Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bengal news

From B Prasant/INN 


Kolkata, March 31: Senior CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu rebutted on 30 March BJP supremo Lalkrishna Advani's remark to a news agency that he had met Jyoti Basu 'covertly' prior to the so-called 'rathayatra' that claimed the lives of hundreds across its bloody path. Jyoti Basu admitted to the meting quite freely and said that the meeting was overt rather than covert.  

Jyoti Basu previously had a word with the CPI(M) Polit Bureau and with the then general secretary comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet before proceeding to meet Advani. The then Prime Minister V P Singh, too, had earlier prevailed upon Basu to speak to Advani towards dissuading the BJP leader from the 'rathayatra'

 In the exchanges that followed between Basu and Advani, Basu told the latter that the purported 'rathayatra' would create disharmony and even rioting.  Advani would not listen to Basu's advice that he aborts the 'programme.'   

 Later, Basu also met A B Vajpayee and asked him to prevent the 'rathayatra' but nothing came out of this meeting, too.  Basu added to say when the late PV Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister Basu along with comrade Surjeet had telephoned him to initiate measures so that the Babari Masjid was not pulled down.  The late Rao promised to do 'something' about the issue but in practice did nothing.

 Incidentally Jyoti Basu recalled that when as Prime Minister A B Vajpayee came to Kolkata and met Basu he asked the Bengal chief minister as to the reasons why he, Basu, called the BJP a party that was 'uncivilized and barbaric.'  Basu had replied that he said this because BJP was engaged in orchestrating riots in Gujarat, killing members of the minority communities with impunity, and that it had pulled down the Babari Masjid, causing riots to break out.  After this strong repartee, Vajpayee had held his silence.

 Item 2


 Murderous assaults on CPI(M) workers go on in Bengal, especially in the laterite zone in the western part of the state abutting Bihar and Jharkhand.  On 29 March, late in the evening, comrade Kanai Kumar, a humble woodworker of Arsha in Purulia was making his way back to his hutment along the looping road that went up and down the hillocks. 

 On one bend on the path, stood in ambush the killers, a mix of Pradesh Congress and Trinamul Congress goons-- all heavily armed with guns, pistols, knives, and adzes.  They pounced on comrade Kanai, shot him, and then proceeded to kill him of numerous cuts and slashes from sharp weapons all over his body till he died screaming in pain. 

 A winding cortège accompanied his last remains to the local burning ghat for consignment to flames.  Comrade Kanai had long been a target of the Pradesh Congress in particular for he had resisted all attempts by the thugs of that outfit to prevent the formation of the newly-elected Gram Sansad.

 Elsewhere and not far away in Bankura, at a place called Jaipur, a large horde of Trinamul Congress hooligans attacked an election rally of the CPI (M), fired shots indiscriminately, and kidnapped the shot and wounded Sheikh Shahjahan, a dedicated CPI (M) worker.  The CPI (M) activists gave chase, and they finally, literally, stumbled upon the prone Shahjahan who had in the meanwhile both his shins repeatedly pounded, broken, and then, in a gesture of in human cruelty, twisted out of shape. 

 Indeed, it was Shahjahan's screams that enabled the CPI(M) workers to spot generally the place where he had been thrown from a vehicle as the cowards made good their escape in the descending darkness of the night of 30 March.  Removed to a hospital, Shahjahan fights for his very survival. 

 In the meanwhile, the Trinamul Congress candidate from the area has been known to call publicly for terror to be brought down on CPI(M) workers.  Not too far away in Midnapore west at Lalgarh, 'Gour' of the CP(Maoist) has announced that police would not be allowed in the area during the poll days.  'Gour' has received vociferous support from the entire range of the right-wing opposition from the Pradesh Congress to the BJP to the Trinamul Congress.

Monday, March 30, 2009


From B Prasant/INN


Kolkata, March 30: Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on election tour across a vast stretch of north Bengal was clear in pointing out that the opposition inBengal worked to organise, hearten, and applaud divisiveness of every kind including territorial separatism.  It is the CPI(M) and the Left, Buddhadeb told the various gatherings he addressed between 28 and 31 March, which is ready to go in for sacrifices of every kind to ensure that Bengal remains integrated and a united entity.  

The Trinamulis and the scions of Pradesh Congress, said Buddhadeb, were eager and willing to witness the prosperity and political flowering of such dangerous political devices as the call for 'greater' Coochbehar, for a separate 'Gorkhaland,' and for a 'free' state of Kamptapur, for a separate western Bengal centering around Lalgarh. 

The separatist 'Gorkha Janamukti Morcha' (GJM) was ready to encroach upon the dooars and the terai with impunity for the sake of building up a separate Gorkhali entity that was conceptually and behaviourally a wrong notion from the first to the last of the premises they fatuously advanced.  'We,' said Buddhadeb 'have told the Dooars adivasi organisations that had become very angry at the GJM's move, that you should maintain calm and be of orderly conduct, for otherwise, the purpose of the GJM would have been served.'  We are aware of the problems that the adivasis face and whether it was the dearth of Hindi-medium school or the issue of closed and sick chabagicha, the LF government would look into them for a fruitful but amicable solution.' 

The CPI(M) and the LF stood for unity – of the plains and the hills, and of the plains people and the hills people in all their colourful existence.  Buddhadeb appealed once again to the GJM leaders not to go in for separatism for that would not solve whatever anguish they nourished in the hearts-and-minds, and whatever was the sort of deprivation they might nurture.  

'We are ready to provide the hill area with more administrative and financial powers for developmental purposes, but who would stand to gain if you go in for separatism? Has the carving away of Jharkhand from Bihar been of any help to the people of either of the two neighbouring states?' asked Buddhadeb. 

Buddhadeb asked the Pradesh Congress leaders to come clean of they could on the issue of a separate hill district.  The Congress speaks in one tone in the terai and dooars and in quire another in the hills. This was duplicity and the victims are the common people, especially the poor who become more and more confused and angry at being played as ducks-and-drakes.   

Recalling the 1970s when the violent Naxalite  movement sweptBengal and the 1980s when the Gorkhaland movement under the counter-progressive stewardship of the GNLF, shed the blood of the poor, the bourgeois parties had silently provided succour and encouragement to the politics of destruction.  Those days would be allowed to come back and haunt the poor of the province again, asserted Buddhadeb firmly.  In the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the electorate must vote for peace, for amity, for progress, for development. 

Later fielding a plethora of questions, some mundane, others facetious, only a few that could be deemed having political content, Buddhadeb said that the prospects of a strong Third Front grew fast every day, every week.  The BJP a vicious outfit that believed in religious fundamentalism of the physical kind (e.g., a young BJP leader's horrendous threats to non-Hindu communities, uttered brazenly in front of rolling TV cameras) was losing ground fast. Allies were dropping off the ship-ran-aground called the Congress. The resultant political vector clearly worked for the repository of popular trust in the secular-democratic Third Front with the Left and the CPI(M) playing the role of a catalyst. 

Elsewhere in Darjeeling the LF's CPI(M) candidate for the seat Jibesh sarkar was heckled by the GJM but nonetheless, he also received a cheerful welcome from the masses of the hill station, and his campaign up in the hills was such a success that the Bengal CPI(M) would extend electioneering in such important htowns as Kurseong, and Kalimpong shortly, urban development minister Ashok Bhattacharyya, a long-time Party activist of Siliguri and Darjeeling assured us.


B Prasant

Kolkata, March 30: Mamta Banerjee has declared the intention long back. The fact of her intent is now being fructified by the reckless desperadoes of the Trinamulis and their Maoist minders at Nayachar, as a recent visit proved. This was out second visit to this ‘char’ land in the mouth of the Hooghly River. The Nayachar enclave straddles the river and in equidistant from Haldia and Falta industrial zones. One has to touch the shores of the vast empty land (bar for a few fishing folk’s huts, around two dozen in number) by sailing on one of those ubiquitous motorised dinghies called in the sonorous and common Bengali noun of bhoot-bhooti.

The first time we had visited the place back in February of this year, the place looked desolate. 54 square km of the ‘char’ had been acquired by the state LF government without any resistance or opposition from the fishing folk or even the self-proclaimed ‘environmentalist lobby,’ for the union government-approved petro-chemical products investment region (PCPIR). The rest of the area was filled with shrubs and wild grass.

The change was startling when we recently paid another visit to Nayachar. All on a sudden, we noted the quick increase in the number of hutments. We also found deep dug out. A full-fledged Krishi Ucchhed Pratirodh Committee’ (KUPC) has been formed mostly with Maoist participation. The number hutments had gone up at an incredible rate, from a dozen-odd to several dozens.

The east Midnapore unit of the CPI(M) informed us that they had authentic news that 50 hardened Trinamuli-Maoist killers of Nandigram had been despatched and ‘settled in’ at the ‘char’ land. These goons carried a large cache of arms. They come mostly from the localities of Kendemari, Shrigauri, and Bachhurmari of Nandigram 1 and 2. Others have come from Sagardwip and the abutting coastal zones of south 24 Parganas and east Midnapore. The Maoist chief ‘Kishan’ has already circulated a VCD where the Nayachar issue has been noted and later transcribed into a CP (Maoist) party letter that has been propagated in Midnapore east and at Nayachar.

According to Party sources, the work of making mines and other explosives has already started at the locale of the ‘char’ land, which is thickly shrubbed and has no habitation. This is yet to be confirmed but we have no reason to disbelieve the local fishing folk, once friendly to us, trembling in fear this time around when asked about the plethora of ‘new people,’ coming into Nayachar and going away from the island.

The desolate areas are Baolatala, Bishalaxmi, and Khejurtala. We learn that the Maoists would start the ‘action programme’ right after the Lok Sabha elections are over under ‘earnest request’ from the Trinamuli chieftains. Maoist leader Sheikh Gaushal of south 24 Parganas is apparently the ‘coordinator’ with the Trinamuli hoods of the ‘char’ land.


A reality now, more than ever, rather than a theoretical compose the Third Front with the Left in the van shall direct the shape of the Lok Sabha that shall be formed after the Lok sabha election. This was Biman Basu, state secretary, Bengal CPI(M) at the massive convention of Left student-youth in Kolkata at a packed indoor Stadium in the afternoon hours of 28 March, the anti-unemployment day.

Biman Basu said in clear tones that both the bourgeois alliances, one led by the Congress the other by the religious fundamentalist BJP, were breaking apart in front of their own eyes, and they stand helpless. The Third Front gains strength continuously and is spreading its political wings across a larger and ever larger footprint across India.

Explaining that it had been the Left students-youth organisations that had commenced observing the anti-unemployment day from back in 1973, the speaker said that the young generation of the Left had also played an exemplary role in the struggle against quasi-fascism and lumpen terror that Bengal bled under during the 1970s. The relevance of 28 March shall continue to be relevant until an end was wrought of exploitation, deprivation, and the ruling class control over the means of production.

Extending his arguments into analysing the massive economic recession that has slowed down production and has resulted in billions of people losing job especially in the capitalist world, the Bengal LF chairman said that more than a hundred million young men and women stand to lose employment in India itself over the next year or so. By 2020, the rate of unemployment itself shall reach 30% in the sub-continent. In just over a decade’s worth of time-scale India shall be burdened with the presence of eleven crore jobless youth.

As we speak today, said the senior CPI(M) leader, India has lost 1.5 million men and women in the organised sector alone. Five lakh people connected with the once-lucrative ornaments trade and calling has become without a viable means of livelihood. The sunrise Info-Tech industry is expected to shed 50 thousand jobs, come the next half-a-year. BPO will see 2.5 lakh jobs go down the drain, adding to the burden of joblessness.

The country groans under misery of the financial kind because of the fatuous way the ruling classes have clung to the capitalist path and has seen the light at the end of the tunnel in ‘globalisation.’ The Left has cautioned the people during the earlier Lok Sabha polls against the expected facet of the Congress policy of towing the economic policy of the NDA régime, and that proved disastrous for the nation, especially for the toiling masses.

The Left has lent its outside support to the UPA governance strictly based on the few pro-people aspects of the CMP, aspects that the Congress did not follow while selling the nation downstream to imperialism and its lackeys. This resulted in the correct decision of the CPI(M) and the Left in withdrawing support.

Biman also mentioned the u holy alliances that had come together in Bengal against the CPI(M) and the Left Front. As he put, the masses shall bid good night to the forces of darkness whose surreptitious alliance was forged not in the broad day light but in the darkness of the night. Biman was also thoroughly critical of the way the opposition had suddenly started to shed what were clearly tears of sham and falsity for the adivasis.

The opposition was also playing the Communal card as dangerously as the young stalwart of the BJP was doing with imp unity at the national level—and getting away with it. Biman called upon the youth to be politically active in dealing a blow to the hopes and evil ambitions of the opposition in the Lok Sabha polls all over Bengal. A win in Bengal for the CPI(M) and the Left would improve the prospects that much more for the Left-led Third Front. Student and youth leaders, too, addressed the vast gathering, a gathering that was big enough to take a long time to disperse


Agartala, 29th March

The people of Tripura will contribute to realise the possibility of the formation of a govt of the Third forces at the centre.CPI(M) tripura state secretariate member Gautam Das expressed confidence today in a pressmeet in Agartala.In the press meet Das briefed newspersons about the intensive campaign progam of the Left Front in the state.He said CPI(M) and left front workers all over the state have jumped in the intensive campaigning.Already booth committees have been formed, GB meetings are completed. The workers are now approaching people though small local meetings and door to door campaign explaining before them the basic appeals of the party's election manifesto,joint policy statement of the 10 political parties and the appeal of the 4 left parties.Both the candidates are addressing public meetings in different assembly constituencies.Das said the campaign will gain more momentum once the filing of nomination papers are over.On 30th of March both Com Khagen Das candidate for the West Tripura seat and Com.Bajuban Reang Candidate for the Tripura East(ST) seat will file their nomination papers.On 5th April the central election rally of the Left front will be held at Agartala.Com. Prakash Karat, General Secretary of CPI(M) will be the chief orator.Com Manik Sarkar, PBM and Chief Minister of the state, CPI Leader Srikumar Mukherjee, RSP leader Kshiti Goswami, both the candidates will address the meeting to be presided over by Com Baidyanath Majumdar.Gautam Das said the political scenario at the national level clearly indicates none of the congerss or BJP will be able to come to power this time. Anumber of parties are joining the third force, after the election too a lot of parties might join us.Detailing on the misdeeds of UPA govt which has contributed to misery of the common masses.The same govt which has doled out a tax concession of Rs. 30000crores to the corporates is apathetic towards the misery of the millions of people suffering from job cuts.He said people all over the country are fed up with Congress and BJP and their is an opportunity of establishing a non congress secular govt at the center which will persue an alternative pro people trajectory in economy, foriegn policy and a host of other other issues concerning the lives of the people.Das said the manner in which people are responding to our campaign and the way new faces are joining hands with us is we believe indicative of the fact that the vote of the Left will increase from what it was in the earlier parliamentary and assembly elections.After the declaratin of the elections 872 numbers of congress and 852 numbers of INPT workers have shun these parties and joined hands with us. He said we are confident the people of Tripura will contribute greatly to realise the possibility of an alternative govt at the centre.

Congress had committed an act of treachery with the verdict of the common people: Jyoti Basu

Congress had committed an act of treachery with the verdict of the common people, says Jyoti Basu today.

Veteran CPI (M) leader in an exclusive interview to Ganashakti, spoke about various issues concerning the national and the West Bengal situation. He said, Congress led UPA government at centre continued with policies as similar that had been taken by previous BJP led NDA, which had resulted into their rout in the 2004 election.He dubbed these policies as strikingly anti-people. Hence we need the formation of a third front government at the centre, right now. Now the third Front is the real alternative. I hope, people in the different states of our country will definitely give their opinion for the formation of the Third Front at the Centre in the coming elections.

In the interview, on the state situation he expressed that the Congress and the Trinamool is taking an anti-developmental plank in the state. They even are creating roadblocks for the employment generation efforts aimed towards the unemployed youths of the state. The opposition of West Bengal wants to put the state into back gear.
Q: The situation of the last Loksabha election is remarkably different from this year’s election. Last time the leftists had called to support the Congress but this time the Leftists has called to defeat both the Congress and the BJP in the coming polls. Why is it so, and what is the background of such a call?

Jyoti Basu: It’s true, that the situation in this year’s poll has been remarkably different from that of the last year. Last time after the polls, we had to support the Congress in order to resist the communal BJP from coming into power. If they had succeeded in their endeavor to come into power then the BJP led NDA would transform the entire country into another Gujarat. We didn’t want to let the whole country to transform into a hotbed of the planned genocide that the RSS-BJP combine committed on the Muslim population with the help of their state government in Gujarat. That’s the reason why we supported the Congress led UPA government at centre. It was a strange thing that we had to do, inspite of the fact that it is against the Congress that we have fought against, during our whole life. Still we are fighting against them, but to prevent the forces of communalism at that time we had to support the Congress. But one thing should be kept in mind–our support was not unconditional. We, the left parties supported the UPA on the condition of adhering to the implementation of the common minimum programme.
Q: Then why was that support withdrawn?

Jyoti Basu : Yes! We had to withdraw that support. Because, the Congress committed an act of treachery with the people of the entire country. They didn’t adhere to the common minimum programme. They gave away our independent foreign policy and trounced us under the feet of the US imperialism. Now they are governing the country by adhering to the interests of the USA, which is completely contrary to the interests of the common people of the country. When the government was formed, there was talk that a committee will be constituted from our side as well as a one from their side, which will continuously monitor the performance of the government and the implementation of the CMP. But the Congress has neglected the implementation of the CMP and infact has worked against it. Congress had refused to comply with the verdict of the common people. They don’t do any self introspect, and does not take lessons from their previous mistakes. They continued with those same set of policies that had been taken by the BJP which had resulted into their rout in the previous election. Congress still is clinging to the anti people policies. Hence we, the Leftist had to oppose this.

Q: Then, in this election, what type of government at Delhi are you professing?
Jyoti Basu: We want such a government in the centre which will work for the benefit of the common people of the country, which will pursue a secular policy in combating the danger of communalism. They won’t bow down their heads to the US imperialism and follow an independent foreign policy. Self reliant economy and not a dependent economic policy should guide our country under such a government. We are propagating these views through out the country. Our party is emphasizing in building up a non-Congress, non-BJP secular, democratic government at the Centre, which we are referring as the Third front. Discussions have also been held at our central committee meetings regarding this. Though, due to my illness I couldn’t attend those meetings.

Q: But there has been a certain amount of confusion in the mind of the people regarding this government of the Third Front. Questions are arising as to whether formation of such a government is really possible ,whether all the constituents of such a government will be unified in the long run ,whether they be able to maintain their equi distance from the Congress and the BJP- these are questions that are being raised against this effort . What is your take on this?
Jyoti Basu: I have been informed by our party leaders, that the various regional parties has already responsed positively to the call. We are telling them to be unified on the basis of some principles. This is true that building up a third front is a very difficult task. But we have to make it happen. Because the policies that were adopted by the Congress and the BJP while running successive government at the centre has been, out and out against the interests of the common people. So we need the formation of a third front government at the centre right now. Third Front is the real alternative. I hope, people in the different states of our country will definitely give their opinion for the formation of the Third Front at the Centre in the coming elections.

Q: What is your take on the alliance that the anti-left forces of the state has entered upon, in order to fight the election against the Left Front in West Bengal?
Jyoti Basu: I have heard that the Congress and the Trinamool has entered upon an alliance. Another party which boasts of itself as a leftist one, has also joined hands with these extreme rightist forces. Again another outfit which is killing our party workers and leaders with the help of gun power has aligned with them. It is a fact that the opposition of the state has always fought unifiedly against the Left front, sometimes openly, sometimes covertly. But they should tell the people of state on the basis of what principles and programmes did they enter into an alliance against us? But they are not telling the basis of their alliance in front of the common people. In reality they don’t have any programmes or principles. Only they have a one point agenda that is to defeat the Left front of the state by any means. For that, they are not shying away to form any unprincipled alliance. They want to break the territorial integrity of the state and to severe the state into small pieces. So they are now joining hands with the cessionist forces, and are even aligning with the terrorists. The people of West Bengal will never comply with these goals of the opposition. I’ve got full faith in the consciousness of the people of our state from their own experience they have realized who are their real enemies and who are their real allies. They won’t vote for these opportunist forces in the elections. I believe that people of our state will vote positively for the Left Front of our state.

Q: Although the Loksabha elections are held throughout the country the opposition of this state is bringing forward the state issues in front in these elections. What is your opinion on this?

Jyoti Basu: There’s nothing much to say on the main opposition party of the state. Recently I had come across a report in an all India English daily where I saw a report which said that their supremo has got the lowest attendance at the last Parliament amongst all the 42 MP’s of the state. This is the reality and on the other hand for the last 32 years, time and again the people of our state have elected us continuously. People know us and on the other side they are also observing the role that is being played by the opposition in the state. Our government is continuously working for the welfare of the masses, and will continue to do it in the future. When that government is trying to develop industries I our state along with the development of agriculture, the opposition is crying foul over this. The opposition infact is trying to impend upon any welfare work aimed towards the masses of the state. The Left Front government of West Bengal has done many works for the welfare of the common people of the state. Currently we are the first in the country in agriculture and we are trying to develop it further. In this process help should be taken from the agricultural scientists and from the experts of the agricultural universities, to improve the productivity of the agricultural yield of our state. Not a single case of Farmers suicides has happened in our state. We are also the frontrunner in the country in social forestery, pisciculture, and in many other parameters. We have distributed more than 13 lakh acres amongst the poor landless farmers of our state. This work has been unprecedented in the entire country. More important the Left front government has been able to install a sense of confidence in the minds of the poor people of the state.
Q: The opposition is trying to create a sense of confusion in the minds of the minorities especially the Muslim community. What’s your view on this issue?
Jyoti Basu: Has Congress and Trinamool ever come in aid of the minorities of the state or catered to the interests of the Muslims in West Bengal? When Babri Masjid was demolished Mamata Banerjee was then a minister at the Centre. At that time she never uttered a single word of protest against that. She even had send Narendra Modi, garlands after his win in the assembly election. It is that government, which had carried out genocide on the Muslim population in Gujarat. I still remember the events, prior to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in a meeting in Delhi I had told Narsimha Rao ,the then Prime Minister of India ,that though we don’t like to apply article 356 on any state government ,still in this case if required, apply it. Later Comrade Surjeet and I called him over telephone requesting him to take immediate steps as the situation was fast worsening. He told us that a meeting of his party has been scheduled and he will discuss it out there. But he didn’t act. Later when the Liberhan Commission called us, then I had informed the Justice that I have a cassette in my possession which will depict what the BJP leaders had been saying after the demolition.

Q: The opposition is talking of the report of the Sachar committee…
Jyoti Basu: The Sachar Committee is a recent one. But back when we first came to power, then itself we had decided that we will work towards the upliftment of the Muslims, who are financially, socially and educationally in a backward position. We worked towards the social upliftment of the Muslims and to enhance their social condition. So we have developed many madrasahs, and the Madrasah teachers are being paid through the state exchequers which is unparallel in the country. Special stipends are also being allotted to the students from the minority community. To enhance self employment prospects amongst the minorities, loans are also being sanctioned. An Urdu academy has also come up. A major portion of the 30lakh odd farmers who have received land under the Land reforms programme in the state are from the minorities’ community. But the Sachar report has overlooked these facts. But we have to work more in this field. We will do it and elaborate plans for this purpose has already been drawn. More importantly in West Bengal the interests of the minority people in the state are protected. In the era of Left Front there has not been a single case of rioting against the minority community. This success has been attained as we are in power. People from the minority community have also realized this.

Q: What is your take on the anti industrialization plank of the opposition in the state?

Jyoti Basu: This is not a new issue. In the past also, the opposition has been against any industries to come up in the state. After independence it was for the Central government’s policy that West Bengal became a backbencher in terms of industrialization. The Left Front government had to start afresh on the efforts to industrialize the state. We had to wait for 11 years to get the sanction of the Centre for Haldia Petrochemicals. I still remember that after 1984 Loksabha election I had called for an meeting of the MP’s elected from the state so that we can press our demand to the Centre for development of the state irrespective of the party angle. But in that meeting also Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, Ajit Panja and Mamata Banerjee had walked out of it within 3 minutes of starting the meeting. Now many people are coming to build industries in the state. We have to be on the path of industrialization to cater to the job prospects of the unemployed youths of our state. Nowhere in the country has so much compensation given and rehabilitation schemes been taken for the benefit of the land losers whenever the state and Central government are acquiring land for public purposes. The opposition is creating roadblocks in the way of development of the state and is coming in the way of creating employment opportunities for the unemployed youths of the state. They want to put the state into back gear. The people of the state won’t forgive them.

United Left Block Forges Ahead in Bihar

United Left Block (ULB) comprising of CPI (M), CPI and CPI (ML) has decided to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections together in Bihar. CPI (M) is contesting five seats in Bihar, which include Ujiarpur, Supaul, West Champaran, Bhagalpur and Nawada.

Bourgeois-landlord political parties who have been in power in Bihar for last many decades have completely failed to solve the problems faced by the people. Agriculture is in doldrums. There has been no industrial development in the state. All infrastructure facilities including roads and railways are in shambles. There is a severe shortage of electricity in the state. Public education system, public health system and public distribution system are in deep crisis. Students have been forced to move out to seek education. Successive state governments including the present one and their faulty policies are singularly responsible for the rot that has set in the system. Rule of law has been replaced by the rule of corruption in the state.

It is in this context that for the first time left political parties have decided to come together to provide an alternative to the bourgeois-landlord political parties.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is raising a host of issues in its election campaigns. Bihar is one state, which has most fertile lands and rivers in the country. Yet people of the state have been devastated by flood, if it rains and drought, if it there is no rain. CPI (M) stands for the scientific management of water resources in the state and top priority should be given for developing a system for draining floodwater in the catchments area. CPI (M) also stands for land reforms to smash the feudal and semi-feudal relations existing in the countryside. CPI (M) also stands for the industrial development is the state. CPI (M) also believes that serious attention is required for developing infrastructure facilities in the state. Electricity has to be given a top priority in the state. CPI (M) also stands for improving public education system, public health system and public distribution system. CPI (M) also believes in taking measures for social reforms in the state and is confident that the left will increase its strength in the state.

CPI (M) has formed party committees at constituency, blocks and panchayat levels and in the process of forming booth level committees in all constituencies. Com. S. R. Pillai, Polit Bureau Member of the CPI (M) visited all constituencies recently and addressed party cadres and sympathizers. He also talked about the issues and the political context in which the elections are taking place. In coming days campaigns will be intensified once nominations are over.

Com. Ganesh Shanakr Vidhyarthi, a party veteran of many struggles, is contesting from Nawada constituency. A freedom fighter, Com Vidhyarthi even contested the first elections held in 1952 for the state assembly. He has earlier been MLA and MLC. For the first time Com Vidhyarthi is contesting the Lok Sabha election. He is a well known political figure in the constituency.

Com. Ramdev Verma, a sitting MLA is contesting from Ujiarpur constituency. He is the group leader of CPI (M) in the state assembly. Com Verma is a fighter with good oratory and writing skills. He is very popular in the area. This is the 4th term that he is serving as the MLA of the constituency falling under this parliamentary constituency.

Com. Subodh Roy, Central Committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is contesting from Bhagalpur and has represented this constituency once as MP earlier. Com Subodh Roy is a popular mass leader and has been the party’s face in the district.

Com. Balram Singh Yadav, MLC from local teacher’s constituency is contesting from Supaul parliamentary constituency. Com. Yadav is a popular leader in the area who has been steadfast in supporting farmers’ issues. He led a movement for proper compensation to farmers who were ravaged during Kosi flood.

Com Ramashray Singh, a former MLA and senior leader of the party and Kisan Sabha is contesting from West Champaran constituency. He is also the state secretariat member of the party.

There is a lot of enthusiasm among cadres and sympathizers of the left political parties. All left parties are working unitedly to ensure that left gets triumphant in the forthcoming elections.

CPI (M) Marches Ahead in Rajasthan

Comrade Nilotpal Basu, Central Secretariat Member of the CPI (M) who was recently in Rajasthan attending organizational meetings in preparations for the election campaign writes on the party’s struggles, experiences and challenges in the present campaign.

Rajasthan is a state, which has long been long associated with its royal traditions and overwhelming feudal influences. Feudal forces had an undisputed sway over the political process. And the electoral fortunes swung like a pendulum between the Congress and the BJP.

The BJP, in spite of the ups and downs in its political fortune, retains some capacity to independently win assembly and parliament seats, in this state. Why is it so? The Congress, as a party, has never been interested to launch an all out battle against the entrenched feudal stranglehold which would have resulted in the break up of the tradition of political mobilization on caste grounds. Neither was the Congress interested in taking on the medieval social and cultural attitudes through any meaningful reform process that would fundamentally deny space for political Hindutva and its obnoxious `cultural nationalism'.

The situation today is slowly changing. In the last few years, the CPI (M) has taken sure strides towards developing people's struggles. Particularly the CPI (M) and several democratic organizations have stepped up their initiative on issues and challenges facing the downtrodden sections particularly those of the peasantry.

In the past, the CPI (M) had taken up mass issues and their leaders had gained respectability and were seen as uncompromising fighters in the cause of the people. But in those days, this image of the Party and its leadership could not get consolidated on a firm and sustainable basis. In fact, there was a time when the CPI (M) managed to win solitary seats in the Rajasthan assembly, but invariably those seats would be wrested by the Congress or the BJP in the subsequent election. This scenario changed in the last decade or so when Amra Ram, now a CPI (M) Central Committee member, won the Dhond seat in the Sikar district of the Shekhawati region of the state. And, then through the struggles of the Party outside and his interventions inside Assembly, the people saw the need for rallying behind the Party and the Kisan Sabha in not only Dhond but other areas of Sikar district. Amra Ram managed to retain the seat for three consecutive terms.

Dhond became the seed of a new movement towards the Red Flag. And, the people’s struggle advanced remarkably during the last five years. It was the BJP, which was at the helm of affairs with Vasundhara Raje government in office. First came the struggle on electricity tariff. The Vasundhara government had raised the power tariff for the farmers steeply. The Kisan Sabha and the CPI (M) organized the united protest of the peasantry. A new form for struggle where thousands of peasants descended on Jaipur and would lay siege in what was called a `padav'. The peasants refused to budge unless their demands would be met. It is the resoluteness of the struggle, which resulted in the Vasundhara government to rescind the tariff hike order. And, this triggered a wave of self-confidence and a sense of achievement among the peasants in the Sikar and adjoining areas.

This experience, then, was replicated once again on the question of water distribution for irrigation from the Indira Gandhi Canal to farmers of Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh and Bikaner districts.

Then came the vigorous struggle for implementation of NREGA. The poor and the landless now got benefits out of the programme due to an organized intervention of the CPI (M) and gains were tangible in the form of wages and income.

The other startling change that started to shore up was the expansion of the Kisan Sabha and the Party to consolidate the gains of the struggle involving the rural poor. The contrast was so visible to people. On the one hand, the BJP led by Vasundhara was busy in enticing people from different caste groups. Starting with the Jats, she managed to create fissures among the Jats and the Gujjars and the Minas. On the other hand, whenever people protested the government was ruthless and attempted to put down protests. There were instances of at least four-dozen police firings.

These struggles, sacrifices and commensurate efforts towards building organization yielded results in the last Assembly election. In Sikar district alone, CPI (M) won two Assembly seats and lost three of them quite narrowly. Overall, the CPI (M)'s vote share was almost one-fourth of the total votes. Amra Ram who had emerged as a symbol of this new awakening defeated seven time MLA and former state Congress President in Danta Ramgarh. Similarly, in Sriganganagar, one of the leaders of the water struggle, Pawan Duggal, won Anupgarh (SC) seat with huge margin.

Now, the Lok Sabha election has opened up a new opportunity to take the struggle forward. In the last Assembly elections, in predominantly bipolar Rajasthan, BJP was defeated but Congress failed to win absolute majority. The combined vote share of BJP and Congress was only 72 per cent while 28 per cent went to the others. This provides a good starting point for the gathering of non-Congress non-BJP forces.

The CPI(M) has taken the lead in such an effort. Combining articulation of the burning problems of the people of this state with the national level policy platform of the Left, it is contesting the three seats of Sikar, Bikaner (SC) and Sriganganagar (SC) seats. The CPI in alliance will put up candidates for Udaipur and Chittong.

The campaign and the elaborate organizational preparations have started. Hannan Mollah addressed a gathering of select activists from different booth areas of the eight Assembly segments of the Sikar parliamentary constituency where Amra Ram has emerged as a front-runner.

Similarly, Nilotpal Basu addressed similar meetings for the Bikaner and the Ganganagar seats. In Bikaner, Pawan Duggal, a young leader of the water struggle who has already made his mark in the Assembly is the CPI (M) flag-bearer, has been making an impact on the electoral contest.

The Red Flag is making a determined bid to send its first representative to the Lok Sabha for the first time without the support of any other non-Left political party.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


From B Prasant/ INN

Kolkata, March 25: Motoring down the Barrackpore expressway this morning (25 March 2009), two fascinating scenes drew our attention. First, at various places on the two sides of the broad avenue, we found Trinamuli and Pradesh Congress election banners, graffiti, and posters overwhelming the side of all sorts of government buildings as well as of other structures including CPI(M) election offices!!.

This is in clear violation of the concerned rules read with the EC regulations in this regard. Nevertheless, who cares anyway, in a parliamentary seat (15-Barrackpore) where the popularity of the hammer-and-sickle is legendary for decades together now, and the candidate himself is a veteran TU leader-- and the new-found Trinamuli candidate, a fresh import from the posh environs of the capital, is perhaps a sure loser.

The second sight that almost forced our attention was a curious one, a very curious one, indeed, and it showed the bad taste that the Trinamulis have grown up with, to mature and fructify, come the polls. We saw vast-sized, garishly coloured photos of Mamata Banerjee and the state governor together in gigantic hoardings all across the township of Bhatpara. We would not know if any of the two featured together had registered their protest with anybody, but the Bengal CPI(M) has drawn the urgent attention of the full bench of the EC to the crass violation of norms, electoral or otherwise perpetrated here.

This brings us nicely to the vying with the Trinamulis, for overturning the election code, by the Pradesh Congress. We have received reports earlier that the morning of 25 March saw the two brothers of the late A. B. A. Ghani Khan Chaudhuri descending on the township of Maldah with a roaring-at-full-throttle fleet of 50-odd massed motorbikes—each carrying the Congress election symbol. Noise pollution, what do you mean? However, more is involved here than meets the ears.

As the Bengal CPI(M) has not lost time in writing to the ECI, this demonstration of massed engine horsepower also violates the electoral regulation that says that such convoys must prominently display on their respective windshields the permit for such a motorcade (in this case, what, a motorbicade?) to be organised, and it contravenes the other concerned rule that lays down that any large convoy of motorised vehicles taking part in an election campaign, must be broken up in small groups with at least 200 metres worth of distance between the groups. On both counts, the Pradesh Congress could not care less.

Then again, once the Trinamul Congress takes the plunge in brushing election rules brusquely aside can the ‘mothership’ called the Pradesh Congress wallow silent in obeisance of forms and norms, electoral or otherwise.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Report: Brinda Karat's Press Conference

New Delhi, March 23: The CPI(M) today fired the major salvo by bringing out a campaign leaflet castigating the Congress led government on the price rise, hunger and malnutrition fronts. The ten page pamphlet was released by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, who charged that even as even as the government’s granaries are overflowing with a surplus stockholding- 84 per cent above buffer norms, kitchens of vast sections of our people remain empty, ‘they do not even get two square meals a day’, she added..

Calling for the secular alternative Ms Karat called for a total rebuff to both the Congress and the BJP let fronts. Not only this, she made it clear that the party would bring out 14 more exposures on various fronts under theme ‘Aam Admi Suffers in High Growth India’. The coming propaganda blitzkrieg would focus on Price Rise and Food Security, Communalism and Terrorism, Agriculture, Bharat Nirman , Economic Crisis and Recession, Working Class Issues, Urban Poor, Minorities, Women, Dalits and Adivasis, Disabled, Students and Youth, Education, Health and Foreign Policy.

Campaign Booklet Released

New Delhi, March 23, 2009


One of the most striking failures of the Congress-led government has been the inability to check the persistent rise in prices of food and other essential commodities and ensure food security for our people. Shamefully, the UPA government is now claiming great success in controlling inflation, at a time when the entire global economy is spiraling rapidly into recession. Inflation in prices of food articles are 8% and foodgrains are 11% higher than a year ago, respectively. At the retail level in Delhi between March 2008 and March 2009 sugar went up by 47 per cent, tur by 31 per cent and onions by a whopping 111 per cent. All this makes the slogan of Jai Ho sound hollow.

.Endemic hunger continues to afflict a large proportion of the Indian population. The International Food Policy Research Institute ranks India 66 out of the 88 developing countries. This is not surprising, since latest NSS data show that 76 per cent of the total population has inadequate calorie and food consumption. More than half of India’s women and three-quarters of children are anaemic and one in every three adult Indian has chronic energy deficiency.

The obvious strategy to tackle hunger and malnutrition was to universalize and strengthen the Public Distribution System, expand the Anna Antodaya Yojana, act firmly against hoarders and black-marketers, ban futures trading in essential items and food, etc. But the UPA government did the exact opposite through its ill-conceived neo-liberal food policy, which favoured agribusiness and private traders, belying its promises to the aam aadmi.

1. It is shameful that today, even as the Government’s granaries are overflowing with a surplus stockholding 84 per cent above buffer norms, kitchens of vast sections of our people remain empty.

2. The Government cut allocations of food grains to the States by 325 lakh tones or by 73.4 per cent between 2006 and 2008, mainly under the APL category.

3. Furthermore, there has been a cut in household quota for APL from 35 kg per family per month to 20 kg.

4. It continued the policy of dividing and excluding the poor through targeting: The Targeted PDS scheme in a predominantly poor country like India means demarcating not between the rich and the poor, but between different categories of the poor at ridiculous destitution levels of Rs 11.80 per person per day for rural and Rs. 17.80 per person per day.

5. Tardy expansion in Anna Antodaya Yojana beneficiaries by an average of just 10 lakhs a year

6. Concerted attempt to increase prices of foodgrain in the public distribution system, prevented by the CPI(M)

7. Despite production not declining in this period, the Government jeopardized self-reliance in food security by its import of 5.5 million tonnes of poor quality contaminated wheat from big agri-business and traders in 2006 and 2007 at twice the price it was prepared to pay to Indian farmers.

8. Pandering to the speculation and hoarding by big traders and global and national agri-business, Parliamentary Committee’s recommendation to ban future trading in agricultural commodities.

9. Cut down on food subsidies when a big increase was required. During the UPA regime (2004-2009) the average share for food security allocation on all Programmes has stayed below 1 % of GDP (current prices), at a time when 16 countries increased their subsidies from near zero to up to 2.7 per cent of GDP as a response to higher food prices.

Item 2

From India News Network (INN)

New Delhi, March 23: The CPI(M) is bringing out a set of booklets and folders to highlight the issues it will be focussing on in the forthcoming election campaign.

Under the theme Aam Admi Suffers In High Growth India, the booklets and folders that are being brought out include the following themes:

1. Price Rise and Food Security

2. Communalism and Terrorism

3. Agriculture

4. Bharat Nirman

5. Economic Crisis and Recession

6. Working Class Issues

7. Urban Poor

8. Minorities

9. Women

10. Dalits and Adivasis

11. Disabled

12. Students and Youth

13. Education

14. Health

15. Foreign Policy

The booklets and folders will be released by Polit Bureau members and members of the Central Secretariat in the coming days.

Audio visual material is also being prepared for the campaign.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bengal News

Kolkata, March 23, 2009


LF-supported Forward Bloc candidate for Barasat in north 24 Parganas and noted educationist Sudin Chattopadhyay was taken aback when he saw a rush of hooligans onto the stage. The occasion (on 18 March) was a ‘live’ TV show put up at Barasat where the organisers / TV channel owners wanted Prof Chattopadhyay to enter into a debate with the Trinamul candidate from the Barasat seat.

As the debate progressed it was clear that Prof Chattopadhyay was gradually gaining an upper hand despite his low-key, polite, and soft style of speaking vis-à-vis the Mamata banerjee-like aggression and fire-and-brimstone kind of approach by his woman rival candidate who has had to swallow defeats every time she had run for the polls, be it the assembly or the Lok Sabha. She had once run against Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee from Jadavpur and had her ego bruised by the thumping margin of the former’s win. Her frustration came through rather easily this time around, if in a menacing manner, as Prof Chattopadhyay was soon to find out.

The organisers had managed to stash away a large ‘cache’ of drunken Trinamul Congress supporters around the open air space from where the show was telecast. Each round of question-and-answer session saw the Trinamuli candidate get the worse of the exchanges in terms of facts as well as argumentation. She kept becoming angrier as the FB candidate never strayed off the cool and the laid-back attitude he is quite well-known for, apart from his great debating skill.

The last straw was reached when the Trinamul candidate started to hurl abuses on the professor, and the Trinamuli goons, perhaps sensing that that was the signal, came rushing up the stage, swept past a sniggering presenter, and jostled with Sudin Chattopadhyay, beating him up with fists and worse.

The latter fell down bleeding and had to be removed to hospital after the local people had to intervene and stop the hooliganism. In hospital, the doctors realised that professor Chattopadhyay had suffered from at least one broken rib plus innumerable bruises on his face and body, and must be rested for some days before venturing out on the campaign trail. The Trinamulis had better come to grips with the fact that this show of terrorism would lose and not win them votes in a seat where the LF and the FB had always prevailed, whoever the rival has been.


Two serious charges have been levelled against the Election Commission of India (ECI) by the CPI(M). One deals with the time allotted to the different political parties with whom the ECI interacted at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on 19 March. The second is concerned with the order in which the political parties were called up for the tête-à-têtes.


The first concerned the order in which the political parties were called up. The ECI chose ostensibly an alphabetical order to call up the leaders of the different, national, and state, parties present on the day. They first called upon the AIFB. To the surprise of everyone, the Trinamul Congress that goes by the grand name of All-India Trinamul Congress in the official ECI documents was not called thereafter. The Trinamuli chiefs were in fact called up at the end the session.

Thus by the time the Trinamulis trooped in the ECI was aware of the say-so of all the Left parties who had duly been called in alphabetical order. In a protest letter, Biman Basu has said that the ECI should follow a single norm. Either it must prefer the alphabetical order, or it should go by the national / state status of the concerned parties. It chose to follow both, one set of norms for the Trinamulis and another set for the rest of the parties including the new-found Trinamuli political dost, the Pradesh Congress.


Second, the political parties were each allocated time slots of ten minutes each for interaction with the ECI, and this included the Pradesh Congress. However, it was found that the Trinamulis were allowed nearly an hour’s worth of time when they went to meet the ECI. The CPI (M) has pointed this pout in a letter to the ECI and has asked for clarification. We are left wondering what the discussion was going on about. The Trinamuli chieftains would not speak to the media when they finally came out, smiles pasted on their visages.


At the meeting, in the ten minutes worth of time the CPI (M) leaders led by Party CCM Madan Ghosh pointed to the following emergent issues, among others, that needed redresssal and early:

v A situation of terror is being built up in the state with one after another leading CPI(M) workers being heinously murdered

v The fundamentalists are on the prowl in a markedly intense manner

v The left sectarians are active in a violent way in the red clay districts and are making it impossible for the CPI(M) to carry out election campaign

v Opposition candidates are flouting the election code in a variety of manners including coming up with what amounted to graft, and include various infrastructural assurances

v Walls of government and quasi-governments were being written on with graffiti by the opposition

v The two official media of Akashvani and Doordarshan were patently biased against the CPI(M) and for the parties of the ruling classes

The CPI(M) asked the ECI to seal the interstate and the international border around Bengal during the poll period. They also asked the ECI to look into instances where the number of voters has suddenly increased, out of expectation.


The Lok Sabha elections approach. The opposition is panic struck. The rank of the panic struck includes reactionary forces here and abroad. Thus, we are at the receiving end of a wide array of conspiracies, some foolishly, overtly executed, and these are but few. The water runs dangerously deep in most instances of the orchestrated, concentrated, planned, scheming moves against the Left Front and the CPI(M).

Shall we begin with the obvious? Numerous groups of men and women are on the move across the villages and towns, the hamlets and the urban centres in Bengal even as you read this. They include women in widows’ weeds, young boys, and girls, with a gang of toughs hanging back.

The groups approach the households during the noon hour when the menfolk have gone out to earn their livelihood. They get hold of the women. They tell them horror stories of ‘atrocities perpetrated on us at Nandigram.’ Sometimes, the locale is a Singur hamlet. The refrain is the same. “Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has a yen for land. He will take away your agricultural plot and your homestead land. Buddhadeb represents the philosophy of the CPI(M) to ‘rob the poor.’ Beware of him, and of them. Chance comes to you every five years only. Take a plunge, and vote for change.”

Mostly, these ploys backfire. Curious women ask them of the details and for these bearers of the untruth the devil lie in the details. They cannot name the villages they inhabit. They will not give out their names, even names of their family members. They are then turned out, politely by the householders. The toughs slither closer, and utter whispered threats, and then they disappear in the waiting car or auto-rickshaw, their always engines awhirr as they wait.

That was the obvious. The conspiracy is professionally organised elsewhere. The target is the minority communities, or one minority community, the largest of them in Bengal, a community that has always been by the side of the Left Front and the CPI(M). Old men yet tell us with more than a touch of pride how most of the pioneering dozen of the founders’ brigade of the CPI had been Muslims! They recall the political-ideological-organisational contributions of such comrades as Kakababu (Muzaffar Ahmad), Abdul Halim, Abdullah Rasul, and Shahidullah in Bengal.

We find the imam of the Bada Masjid, up to little good-- for anybody. Shahi Imam of Bengal, who is the Mufti-e Azam, as well as the chief Mufti and Quazi of the state government of Bengal also being the Dar-ul Ifta and Quaza of Bengal per se, issues a press release of 21 March 2009, on a piece of paper that carries the official government emblem in the form of the Ashoka Pillar (Ashoka Stambha), as used in government documents, on the top left side of the page.

In that release, he falsely berates the present state administration for its ‘anti-Muslim’ frame of mind, and calls upon all ‘sane citizens,’ to ‘go ahead and make a change,’ while casting their votes. We find this not merely a perversion of facts but a dangerous communal approach that is also grossly inflammatory in character. Most Muslims would ignore the appeal. Nevertheless, the intent, or rather the severe malignancy of the exercise is sure to make happy and rock with pure pleasure, Mamata Banerjee, men, and women of her ilk, and, who knows, perhaps also the chieftains of their new-courted ally, the Pradesh Congress, and their patrons, here and abroad.

After all, even as a Bengali-speaking ambassador of the US to India is steps in, set to ‘begin the beguine’ for the imperialists from Delhi, the man on the spot of the US of A in Kolkata has chosen the cosy, air-conditioned, five-star confines of a central Kolkata hotel to meet more-than-once a chosen few Muslim leaders who are both familiar and comfortable with the idioms of fundamentalism and of anti-Communism. The agenda, we can assume, is not either religion or peace.

The Left Front has stepped up its election campaign. Smaller meetings are stressed on—baithaks, as well as pally or neighbourhood meetings, smaller gatherings at rural haats and urban bazaars are concentrated upon, discussions are opened to the masses on the issues of the day, the candidates march along the routes within their constituencies, always stopping by for a bit of political adda, and a glass or two of cool water, maybe an earthen pot or three of black tea – and while bigger rallies are held fewer in number, preference is gradually being allocated to intimate, personal, one-to-one, house-to-house contact with the masses.

The Left Front itself marches on in solidarity with the people, as one. Biman Basu, state secretary of the CPI(M) and the Bengal LF chairman has assured the people that the LF is united as ever, and that ‘we are fighting for all 42 seats, not one less.’ Wild predictions shall meet a wilder fate we are assured by the elderly and the young alike. In the meanwhile, Biman Basu rushes off to big and small rallies at several places in south Bengal having arrived at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan a few hours earlier from a lengthy trip to north and central Bengal.

AIDWA Delhi State Committee on Radha Kumar

New Delhi, March 23: Sehba Farooqui, Secretary, AIDWA, Delhi State Committee has issued the following statement:

Many dailies have carried reports about one Ms Radha Kumar having left the AIDWA and joined the Congress Party in Delhi. They have claimed that Ms Radha Kumar led a large number of AIDWA members of the Outer Delhi unit into the Congress Party. Before carrying such malicious reports it would have done the media some good to verify basic facts of this case.

Ms Radha came into contact with the AIDWA in the latter half of 2008 in 25 Sector Rohini, where the women sought AIDWA’s help in resolving water related problems. She took the membership of our organization in 2008 but it became clear that she was interested only in finding greener pastures, since AIDWA is a purely voluntary organization, which does not give any monetary remuneration for working among women and does not ‘offer’ posts in the organization. The AIDWA works on a system of yearly membership. She was not given membership in 2009 by the AIDWA, Delhi State Committee, i.e. she is not an AIDWA member; leave alone a left activist or a member of the CPI (M).

The fact that the Congress Delhi Pradesh President went to such ridiculous extent of hosting a major media event around her joining the Congress party both reveals the nature of membership in Congress Party as well as their desperation against the Left in view of the developments at the national level.

We hope the press will carry this clarification in view of the libelous reports carried today.

CPI (M) prepares for elections in Madhya Pradesh

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is contesting in one seat, Morena in Madhya Pradesh. This parliamentary constituency comprises eight assembly constituencies, and will go to polls on 30 April. Party has already held meetings of cadres and sympathizers in 175 villages. Public meetings in the area have also begun. The campaign is expected to cover all kasbas by 31 March.

Com. Jugal Kishore Pipal, District Secretariat Member of the Party in Morena and President of the All India Kisan Sabha, Morena District Committee is our candidate.

The CPI (M) has led many struggles in the area against atrocities on dalits. The district has thirty percent of dalit population, who face severe atrocities. Located on the banks of the river, Chambal, Morena has witnessed rampant land acquisition at throwaway prices facilitated by the state government for the benefit of private business. The CPI (M) has been at the forefront of many struggles against this, including a padayatra in the recent past. Vulnerable to drought, people of the district have been facing severe hardship, which will be the focal issue of our campaign in the elections.

CPI (M) Karnataka begins campaign in Dakshin Kannada

The CPI (M) has been in the forefront of organizing the working people in Coastal Karnataka. The CPI (M) has fielded its popular leader B. Madhava, District Secretary and State Secretariat member as its candidate from Dakshin Kannada parliamentary constituency. The combined strength of the CPI (M), JD (S) and the CPI along with growing support from the people is sure to create history by ensuring the election of a non-BJP, non-Congress candidate.

Com. Madhava has been in the forefront of organizing the Beedi workers, tile workers, fishing community, banking and insurance workers for the last forty years in the region. He has been a guiding force in forging a united resistance against communal violence and atrocities against minorities, women, youth and dalits.

The people of the coastal regions of Karnataka have been facing an onslaught from communal RSS-VHP-Bajrang Dal and outfits like the Sri Ram Sena. Places of worship have been vandalized and minorities have been attacked. There has been a deliberate attempt to create fear and polarize the people. The BJP Government has blatantly taken the side of the communal forces.

The Congress has lost all its credibility in its claim to represent a secular India because of its strategic silence and at times even passive support extended by its local leaders fearing loss of votes. The CPI (M) and various democratic organizations have been in the forefront of organizing resistance and to defeat the game plan of the Sangh Parivar to turn the region into a Hindutva Laboratory.

The CPI (M) has appealed to the people of Karnataka to play a decisive role in ensuring a non-BJP, non-Congress Secular Alternative at the centre. The Party has started its campaign among the people of Dakshin Kannada to give a decisive mandate in favour of the CPI (M) in the elections to strengthen the struggle against communal forces.

CPI (M) Jharkhand Gears up for Elections

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is contesting two seats in Jharkhand. Com. Rajendra Singh Munda is the candidate for Ranchi seat while Com. Jyotin Soren is contesting in Rajmahal (ST). Voting will take place on 23rd April in both these constituencies.

Com. Munda is the state secretariat member of the CPI (M) and President of All India Kisan Sabha, Jharkhand State Committee. He has led many land struggles in the state. He has faced state repression and attacks by feudal landlords. He has been arrested and sent to jail many times. Popular among the people, he was elected MLA thrice from Silly, which falls within the Ranchi Parliamentary constituency. Com. Munda being a tribal was elected from a general constituency, which points to his popularity.

It is in this area that the CPI (M) has recently led the struggle against acquisition of land for the airport project. The project was successfully stalled due to our struggles in the area. In nearby Sonahatu in Ranchi region, the CPI (M) has been at the forefront of struggle against large-scale displacement. Several meetings were held in this constituency in the last week, as part of preparations for the election campaign.

Com Jytoin Soren, our candidate for the Rajmahal constituency (reserved for ST) is a state committee member of the CPI (M) and Vice- President of All India Kisan Sabha, Jharkhand State Committee. He has been elected MLA once from Maheshpur, which falls under Rajmahal Parliamentary constituency. Comrade Soren is also a veteran of many land struggles in the state.

Rajmahal is an area that borders West Bengal, with a concentration of minorities and poor peasantry, with a huge number of beedi workers, living there. This seat is currently held by the JMM. People of this area are presently infuriated with large scale displacements under way. They have fought against the Government consistently, as evident in the recent police firing against struggling people in the neighbouring district of Dumka. It is in this context that the CPI (M) is fighting the elections in this region. Four general body meetings organized in the last week witnessed enthusiastic response from our cadre and the people, to our campaign.

The Campaign will gain further momentum from the 23rd March, the last date for filing of nominations. Currently leaders are engaged in mass contact programmes. Comrade Brinda Karat, Member, Polit Bureau, CPI (M) visited several places in both the constituencies and addressed meetings.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Invitation: Release of Campaign Leaflets

March 22, 2009



The CPI(M) has identified certain issues for campaign for the 15th Lok Sabha elections. It will be bringing out a series of pamphlets/folders highlighting these issues.

The first set of campaign pamphlets/folders in this series will be released by Brinda Karat, Member of the Polit Bureau.

Date: March 23, 2009

Time: 15.30 hours

Venue: A.K. Gopalan Bhawan

You are requested to send your representative to cover the event.

On PDP stand in Kerala

New Delhi, March 21: The People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Kerala is not part of the Left Democratic Front.

In the year 2006 during the Assembly elections in Kerala, the PDP declared support for the LDF and independently campaigned for the victory of the LDF candidates.

Over the years, the PDP has changed from its original platform. It has taken a stand on anti-imperialist issues and against terrorism. The PDP is mainly based among the Muslim community. But it has, in the past few years, adopted a platform which addresses the issues of the dalits, backward classes and other oppressed sections.

For the Lok Sabha elections, the PDP has declared that it will support the LDF candidates in all constituencies and the independent candidate in Ponnani seat. The PDP is not part of the LDF and there is no alliance with it. However, the stand taken by the PDP to support the LDF in the elections is welcome.

Jharkhand: Murhu Police Firing

Ranchi, March 21: The CPI(M) Jharkhand state secretary J S Majumdar issued the following statement:

CPI(M) staged demonstration before Raj Bhavan today(March 20, 2009) against Murhu police firing in which a school going Adivasi child was killed and two others were injured. Party state secretary J S Majumdar and CPI(ML) leader Raja Ram joined the demonstration and delegation to the Governor. A memorandum was submitted to the Governor.

A team of the CPI(M), led by Khunti local committee secretary Pradip Guria, along with Praful Horo and Manu Saw visited the place of police firing this morning, investigated and collected information. They confirmed from all evidences that police firing is responsible for the killing and injuring innocent Adivasi children.

A party team consisting of Ranchi district secretary of CPI(M) Sufal Mahato and state secretariat member Prafulla Linda visited RIMS and met the injured children Gangu Purti and his family members, collected information and made financial help as the government failed to extend any financial assistance to the poor family even for medical treatment of the injured.

CPI(M) will stage protest demonstrations throughout the state within March 27, 2009.
Text of the memorandum

Mr. Sayed Shibte Razi

Hon’ble Governor of Jharkhand


20th March 2009

Memorandum on killing of an innocent child and injuring two other children by police firing on 19th March, 2009 at village Sirka in Murhu block of Khunti district.


We draw your attention to the following facts.

1. Today, a three members’ team of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) visited the place of police firing on 19th March, 2009 in village Sirka (Saramgora) in Murhu block of Kunti district and also RIMS, enquired and collected facts.

2. Unprovoked police firing killed an innocent Adibasi child Amar Purti on the spot and injured two other Adibasi Children, Gangu Purti, who has been admitted in RIMS in critical condition, and Gola Purti.

3. All three middle school going children were collecting Mahua when the police fired upon them in day light without any warning.

4. It is, further, criminal offence on the part of police to leave the dead body and the injured on the spot without making any attempt for their hospitalization.

5. Now, there is a cover up exercise by the police administration denying police firing. Because of this attitude of the police, the child eye witnesses are in grave danger. Their may be an attempt of manipulation of the postmortem report.

Under the above circumstances, we demand:

a) Since the State is under Central rule, the Union Home Minister should visit the place immediately;

b) The Superintendent of Police of Kunti district and other concerned police officials must be suspended immediately;

c) FIR should be registered under charge of murder under Section 302 of Cr.PC against concerned police personnel responsible for firing;

d) Security protection to the eye witnesses of police crime should provided by the special force;

e) Order should be issued for judicial enquiry;

f) Special medical care should be provided to Gangu Purti;

g) Compensation should be given for Rs. 10 lakhs to the family of Amar Purti and adequate compensation to the families of Gangu Purti and Gola Purti.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully

Second candidate list

From India News Network (INN)

New Delhi, March 21: We are herewith releasing the second list of candidates of the CPI(M) for the 15th Lok Sabha elections. The first list contained names of sixty seats and candidates.  Sixteen more names are being announced today. 

Second List of Lok Sabha Seats To Be Contested By The CPI(M) And Candidates

Sr. State No. Constituency Candidate
  Karnataka 1 Dakshin Kannada B. Madhava*
1     Kerala 1 Kasargode P. Karunakaran
2       2 Kannur K. K. Ragesh *
3       3 Vadakara P. Satheedevi (W)
4       4 Kozhikode Adv. Muhammed Riyaz *
5       5 Malappuram T. K. Hamza
6       6 Palakkad M. B. Rajesh*
7       7 Alathoor (SC) P. K. Biju *
8       8 Chalakkudi U. P. Joseph *
9       9 Ernakulam Sindhu Joy (W) *
10    10 Kottayam Suresh Kurup
11    11 Alappuzha Dr. K. S. Manoj
12    12 Pathanamthitta Ananthagopan *
13    13 Kollam P. Rajendran
14    14 Attingal A. Sampath
15  Lakshadweep 1 Lakshadweep Lookmanul Hakkim. M. K.*

*  new candidates

In the first list we had already announced that the CPI(M) will be putting up its candidate from Barpeta inAssam. The candidate is Durge Deka.