(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 17, 2013
Like Father, Like Son
AS the campaign for
the elections to the Tripura state
assembly was ending, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi
thundered that CPI(M)
will be ousted from '
Like Father, Like Son! This statement by Rahul Gandhi will only prove the point that history repeats itself, the first time as a tragedy and we shall have to wait for the second time when it will be a farce.
It has by now become
fairly monotonous for the CPI(M)
to hear such threats of being banished from the country. In
its heydays, the
Congress party after its return to power at the centre in
decreed. One of its prominent Bengal leaders had said that
the CPI(M) will be
thrown into the
The prime minister was
scheduled to campaign in
Tripura. The day before his arrival the people of Tripura
themselves to hear the prime minister explain to them on why
they should defeat
the incumbent Left Front government, for he had often
praised Tripura as the
best administered state amongst all the North-Eastern
states. Routinely the
central government has been awarding the Tripura government
extraordinary performance in various fields and ranking the
state the first
among all the states in the country on various scores. In
terms of man-day
employment under the MNREGA, Tripura ranks first among all
states and union
Next the Tripura people were informed that the Congress president Sonia Gandhi will be visiting. In fact, her campaign schedule was widely advertised throughout the media. To the utter disappointment of the Congress party, she too cancelled her programme. While no official reason was given, it was circulated that following the hanging of Afzal Guru, security considerations did not permit her to travel to a border state. Now, this is strange. The Special Protection Group (SPG), or the black commandos, is in charge of her security. The same SPG is also in charge of Rahul Gandhi's security. If security concerns prevented one from travelling, how could the same security agency permit the other? Clearly like the prime minister, the Congress president also appears to have felt that it would be untenable to ask the people to defeat the Left Front government, given its track record.
For after all, the Congress party is seeking to gain political capital out of their so-called steadfast commitment to protect the country's security. Afzal Guru's hanging was the immediate backdrop that buttresses such a Congress campaign. In Tripura however, the Congress party is in alliance with the INPT, whose chief was the commander of the Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) who engineered a series of clashes that sought to divide Tripura ethnically claiming hundreds of innocent lives in the past. Today he is contesting these elections. It is common knowledge in Tripura that the INPT is the political front of the extremist NFLT, which has been conducting violent campaigns in the past in Tripura fracturing the unity of the tribal and non-tribal population. The Congress-INPT alliance is a contradiction that the Congress party can never explain, leave alone convince the people of Tripura. It is therefore little wonder that the Congress president chose not to campaign for its party candidates in the state.
Rahul Gandhi on his
part assiduously avoided all
references to such questions that are upper most in the
minds of the Tripura
voters. Instead, he repeated his beaten track campaign USP –
government has been generously doling out funds for
development to the state
but the state government is misusing them for its partisan
interests. It has probably
not registered on him that the government of
The Congress vice
president has a track record of
miserable electoral performances, whenever he has used this
argument in state
elections – Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,
Such a campaign comes in the backdrop of incredulous promises made by the Congress party to the people of Tripura. If elected, they promised to give a kilo of rice at one rupee. This is a party that is refusing to give the Indian people universal food security by providing 35 kg of rice per family, both APL and BPL, at not more than rupees 2 per kg. Yet in Tripura it promises to give at half this price. It has promised to generate new jobs for the youth. This comes from a party whose economic policies have brought the country to its worst economic performance in a decade, with the GDP growth now officially estimated to be just 5 per cent. It is clear that employment opportunities have shrunk considerably all over the country. Despite its miserable performance on the economic front, Congress party promises the moon to the people of Tripura.
Tripura today has emerged as the fourth state in the whole country in terms of literacy rates. Tripura probably has the largest number of educated and trained youth population among all the North-Eastern states. This youth is looking for opportunities to be created for their gainful employment. It is precisely this objective that the Left Front manifesto addresses through the development of medium and small scale enterprises in the state. This has caught both the imagination of the youth and gives them hope of a better future.
It would therefore not be surprising at all to see the victory of the Left Front in these assembly elections and the formation of the seventh Left Front government in Tripura.