People's Democracy

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


No. 04

January 27, 2013



Red Tsunami in Agartala


Rahul Sinha


AGARTALA turned into a red sea of humanity on January 20, 2013 as the Left Front organised its central election rally. The mammoth gathering of people from all over the state flooded the city and the militant mood of the masses was convincing enough to indicate that nothing can stop the formation of Seventh Left Front government  in the state as it goes to polls on February 14.


It was a foregone conclusion that the ‘Stable Ground’ would be too small to accommodate even half the number of people who would come to Agartala to join this central rally. Accordingly, the Left Front Committee had, well in advance, sought permission from the union home ministry to use the Assam Rifles ground for the meeting. But, it was denied. So, on the day of the central rally, the Left Front made the whole city of Agartala the place of meeting. There was an unending flow of masses pouring in from every corner of the state, resembling a red tsunami. From the early morning itself people from the far-flung areas started for Agartala. Well before the meeting started, the ground and the galleries were jam-packed. The whole city was flooded as the rallies from outside Agartala poured in. The meeting started at around 1.30 pm. But the jubilant rallies continued to enter till 3 pm. But that was only a fraction of the gathering. All the main streets of the city were also jam-packed as thousands of people who could not enter the ground chose to hear the leaders through the loudspeakers put up across the city. All the roads leading to Agartala came to a standstill as the long queue of vehicles carrying the Left Front supporters stuck in a traffic jam. At least 700 vehicles could not even enter the city.


This historic mass meeting was presided over by Tripura Left Front convener Khagen Das. The meeting was addressed by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, chief minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, CPI(M) CC member Aghor Debbarma, RSP central secretariat member Manoj Bhattacharya, CPI leader Dinesh Saha and AIFB state president Brajagopal Roy.


CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat in his speech said that the way the Left Front government has performed in the state for the welfare of the toiling masses and if this historic gathering is any indication, we are convinced that the Seventh Left Front government shall surely be formed. He said except for a spell of 5 years, from 1988 to 1993, the Left Front has been in office here for 30 years. The history of the LF governments is the history of struggles. The central government, the ruling classes and the imperialist forces have tried repeatedly to dislodge it. It had to move forward by overcoming all these challenges. It has implemented its policies of land reform, welfare of workers and their social security in a total contrast to the anti-people policies of the centre.


The ruling classes have tried their best by creating hurdles to see that the policies of the Left Front government do not get implemented. But the people have always stood by the LF government because they know that only the Left can safeguard their interests. Equally, the ruling classes know that their policies cannot be implemented here as long as the Left Front is in office. That is why in 1988, the heinous conspiracy was hatched by using the extremists to murder innocent people just days before the election, following which the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi promulgated Disturbed Areas Act all over the state and sent paramilitary forces to the state. The subsequent election was totally rigged to ensure the victory of Congress-TUJS alliance. Karat said the people of the state shall never forget those dark days when hundreds of our Party leaders and cadres were murdered, thousands were forced to flee from their houses and even women were brutally tortured.


“Today, the picture of the state has gone through a sea change. We feel proud for the achievements of this government. What the Left Front government in Tripura has done is an example to follow for other state governments. While in other states, only 40-50 man days of work is being provided under MGNREGA, in Tripura it is 86-88 days. The state is way ahead of all the other states in terms of implementing the Forest Rights Act in terms of the number of families who got pattas”, he said.


Lambasting the centre for its anti-people policies, Karat said that one after another attacks are being mounted on the livelihood of common man. Prices of diesel and fertilisers have been decontrolled; rail fares have been increased across the board. But the corporates have been given a tax holiday worth over Rs 5 lakh crore. The centre is creating obstacles for the LF government in Tripura, he charge.  It deprived a huge amount of Rs 10,500 crore to the state through the Finance Commission. But the state has done its best to extend all kinds of help to the people despite its financial limitations. While the much talked about food security legislation of the centre talks of giving 25 kg of foodgrains to the BPL families at Rs 3 per kg, here the Left Front government is providing 35 kg of foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg. In education, the state ranks fourth among all the states today. The neo-liberal policies of the centre shall not be implemented here as long as Left Front is in power, he asserted.


Karat said that the imperialist forces have backed the extremists here to destabilise the Left Front government by creating disunity among the tribal and non tribal population. After much bloodshed, our government has re-established peace and harmony here which is again an example for the other states.  Karat charged the UPA-II government of surrendering the economic sovereignty of the country to the international finance capital. The working class of the country has called for a two-day strike on February 20 and 21 against the policies of the Congress-led UPA-II government. A massive victory of the Left Front in the ensuing election shall be a big boost to this struggle. He appealed to the people to ensure a bigger victory of the Left Front to carry forward this atmosphere of peace, harmony and development.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar expressed confidence that if the present scenario can be maintained the Left Front will secure a massive victory both in terms of seats and votes secured. “But we should not be complacent. Conspiracies are being hatched to create law and order problems during the election, lots of money, even fake currencies, will be used by the opposition. He called for consolidating the confidence of the workers, winning over those who are still in the opposition camp and ensure victory of the Left Front candidates in all the 60 seats to write a new chapter in the history of the state.


Manik Sarkar said that the extremist forces had created a horrific situation in the state by their terrorist activities. Today, after peace has been re-established, there is a qualitative change in all the sectors including political, social and economic. This is ensuring a speedy and all round development. The Seventh Left Front government is necessary to maintain this atmosphere of peace and development. But the Congress party does not want this environment to continue. That is why they have again forged electoral alliance with INPT, the mask of the banned extremist outfit. This alliance is an indirect alliance with the extremists themselves. “The Congress slogan of so-called poribartan (change) is stolen from Bengal and they want to return the state to those dark days of semi-fascist terror of 1988-92. The people of the state shall not opt for such a destructive change. Today, democracy in the state is extended to the grassroots level, a secular atmosphere is established and our government is implementing welfare programs for all the sections of the masses. There is not a single incident of starvation death or farmer suicide in Tripura. The per capita income of the people of the state has gone up to more than Rs 50,000 from around Rs 20,000 seven years back. No one has to beg here. We are working to ensure communication, electricity, health, education and irrigation in every village. The Left Front is the guarantee  for a prosperous Tripura.”


CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar appealed to all the peace and development loving people who are still with Congress to join hands with the Left Front. He underlined that electoral battle is also a form of class struggle. The class enemies of the working people shall not sit idle. We have to be alert to foil any of their ploys.


Aghor Debbarma said, the unholy alliance of Congress and INPT will be harmful for the peace and harmony of the state. We have to reject it straightaway to save the state.


Khagen Das said that the people of Tripura will give the Congress a befitting reply if they try to create a situation like that of 1988. We have paid a huge cost to bring peace. We will not allow it to be destroyed.


RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya spoke about the so-called poribartan in Bengal that has resulted in a situation where democracy itself is at stake, women are being raped day in and day out. People of Tripura will not let this happen.


CPI leader Dinesh Saha and AIFB leader Brajagopal Ray also appealed to ensure a massive victory of the Left Front.