People's Democracy

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


No. 11

March 17, 2013




Historic Victory to Bolster Struggle for Alternative


Haripada Das


THE historic victory of Left Front in the recently held elections to the Tripura Legislative Assembly is sure to bolster the forces struggling countrywide for an alternative to the neo-liberal policies that have been designed by the imperialist powers and are being pursued by the central government. This was the essence of what the speakers said while addressing a mammoth victory rally at the call of the Left Front Committee at Vivekananda Stadium (Stable Ground), Agartala on March 7, 2013.


The rally organised to celebrate the Left Front’s victory was presided over by Left Front convener Khagen Das and was addressed by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar who is also the chief minister of the newly formed Left Front government in Tripura, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, CPI(M) state secretariat member Niranjan Debbarma, CPI state council member Dinesh Saha, RSP central secretariat member Manoj Bhattacharjee, CPI(M)’s Assam state secretary Uddhav Barman and Forward Bloc state secretary Shyamal Roy.


Jubilant people from all walks of lives streamed to the rally site waving the red flags and banners high and also smearing each other red. While cheering for the victory through shouting slogans, singing chorus songs and dancing, the marchers were warmly greeted by the pedestrians standing by the roadside. At the same time the marchers were conscious about the line of decency so that this victory celebration did not cause any annoyance whatsoever to any person or organisation. The entire Agartala town was floating on a sea of red on the day.


At the outset, a condolence resolution was read out by Khagen Das, the president of the meeting, on the demise of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, and the whole rally stood to observe one minute’s silence in memory of the departed international leader. The condolence resolution referred to Chavez as an icon in the struggle for establishing an alternative to the neo-liberal policies and a pioneer leader in liberating most of the Latin American countries from the economic clutches of US imperialism.


Then amidst high applauses, the president of the meeting introduced to the gathering, one after another, the newly formed cabinet members including the chief minister of the seventh Left Front government.


Congratulating the people of Tripura for giving once again a decisive mandate to the Left Front, Prakash Karat said these people had set two records. First, the more than 93 per cent voter turnout in the recent assembly polls was the hitherto highest in the country. It indicates the high democratic consciousness of the people of Tripura. Second, more than 52 per cent of the electors voted for the Left Front, which was most uncommon for a ruling front that has been running a state government consecutively for last 20 years. This reveals that the so called anti-incumbency factor hardly worked in case of the Left Front. A majority of the people of Tripura responded positively and expressed their satisfaction with the functioning of the government, Karat said.


The CPI(M) general secretary also informed that while he was moving in a Sangarsh Sandesh Jatha starting from Kolkata, many people had asked him how it so happened that the key factor that behind this Left Front historic victory was a set of the pro-people policies adopted by the only state in the country in opposition to the neo-liberal policies being pursued elsewhere. Explaining the fleecing effect of the neo-liberal policies that the central government has been pursuing, Karat said the central government has the least concern for keeping the price level of the essential commodities within a tenable limit, for generation of employment for the youth, for ensuring remuneration for the peasantry, and for protection of the trade union rights of the working class. In a word, the UPA government at the centre is working for the corporate giants inside and outside the country. The neo-liberal policies have no care for the plight of the people. Rather their aim is to ensure windfall profits for corporate business houses, in which process they are taking corruption to unimaginable levels, siphoning off huge amounts of money from the government exchequer. The big scams that rocked the nation in the recent days are worst kinds of manifestation of neo-liberal policies, Karat asserted.


Ridiculing Rahul Gandhi’s appeal to the Tripura electors to “throw out communists from the state like the people did in West Bengal and Kerala,” Karat said Rahul was perhaps not aware of how deep are the roots of the communist movement in the minds of the people of Tripura. If only he had been, he would not have made such audacity to insult the people of Tripura. Under the leadership of comrades like Dasaratha Deb, Nripen Chakraborty and Biren Datta, the people of Tripura fought first for universal literacy and defied the red eyes of the then king, and then for democracy as against monarchy. Later they heroically battled against the Congress repression and misrule till 1977 and again fought against the Congress-TUJS semi-fascist rule during 1988-93. How, then, could Rahul Gandhi expect that the mass of people having such a bright tradition of historic battles would oblige him by installing an autocratic rule in contrast to the prevalent peaceful and development friendly atmosphere. Rather, the people of the country are preparing to bid a goodbye to the UPA government at the centre, Karat warned.    


Congratulating the people, the police and administration of Tripura, the state’s election department and its employees for ensuring the peaceful, free and fair conduct of elections, Manik Sarkar gave the credit for this historic victory to the commendable contribution made by women and youth in particular. Manik Sarkar said the drive for maintaining peace, communal harmony, and ethnic amity would continue and, at the same time, the entire endeavour of the new cabinet would be to upgrade the living standard of the people. We shall adhere to the Left Front manifesto and exert our level best to implement it in letter and spirit, Sarkar asserted.  


Reviewing the performances of the earlier Left Front governments, Manik Sarkar said there were certainly big achievements but at the same time there remained many lacunae as well. We should not be overwhelmed with this victory; we must be conscious about our great responsibility to render justice to the trust the people have bestowed upon us. We should be moderate and polite in behaving with people. About 44 per cent of the people are still with the opposition, which means somehow or other they are aggrieved with us. But the fact is that the large section of these aggrieved people belongs basically to the same class which we have been fighting for. They should not be blamed; it is our fault, our failure to win them over. Many of the people have joined us after severing faith with the opposition parties. They must be given due honour. They should not be treated as alien. They must be given assignments in our party and mass organisations.


Fervently calling upon the misguided extremist youth to surrender, Manik Sarkar said they are pointing guns at the chest of their own brethren. This barren path will never find its goal. It is a destructive and fratricidal path. But the Left Front government is always open and ready to start a dialogue with them. Many of their colleagues have already abandoned this wrong path and are now leading a dignified life and contributing in the development works. If the extremist youth realise their blunder, they are welcome to the negotiation table. If, however, they still want to carry on, then one is sorry to say that the security forces would do their duty to ensure protection of the life and property of the common peace-loving people, Sarkar informed.


Lastly, the chief minister appealed to the people to cooperate with the police and administration in maintaining peace and tranquillity, which is the precondition of smooth implementation of any developmental scheme. 


Heartily congratulating the people for garnering such a great victory, Bijan Dhar said it was a hard electoral battle, not because we were in any way alienated from the people but for the fact that all national and international vested interests had been running an orchestrated, hectic drive to dislodge the Left Front government from Tripura which is the only state advocating for an alternative to the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the centre. We had apprehensions of violence, of use of outlawed extremists, of distribution of doles to the electors in cash and kinds, of unethical electoral sops and the Congress game plan to vitiate the whole atmosphere during the run-up to the polls so that they could fish in troubled waters. The attempt of the Congress party to get the finalisation of the electoral roll deferred so that elections could be held under president’s rule was one of the indications of their plots. But the alertness and vigil of the peace-loving people and the unity of the toiling masses helped a lot to frustrate all this evil designs.


Dhar also said in spite of great achievements we have to make some introspection to identify and rectify our weaknesses as well.  We must plug the loopholes off, if any, and also involve as many people as possible in the implementation of the government programmes and projects, he said.