People's Democracy

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


No. 46

November 18, 2012




SC Rally Vows to Form Seventh LF Govt


Haripada Das


WITH the determination that led you all to defy the drizzling weather and join in such a mammoth and vibrant rally of your own section, of the scheduled caste and dalit masses, the formation of a Left Front government in the state for the seventh term is inevitable in the next assembly elections. So said Manik Sarkar, chief minister of the state of Tripura, while addressing a rally of the dalit masses at Stable Ground, Agartala, on November 4, 2012.    


The rousing rally of the scheduled caste and dalit people of the state was held at Agartala at the call of the Scheduled Castes Coordination Committee, an apex body of four dalit organisations. These are the Tripura Fishermen’s Union, Tannery Workers Union, Tripura Washermen Workers Union, and Harijan Unnayan Samity. The emphatic mood of the dalit people was evident in their colourful processions that surprised all the roads and lanes of Agartala city, the capital of Tripura. Moving towards the rally site, these processions and the mood did give an indication that the scheduled caste people of the state resolutely stand by the Left Front and would work for the formation of a Left Front government through the ensuing state assembly election.


Anil Sarkar, a senior minister of the Left Front government and president of the Scheduled Castes Coordination Committee, presided over the rally. Apart from the chief minister, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar and SC Coordination Committee secretary Sudhan Das also addressed the rally. CPI(M) state secretariat member Khagen Das, MP, and minister Badal Chowdhury were also were on the dais.


Expressing deep respect for Comrade Sukumar Barman, departed leader of the scheduled caste people, and conveying sympathy to his family, Manik Sarkar said the reasons behind his full confidence about the formation of a seventh Left Front government was that the peace-loving democratic-minded people of Tripura have an urge for a lasting atmosphere of peace. He added that Tripura now stands as a model state in the country in respect of communal harmony, ethnic amity and all-round development involving all sections of the people. The programmes of the Left Front government are aimed at raising the per capita income of all strata of the society, including the scheduled caste people, and thus upgrading their living standard. It is imperative to elect a Left Front government again for sustenance of the ongoing developmental activities in the state, Sarkar pleaded.


While Tripura is a haven of peace now, it was not so till only a few years ago when the extremists lacerated the state with horrified actions. But this abode of peace, Manik Sarkar continued, is not to the liking of a section of the political forces. Recalling the unheard of distress and poverty that the people of the state had to suffer during the Congress rule till 1977 and the jungle rule during the Congress-TUJS coalition regime in 1988-93, Manik Sarkar said these political forces would leave no stone unturned to restore those black days that are in their narrow interest. Ridiculing the Congress party’s call for a change in the state, Sarkar quipped as to who would believe their claims that they would render good to the people. After all, it is the same leaders who are striving to sell-out the interests of the country to the imperialist forces in the name of neo-liberal policies, those who stand in the dock for being implicated in huge corruption cases and have plundered away lakhs of crores of public fund, and those who have least concern about the plight of the common people!


Congratulating the vibrant rally of dalit people, Bijan Dhar said the rights and privileges enjoyed by the scheduled caste people in the state under the Left Front government would be snatched away if the Congress led coalition comes to power. All of us are aware of the rampant trampling of democratic and human rights in West Bengal where a new regime came about one and a half years ago. Regarding the Election Commission’s decide to change the schedule of ongoing summery revision of the electoral roll in order to oblige the Congress party, Bijan Dhar said the CEC certainly has the authority to reschedule the programme, but the way they did it, is tantamount to showing disregard to the democratic consciousness of the people of Tripura.


SC Coordination Committee secretary Sudhan Das listed the programmes that have been implemented by the Left Front government for the welfare and upliftment of scheduled caste people in the state At the same time he also reminded the rally as to how the reservation for the scheduled caste people, enshrined in the constitution, were denied to them during the Congress rule, how the dalits were driven out of their trade and profession during the black regime of the Congress-TUJS coalition in 1988-93. He appealed to the audience to solidly stand by the Left Front in the ensuing election.


In his presidential address, Anil Sarkar cited the national level data of crime against dalit people which say that in 2011 about five lakh cases of atrocities against them had taken place in the country. This meant, on an average, 80 crime cases per day. Six dalit women suffered atrocities and three were victims of rape every day. Though manual scavenging is legally prohibited, some ten lakh dalits are engaged in it. The people of Tripura, on the contrary, can be definitely proud of the fact that no such incident takes place here. The credit goes to the Left Front government in the state. While the central government had diverted Rs 744.35 crore allocated for dalit welfare for the Commonwealth Games, here in Tripura the Left Front government allocated 17 per cent of its total budget for the wellbeing of the scheduled caste people. It is thus that the scheduled caste people of the state are set to elect the Left Front candidates in all the 10 SC-reserved seats of the state, Anil Sarkar claimed with determination.