People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXVI

No. 12

March 13, 2012

TRIPURA

 

Left Front To Launch Intensive Campaign

 

Haripada Das

 

THE Left Front Committee of Tripura has urged upon all sections of people in the state to extend unequivocal support to its four months long extensive campaign on the basis of a 14 point charter of demands. Chalked out by the Left Front, the charter aims to push ahead infrastructure development and all round progress of the state, through a campaign that will continue from April to July this year.

 

The call was made from a state level mass convention at Agartala Town Hall on March 11, 2012. Apart from state leaders of the Left parties, divisional party leaders and leaders of the Left-led mass organisations in all the divisions participated in the convention.

 

The vibrant and overcrowded convention had a presidium comprising of Rama Das and Niranjan Debbarma of the CPI(M), Dinesh Saha (CPI), Brajagopal Roy (Forward Bloc) and Prankrishna Acharjee (RSP). At the outset, two condolence resolutions were read out on the passing away of renowned communist leaders Comrade Brajamohan Jamatia and Comrade Sukumar Barman, former and incumbent state committee members of the CPI(M) respectively, followed by one minute silence in respect to their memory.

 

Introducing to the convention the resolution that contained the campaign programme, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar said the Left Front government, parliament members elected from the state, the Left parties including the CPI(M) and the Left-led mass organisations had been repeatedly raising these demands on a number of occasions. But the Congress people, out of its utterly narrow politics, did not give any importance to the same. Rather they seek to persuade the central ministers not to pay heed to the stateís demands.

 

On the occasion, Dhar explained the economic backwardness of the state, compounded with the problems of rehabilitation of lakhs of refugees who migrated from the then East Pakisatan (now Bangladesh), the stateís geographical bottleneck as it is surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides, absence of industry and communication, and the problems of unemployment etc. He also elaborated the adverse effects of the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the centre on the livelihood of the working people, and urged a peopleís movement that could reverse these policies, asking for building up peopleís opinion in favour of the Left demands.

 

According to the programme Bijan Dhar presented, similar conventions would be held in each subdivision by April, under the auspices of the Left Front, followed by local and booth level conventions. In May, there would be grassroots level campaigns in the form of padayatras, jathas, street corner meetings and marketplace meetings etc. In June, there would be courtyard meetings and groups meetings in every gram panchayat ward, nagar panchayat wards and Agartala Municipal Council ward. In July, the movement will culminate in block level rallies, from where memorandum in support of the charter will be sent to the prime minister of the country. It was also decided that the expenses to be incurred in this process will be raised through box and flag collections. Pamphlets and posters will be published for the programme. Each demand will be explained in party organs.

 

Addressing the convention in support of the campaign programme, Gautam Das emphasised on interaction with the masses at the grassroots level. Prasanta Kapali, Sudardhan Bhattacharjee and Shyamal Roy on behalf of the CPI, RSP and FB respectively, also addressed the convention.  

 

CHARTER

OF DEMANDS

The Left Frontís charter of demands contains the following demands.

 

1) A broad gauge rail line must be constructed from Lumding in Assam to Subroom, the southern end of Tripura. The existing rail service in Tripura must be improved. A railway division must be set up in Tripura.

2) The national highway in the state must be upgraded to a four-lane road. An alternative national highway may be constructed from Kukital in Assam to Subroom.

3) Agartala airport must be upgraded to international standard in a phased manner. Kamalpur and Kailashahar airports, now abandoned, must be made operational again. Telecommunication system in the state must be developed.

4) The centre must devise a special package for employment of the unemployed youth of North Eastern states including Tripura. The posts lying vacant in various departments under the central government must be filled up early. The central order banning new recruitment must be rolled back.

5) The central government must release to the state governments fund under the MGNREGA. The wage under this scheme must be adequately increased. At least 200 mandays per worker must be generated in this scheme. A similar scheme for providing works to unemployed labourers in urban area must be introduced.

6) Adequate fund must be allotted by the centre for implementation of trade-based rehabilitation of beneficiaries under Forest Right Act in Tripura according to the plan submitted by the state government. The act must be so amended that traditional non-tribal dwellers in forest areas could be allotted land under it.

7) Kok Borok, local language of the majority tribal communities in Tripura, must be incorporated in the eighth schedule of the constitution.

8) There must be an amendment to the constitution to overcome the limit set by a Supreme Court verdict that reservation in employment would not exceed 50 per cent. This is imperative for providing reservation for the OBCs and religious minorities in the state where 48 per cent reservation for the ST and SC communities already exists.

9) Nationalised banks must come forward to open new branches in rural areas. They must increase the credit-deposit ratio and extend bank loans to the Kisan Credit Card holders and the self-employed youth on most liberal terms.

10) The central government must grant special fiscal assistance to the state to compensate for the deprivation meted out to the state by the 13th Finance Commissionís recommendations.

11) The Food Corporation of India (FCI) must procure paddy at a remunerative price directly from growers in the state. To this end, it must create adequate infrastructure and construct warehouse etc.

12) Each family must be provided 35 kg of rice at Rs 2 per kg through a universal rationing system. All poor families must get BPL cards. Through the civil supplies system, 14 essential articles must be supplied throughout the country at a uniform rate.

13) The central government must make a special endeavour to set up gas and rubber based industries in Tripura.

14) The central government must take initiative to pass the womenís reservation bill in Lok Sabha without delay.