the ‘Maoist’ issue with chief ministers of the eastern region.

Buddhadeb recalled that in the present set up where the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong, and Kalimpong were under the Hill Council, more power could be transferred to this autonomous body.  That did not mean that there would be a separate state. He termed the idea being floated in separatist and divisive circles that a part of the dooars and terai, too, must be included in the ‘hill council’ as obnoxious and cunning.

Buddhadeb reminded the large gathering that whenever there had been attempts, in the past and more recently, to divide up states along lines of language or other regional predomination feature, the political parties of the ruling classes themselves had split in a dangerous and fissiparous move.  Buddhadeb exhorted upon the people of the plains and the hills to remain united and to work for the development of the region for the purpose of which a divisive move would be disastrously counter-productive.  Other speakers at the rally included CPI(M) leaders Sandopal Lepcha, Ashok Bhattacharya, and Jibesh Sarkar.

The basic theme on which Buddhadeb wove his address at Coochbehar was the need, now and here, to organise mass protest against the violence and anarchy being unleashed by reactionary forces. The rally was another mammoth affair as people streamed in from far corners of the district on to the big sized Rashmela maidan.  This was on February 13. 

While bitterly critical of the anti-people Trinamul Congress and its rainbow coalition of lackeys, Buddhadeb also commented on the separatist groups like those for ‘Greater Coochbehar,’ and the KLO-KMP, reminding the people how these divisive forces could be made to go far back into the oblivion of history as the people’s protest and resistance mounted across the districts and elsewhere.  Buddhadeb also briefly summed up the principle points of attack on the central government on the issue of price rise, point of debate that must be taken to the masses wide and deep -- in order to strengthen the ongoing struggle against the UPA régime up in Delhi. Buddhadeb recalled how the Bengal LF government despite adversarial circumstances could keep the price of a few basic commodities to a reasonable bind over the years, Rs 2 per kilo rice being a prime example. 

Next whistle stop for the rallying chief minister was the Falakata town maidan where he addressed yet another big gathering on February 14. Here he was seen and heard to launch another stinging attack on the union government for the hiking of prices.  Buddhadeb explained in detail the need for the mass of the people of the country to take part in the march to parliament in Delhi on March 12.  This was necessary to let the ears of the central government be filled with a roar of protest against all its anti-poor moves.

Buddhadeb repeatedly called for a greater and yet bigger unity of the masses of stand against the policies of union government, the depredations of the separatists, and the conspiratorial moves of the divisive forces.  CPI(M) and Left Front constituent leaders of the district addressed the rally that was preceded by a cultural programme.