People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXVI

No. 07

February 12, 2012

 

TWENTIETH STATE CONFERENCE OF TRIPURA

 

Intensify Struggles Against

Neo- liberal Policies

 

Rahul Sinha

 

THE struggle against the onslaught of the neo-liberal policies of the centre has to be intensified further. The Party shall have to mobilise more and more people of the toiling sections into this struggle. This was stated by the CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat at the mass meeting of the CPI(M) Tripura twentieth state conference at the Stable Ground, Agartala on January 29.

 

The city of Agartala witnessed a mammoth rally on 29th. The Stable Ground looked too small to accommodate the huge crowd. The meeting was presided over by Niranjan Debbarma. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, Party Central Committee member and state tribal welfare minister Aghor Debbarma also addressed the gathering. The stage of the public meeting was named as Comrade Jyoti Basu Mancha. The banner on the stage read, Socialism is the future, the future is ours.

 

Prakash Karat in his speech said, our Party functions in a democratic method. From the lowest organisational unit to the highest level, conferences are held regularly where all the pertinent issues are discussed, future course of action is decided upon and the new leadership is elected. Unlike us, bourgeois parties like the Congress do not follow these democratic procedures.

 

Referring to the crisis of capitalism at the international level for the last four years, Prakash Karat said, the capitalist system is yet to find a way out of this crisis. As a result of this crisis, unemployment is on the rise in the US and Europe. There are attacks on the hard earned rights of the working class. The anger of the common people against this has been reflected in the Occupy Wall Street movement. This has shown that it will not be possible to ensure food, education, health, and housing for the people within the capitalist system. Those who, after the collapse of Soviet Union, used to say that capitalism has triumphed have stopped saying so. Rather, now there are discussions on the future of capitalism itself. The Left and progressive forces have come to power by winning elections. The policies they are pursuing have shown that an alternative to the neo-liberal policies of the capitalism is possible.

 

Karat said, the UPA government at the centre has been implementing the same neo-liberal policies in our country for the last eight years and the impact is there for all to see. The Manmohan Singh government claims that there has been tremendous economic growth, but its fruits have been limited to a miniscule of the population. The numbers of dollar billionaires have increased from 9 to 55 in these 20 years of liberalisation. But according to the governmentís own statistics, 2.56 lakhs of farmers have committed suicide between 1995 and 2010 because of indebtedness. 27 farmers have committed suicide in West Bengal since the TMC has come to power. This was unheard of in the 34 years of Left Front rule. The phenomenon of farmersí suicides had stopped in Kerala after the LDF had assumed office. But the same has started again after the UDF came back to power.

 

Karat said the central government has achieved a notorious record of keeping the rate of food inflation at more than 10 per cent for more than 38 months in a row. At the same time it has created a record in corruption. This has hit the poor and toiling people the hardest. In spite of Supreme Courtís advice to distribute the 6 crores MTs of food grains lying in the godowns, the government refuses to distribute them free of cost to the poor. Now, the government has filed an affidavit to the effect that those who earn 32 rupees a day in cities and rupees 26 in rural areas will not be treated as poor. This new definition of poverty will deprive the majority of the poor from various opportunities like ration, job etc. We have not seen a more corrupt government since independence. When the Lokpal bill was before the country to be passed, this government tried to weaken by making it a Sarkari Lokpal, and refused to pass it in the Rajya Sabha when amendments were brought to strengthen it.

 

Karat said, CPI(M) is for a strong and effective Lokpal. At the same time we feel the policies of the neo-liberalisation have to be changed if the root of the corruption, the evil nexus of politicians- corporates and bureaucracy is to be done away with. Karat said, the neo liberal policies pursued by the centre as a part of its collaboration with the imperialism are resulting in oppression, exploitation and corruption. The CPI(M) is fighting against these policies.

 

He opined that because of the CPI(M)ís resistance to the neo-liberal policies, it is under severe attack from all reactionary forces who wish to weaken the Party. The onslaught on the Left since the last 3 years in West Bengal is very much a part of it, where more than 450 comrades have been murdered so far by the TMC, Congress and Maoists. A number of offices of the Party, trade union and mass organisations have been occupied by them. This government is interfering in the functions of elected panchayats and the democratic rights are at stake. But we are confident that the Left movement of Bengal will not bow down before these attacks.

 

Karat said, the Left Front government in Tripura has shown an alternative way of governance. The state is ranked first in the implementation of MGNREGA and the forest rights act. The state is a model in combating insurgency. Everybody admits that this government is honest and transparent. Karat called for supporting the Party to take Tripura further forward.

 

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar said, our government is rowing against the tide to ensure development of the state. The central government is implementing policies that are anti people. We are being pressurised to implement those policies in the state as well. We are vehemently opposing the neo Ėliberal policies of the centre and implementing developmental programs, despite all odds.

 

Elaborating the success of the state government, Manik Sarkar said the food production of the state has increased. We are on the way to achieve self sufficiency in vegetables, meat, fish and egg production. 97 per cent of the population of the state has been covered with health services, now almost all kinds of higher education can be pursued within the state itself. The central government itself is acknowledging the success of the state in MGNREGA. The state has been awarded 10-11 prizes for its success in different fields of development. Though the centre has asked us not to give government jobs anymore, we have clearly told them that we cannot and will not close down the avenue of government employment. The centre is trying to block the avenues of development of the state by depriving us of about 10,500 crores of rupees through the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission. The opposition is trying to mislead the masses through misinformation campaigns and slanders. They are trying to create anarchy in the state and also hope to come back to power by rejuvenating the extremists. He called upon the masses to defeat all kinds of conspiracies and further strengthen the Left Front government in the state.

 

CPI(M) state committee secretary Bijan Dhar said, the seventh Left Front government will be formed after the assembly elections. We have to engage our efforts towards that goal from now on. He severely criticised the union home minister P Chidambaram for not allowing this huge mass meeting to take place at Assam Rifles ground. He said Chidambaram has given a false excuse for doing so by saying that the ground has never been used for political purpose. This is a blatant lie. A number of political rallies have taken place in that ground in the past. He himself was present in one of such rallies with late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

 

CPI(M) Central Committee member Aghor Debbarma said, only the communists work for the cause of development of the tribal and non tribal masses. Only through joint struggle of the tribal-non tribal workers and peasants, we can resist the anti people policies of the centre. We have to build our organisation in such a way that the opposition does not get a single seat in the coming elections.

 

 

NEW LEADERSHIP

Earlier, the state conference unanimously elected an 83-member state committee with inclusion of 3 new members. The state committee immediately met on the dais of the conference and declared amid high applause, a 14-member state secretariat with Rama Das as a new entrant and Bijan Dhar as secretary re-elected.

 

(Detailed report of the conference will be published next week)