People's Democracy

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


No. 31

July 31, 2011


CPI(M) Units Run Campaign Against Corruption


UNITS of the CPI(M) at various levels have been in the thick of a vigorous campaign all over the country, the call for which was given by the Central Committee of the party. Below we produce the reports received from some of the states. More of such reports are awaited.  



ON July 21, the people of Tripura took to the streets in a statewide mass sit-in programme as part of the countrywide campaign programme against corruption, linking it with the struggle to uproot the capitalist system itself which lies at the root of massive corruption. Their main demand was that the culprits involved in huge corruption scams at the centre must be brought to justice.


At the call of the Left Front of Tripura, tens of thousands of people participated in the four-hour mass sit-in programmes staged on the day in front of different central government offices at all the subdivision headquarters, block headquarters and other places in the state to press for their five-point demands charter. These included an effective Lokpal legislation, establishment of a National Judicial Commission, stringent punishment to those involved in massive corruption at higher places, unearthing and bringing back the huge amounts of black money that have been stashed abroad, an amendment of article 105 of the constitution, electoral reforms  etc.


The central programme was organised in front of the Agartala centre of All India Radio (AIR). Thousands of people gathered here to voice their protest against the massive corruption scams and plunder of the public exchequer by the second UPA government at the centre. The agitators also warned the Congress party in the state against its heinous attempts to create anarchy in the state, in a bid to unseat the elected government in the state undemocratically.


According to primary estimates, more than one lakh people participated in the mass sit-in programmes organised at around 70 locations all over the state. In Agartala, programmes were held in front of the AIR building, Doordarshan Kendra building and CPWD office. This was a culmination of the week long statewide campaign against corruption from July 12 to 18 which aw more than 1,000 street corner meetings organised all over the state.


CPI(M) state committee secretary Bijan Dhar, state secretariat member Gautam Das, AIFB state president Brajagopal Ray, CPI state secretary Prashanta Kapali and RSP state secretary Sudarshan Bhattacharya addressed the gathering in front of the AIR building. Gautam Das also addressed the gathering in front of the CPWD office at Usha Bazar in Agartala.


Bijan Dhar said corruption in high places today is affecting the life of the common people most severely. Massive corruption scams are coming to the fore one after another. The Left parties had time and again warned the prime minister against such corruption scams, but he chose to remain silent. Whatever inadequate action has been taken so far would not have been possible if the Supreme Court had not intervened. Dhar said the capitalist system cannot sustain itself without exploiting and deceiving the huge masses. The mega corruption scams plaguing the country today are being perpetrated by the evil nexus between the corporates, bureaucrats and ruling politicians at the centre. Thus, a fight against corruption cannot be successful without waging a struggle against the capitalist system itself which lies at the very root of these corruption scams. The CPI(M) leader also said the Congress led opposition in the state is trying to divert the people’s attention away from these scams. That is why they are taking recourse to creating anarchy. The terror they unleashed on May 23 has been unprecedented since the Congress-TUJS regime of semi-fascist violence. The attacks by the Congress hooligans on the police, TSR and the West Agartala police station resembled the attacks by the extremists. They are planning to grab power through backdoor by resorting to such anarchy. These agitations by the Congress in the state have nothing to do with the interest of the masses and won’t be able to divert the attention of the people from the issue of corruption at the centre. The Congress and cohorts have now opened a new front with the help of some newspaper owners and sundry lawyers to demand the imposition of president’s rule in the state. These newspaper owners are also trying to create divisions among the working journalists. However, Dhar said, the people of the state are very much conscious of these evil ploys. He stressed the need of winning over more and more people to fight against corruption at the centre and the conspiracy of Congress to assassinate democracy in the state.


Gautam Das said the country has never witnessed such a corrupt government at the centre. Congress and corruption have in fact become synonymous today. Earlier they had tried to bury the “Note for Vote” scam. Yet, some of those involved in this scam have been arrested of late and they told the investigating agencies that the prime minister and the UPA chairperson Mrs Sonia Gandhi have been directly involved in this infamous act. Das also added that this corrupt government at the centre is trying to create troubles for the Left Front government in the state. They have used the 13th Finance Commission to deprive the state of its due share in the national kitty. Recently, in the name of an agitation to prevent the entrance examination for Medical College from taking place, Congress goons have resorted to anarchical acts like attacking the security forces. A section of the newspaper owners in the state is supporting these anarchical attempts of the Congress. All these attempts to create law and order problems in the state started as per the advice of the union home minister P Chidambaram, who had visited the state in May and openly instigated his partymen against the Left Front government. Das urged upon the honest, peace-loving, democratic minded Congress supporters to shun the corrupt Congress party and maintain the atmosphere of peace, development and democracy in the state. (Rahul Sinha)



HERE the Left parties recently organised a public meeting to kick off the campaign against corruption as per the call given by the Left parties. The meeting was addressed by CPI general secretary A B Bardhan, Arun Latkar (district secretariat member of the CPI -M), Arun Vankar of the Forward Bloc and Dr Shashikant Waikar of the Bolshevik Party. A special feature of the meeting was that fractions of the Republican Party and the Vidarbha Janmorcha also joined this campaign.


In the beginning, the meeting condemned the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and condoled the death of its victims.


A B Bardhan spoke at length on the growing inflation. He said it is not merely that even though being himself an economist, our prime minister cannot solve the problem. For years the Left parties have been demanding a stop to futures and forward trading, but their plea has been always ignored. Bardhan, in this context, referred to the glorious example of Kerala where the erstwhile LDF government had been running a vibrant and effective public distribution system, distributing 14 essential commodities to the people at highly subsidised prices. Many of other state governments too are providing 35 kg of foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg. But the central government is still not prepared to provide effective food security to the people by distributing the huge stocks of foodgrains to the people at subsidised prices. He lashed out at the prime minister, saying that even if he is personally clean, he is leading a cabinet of the corrupt.


In his address, said it is only the Left that stands for an effective Lokpal bill and submitted a written draft in the all-party meeting called by the government of India. This draft contains the view of the Left point to point. He said the year 2010 witnessed 10 very big scams in the country, with the biggest in history being the 2G spectrum scam. He also pointed out that hardly the enquiry in a previous scam comes to a conclusion when some other scam comes to light. An effective institution of Lokpal will not only act to bring the guilty to the fate they deserve but also help solve the biggest problem of today, that is of putting a stop to corruption. He said this problem of corruption cannot but go on aggravating unless we put an end to the policy of imperialist globalisation. This thus requires a relentless struggle against the present policy framework.


CPI(M) state secretariat member Manohar Muley and veteran leaders of other participating organisations viz Mahandas Naidu, Balwantrai Mehta, Haridas Tembhurne and Yashwant Chintale formed the presidium.


These parties also ran a public awareness campaign in the city for two days through as many as 45 street corner meetings. Also, demonstrations were organised at some tehsil headquarters. (Arun Latkar)



ON July 20, the Jammu regional committee of the CPI(M) organised a day long massive dharna and protest rally at Jammu, when  party workers and sympathisers assembled in front of the Press Club to voice protest against the prevailing rampant corruption in the corridors of power and against the fast spiralling rise in prices, especially of the foodgrains and petroleum products.  Carrying banners and placards in their hands and raising slogans against the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products including kerosene oil, cooking gas and diesel and the prevalence of unabated corrupt practices in  the government machinery and public life, the procession passed though the main bazaars including Dogra Chowk, Jewel Chowk, Gumat Chowk and Raghunath Bazar before it culminated in a rally at Indra Chowk where senior party leaders addressed the protest demonstrators.


While addressing the demonstration, CPI(M) regional secretary Sham Prasad Kesar said that the decision to raise the prices of petro-products was a cruel blow to the common people who are already suffering from the unabated rises in the price of essential commodities. Here, he detailed in what myriad ways various segments of the people would be hit by the increased prices of LPG, kerosene oil, diesel and petrol.  He further said the arguments being put forward by the central government in defence of the price hike did not hold any water. Had the government paid heed to the suggestions put forward by the Left parties to withdraw the customs and excise duties from the petro-products completely, the hikes could have been avoided. Kesar said this move by the union government betrayed its preference for the khass aadmi (the elite) rather than for the aam aadmi (common man) Kesar demanded stringent action against the corruption scams perpetrated by the nexus of big business, politicians and bureaucrats, which has led to scandals such as the 2-G spectrum case.  He strongly urged the government to immediately release the list of hundred top direct tax defaulters in the income tax and corporate tax categories along with the amount recoverable from them.


CPI(M) state committee members Sarpanch Omprakash, Sarpanch Kishore Kumar  and Bishan Dass demanded adoption of a Lokpal legislation that would cover the prime minister as well, constitution of a National Judicial Commission to curb corruption in the higher judiciary, implementation of electoral reforms including introduction of a proportional representation system with the list system to check money power in politics, and initiation of steps to unearth black money and illegal money stashed in foreign banks.


Regional committee members Banarsi Dass, Sohan Lal, Dharam Singh, V K Vaid and Ramesh Chand also addressed the gathering. (B D Sharma)



IN Haryana, the Left parties conducted a week long energetic campaign in all districts of the state from July 15 to 21. This joint campaign of the CPI(M) and the CPI was based on activities like distribution of handbills, dharnas, street corner meetings etc, which culminated in the picketing of central and state government offices. Various district committees of the CPI(M) published for the campaign a large number of handbills, highlighting the epidemic of corruption since the onset of the neo-liberal agenda. The campaign focussed on the scale and magnitude of the public money looted through various scandals of mega corruption, exposed in recent years, highlighting that these were larger than ever in the post-independence history of our country.


In their speeches, leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI emphasised the most glaring twin aspects of the present day corruption from the point of view of the Left parties: first, that the menace of corruption has become fully systemic in today’s context and, secondly, that it was a pernicious nexus of the ruling class politicians, corporate sector and the bureaucracy which was shamelessly facilitating the loot of public money and precious natural resources of the country.


Apart from the infamous corruption scandals like 2-G spectrum, CWG, KG basin gas, Adarsh Society etc, the campaign also highlighted the local level corruption in PDS, NREGS, bribes in jobs, land acquisition, Red Cross funds and in other areas of day to day life.


Demonstrations and picketing were organised in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Jind, Rohtak, Panipat, Sonipat, Faridabad, Kaithal, Karnal, Kurukshtra, Gurgaon and Panchkula districts, with state and district level leaders addressing the participants in various places. Later the CPI(M) state secretariat issued a statement declaring that in the coming days too the issue of corruption would remain a priority for campaigning in various ways and in all spheres of public life.