Thursday, February 27, 2014

Girijana Garjana to make Government act: CPI(M)

To make the Government solve many important and long-pending problems of Girijans, the district committee of the CPI(M) is organising Girijana Garjana at Araku Valley on March 6 in which party's polit bureau member Brinda Karat will participate. State secretariat members M. Babu Rao, who is a former MP, and Ch. Narasinga Rao will also participate.
Girijans in Visakha Agency are still plagued with problems like lack of protected drinking water, roads, power and houses while the Forest Rights Act, NREGS, pattas for podu lands etc. were yet to be implemented by the Congress Government which was in power for the last 10 years, Mr. Narasinga Rao said at a press conference he addressed along with district secretary K. Lokanadham here on Tuesday.

The CPI(M) leaders said local Ministers and people's representatives of the Congress had failed to improve the lot of Girijans in spite of being ruling party members. They had more concern for themselves than for Girijans, Mr. Narasinga Rao said. The Girijan Ministers of the ruling party had done little for their people even as the threat of bauxite mining in the Agency still loomed large. Not issuing pattas in the areas where bauxite mining was proposed was an indication of Government's intention to take up bauxite mining. Permission for laterite mining was being given through backdoor method, the CPI(M) leader said.

The FR Act came into effect nine years ago but individual rights were given only over 36,000 acres and 3400 acres for community rights while four lakh acres of land was available to be given to 1.25 lakh families.
(courtesy : The Hindu)

DYFI Dakshin Kannada District Conference

The Democratic Youth Federation of India urged youths to support candidates representing the Left parties or those from the third alternative that the Left parties support in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a public meeting at the end of two day district DYFI meeting on Monday, DYFI district president Muneer Katipalla said both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party were two sides of the same coin. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi — whom he described as prime ministerial candidates from the two parties — were being backed by corporate entities. Kannada actor Chetan said the youth should continue their fight till equality was achieved in society. There should be no barriers of caste, creed and language. “All languages are ours. Efforts should be made to grow it.” He recalled the contribution made to literature from Beary, Konkani, Tulu and Malayalam. “If we accept these languages, we will grow,” he said.
DYFI State president M.L. Bharatraj and CITU district secretary Vasanth Achary also spoke. In a meeting of the district DYFI held in Kolya, Mr. Katipalla was unanimously re-elected as the district unit president. The names of the other office-bearers of DYFI elected were Dayanand Shetty (Secretary), Jeevanraj Kuttar (Treasurer), Ashok Shetty Chemugudde (vice president), B.K. Imtiyaz (vice president) and Pramila K. Shatinagar (vice president).
(courtesy : the hindu)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

11 Parties Declaration

Joint Declaration
The country is going to the polls again to elect the 16th Lok Sabha.  This is the occasion for the people of India to decide the future direction of the Indian Republic. 
Five years of the UPA-II government have led to all-round problems and suffering for the people.  Economic growth has slowed down which was already skewed in favour of the rich; unprecedented price rise has caused havoc to the lives of the people; farmers have faced acute distress; youth face unemployment and bleak prospects; lakhs of adivasis, dalits and minorities have faced loss of livelihood; women have faced unprecedented insecurity  and violence; corruption has become the byword for the ruling establishment.
It is time for a change and to throw out the Congress from power.
The BJP, which claims to be the alternative, has no policies different from that of the Congress. Their record in the states where they run governments on corruption and economic policies underline the fact that they are the twin of the Congress and the other side of the same coin. Moreover, they represent an ideology which spells divisiveness, disunity and communal disharmony which will endanger the secular-democratic fabric. 
The BJP and the communal forces must be defeated and prevented from coming to power.
There has to be an alternative to the Congress and the BJP – an alternative which has a democratic, secular, federal  and pro-people development agenda.
We, the leaders of 11 parties, responding to the people’s urge for relief from the growing burdens, have resolved to work together for:
(i)               Strengthening the democratic framework ending corruption and ensuring accountability in government.
(ii)            Establishing a firm secular order which recognizes the plurality and diversity of our society.
(iii)          Providing a people-oriented developmental path which addresses the concerns of inequality, social justice, farmers’ interests, minorities and women’s rights.
(iv)          Reversing the centralizing model at the Centre; creating a true federal system so that all states’ rights are assured, including special category status for states who deserve it.
We urge other secular-democratic parties and forces to join our endeavour.
We appeal to all sections of the people, all citizens to extend their support to our parties and the principles we have set forth.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Left rally in Hisar

The toiling masses shall here to strengthen the red flag to strengthen their position in politics. This is also important for raising our issues in parliament for which we are fighting every day in streets. This was reinforced by the speakers one after the other in the rally attended by thousands of people in Hisar. The rally was organized jointly by CPI(M) and CPI.

Sitaram Yechury, Polit Buero Member of CPI(M) and MP while addressing the rally said that people today needs better future, better education and health, condition of agriculture need to be improved and youth today wants employment.He said that Haryana today has become a model of loot by the corporate and repression of workers and toiling people. Repression of workers of Maruti  Massacre is a living example of this. He said that India is a country of young people and our youth is in forefront world over. But in India only 12% youth reach college today.  He said that natural resources of our country are ruthlessly looted today. 51 persons of our country today own 1/3 of GDP while over 80 crore people live below Rs. 20 per day.  

Today there two countries in our India. We have to change this situation as everyday 3 children die of hunger, 73 % of women are anemic, peasants are resorting to suicide and youth is forced to remain unemployed. Com. Sita Ram said that there used to be three ‘Lals’ in Haryana but today the toiling masses ned to be strengthen the real red flag.

Today there is much hue and cry on corruption. The fight of Left Parties against corruption and their honesty needs no certificate. Their have been 8 Chief Minister of Left Parties and not even a single has any change of corruption. Today also Manik Sarkar, the Chief Minister if Tripura, is the poorest CM as per the records of election commission of india he said that india today needs an alternative to the congress and BJP who are serving the interests of corporate capitals. He said that tune of “ NAMO” and “RAGA” needs to be change     

Addressing the rally CPI national leader, Amarjit Kaur, said that communists had made great sacrifices in the freedom struggle. After independence also the communists are fighting for the rights toiling masses and have been successful in making policies for them.
Comrade Inderjit Singh, state secretary of CPI (M), said that there is a need of change in policies of state and country. Major political parties in Haryana are not taking up issues of common masses like peasants, agricultural workers contract and casual workers, industrial workers, scheme workers and women etc. There is rampant corruption in recruitment transfers. Less of posts are lying vacant in govt. departments. He said that time has come when the people who are raising these issues our street need to be sent to the parliament and assembly.

He declared that CPI (M) and CPI will be contesting 5 parliament seats in Haryana. The candidate include Phool Singh Sheokand from Hisar, Ram Kumar Bahbalpuria from Sirsa, Master Sher Singh from Bhiwani, Mam Chand Saini from Karnal and Arun Kumar Advocate from Ambala. Both the parties have appeared the public of the state to send the candidate of Left Parties in parliament who are real veinguard of the toiling masses.

The rally was also addressed by Com. Nilotpal Basu, central seacretarat member of CPI (M), Surender Malik, Pardeep Singh, Dayanand Poonia, Jagmati Sangwan, Com. Daryav Singh Kasyap state secretary of CPI and others.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bifurcation Bill: Undemocratic Methods

The Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Bill has been adopted in the Lok Sabha in an undemocratic way violating all norms and procedures. 

The division of the first linguistically re-organised state in India  is a vitally important issue.  But no debate took place on the Bill and it was adopted in the din by  a “voice vote”.  The demand for a discussion made by some opposition parties was denied.
All this was done in collusion between the Congress and the BJP.  As the major opposition party, even though it is in favour of bifurcation, it was the BJP’s elementary responsibility to demand that a proper debate take place on the Bill.  However, it chose to go along with the Congress party’s violation of all parliamentary norms.  The switching off of the live telecast of the proceedings in the House was a surreptitious move to prevent the people from seeing the undemocratic spectacle.

The way the UPA government has conducted itself in the matter poses a threat to democracy and the federal principle.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


The interim budget, presented by the Finance Minister Chidambaram today, is a political gimmick to camouflage its continued thrust of pro-corporate economic regime and anti-people bias.

In the run up to the forthcoming general elections, the Finance Minister seeks to project so called “aam admi” orientation by comparing the present expenditures/allocations on health, education and other developmental heads with the figures of ten-years back. By doing so the FM seeks to cleverly hide the truth that in the successive budgets of UPA-II Govt, the budgetary pro-people allocations were not deliberately spent aiming to contain the fiscal deficit. Even in the current year (2013-14), central plan outlay on rural development head has been cut drastically by Rs 5792 crore; in irrigation and flood control by Rs. 800 crore; in transport by Rs 24,359 crore; social services by Rs 28,640 crore and industry & minerals by Rs 11,843 crore; and also the central plan outlay was cut for the Health & Family Welfare Ministry Rs 7000 crore, Education (Human Resource) Ministry by Rs 4000 crore and Social Justice & Empowerment Ministry by Rs 1000 crore. Over all cut in central plan outlay was Rs 66,000 crore only to contain fiscal deficit to 4.6% and claiming credit for stabilizing the economy! All these expenditure would have contributed to income and employment generation to common people.

How the Govt, which is so focused on containing fiscal deficit could continue to allow pilferage in national exchequer by keeping due corporate tax and income tax from the corporate-big business lobby unrecovered? The tax-dues is to the tune of Rs 5.10 lakh crore as in December 2013. These dues are over and above the tax concessions granted to them on “revenue-foregone” account of around Rs 2.8 lakh crore only on account of corporate and income tax. The Govt laments on fiscal deficit only squeeze expenditure on peoples’ welfare.

The interim budget contains nothing on relief to the working people who generates GDP for the country and revenue for the national exchequer keeping the national economy afloat. The written statement of the Prime Minister in the 45th Session of the Indian Labour Conference that the demands of the trade unions were “unexceptionable” and the demands like universal coverage of social security benefits and national minimum wage “are in advance stages of consideration”, found no reflection in the budget reducing the prime minister’s statement to mere sound-bites. Despite assurances on different occasions no relief has been announced for the scheme workers who are not even getting minimum wages.

The budget’s major focus remains on further concessions to corporate and big-business lobby, both domestic and foreign, through tax concessions on the plea of promoting investment. Investment can expand only with expansion of market through increasing purchasing power of people. But, market can no way be expanded by squeezing developmental and welfare expenditures with ongoing gloom and widening poverty, further burdened by increasing food inflation. It was rather necessary to contain non-essential imports by raising import duty to contain current account deficit and also to boost the domestic industries. But Budget refused to take a call.

The UPA-II Govt ‘s blind approach to run the economy only by pampering corporates, both 
domestic and foreign, is bound to aggravate the gloom and crisis further. This is clear from the very fact that despite sizable growth in agricultural GDP by 4.6%, over all GDP cannot be estimated beyond 4.8 as the non-agricultural sector is in the midst of stagnation heading for decline. Complete reversal of the present economic policy regime is the only way if the country and the people are to advance.

CITU denounces the anti-people interim budget of the UPA-II Govt and calls upon the working people to heighten their struggle for reversal of the anti-people policy regime.

Kisan March to Parliament

Hundreds of peasants from the States neighbouring Delhi marched to Parliament on 18th February demanding remunerative prices for their produce, settlement of arrears of Sugarcane Farmers, against dilution of APMC Act and other related matters. A delegation including Basudeb Acharia, Saidul Haque, Hannan Mollah, Amra Ram and others submitted a detailed Memorandum to the Agriculture Minister (copy attached) after the March.
The Parliament March was addressed by Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, AIKS, Amra Ram, President AIKS, K.Varadharajan, Vice-President, AIKS, S.Ramachandran Pillai, Vice President, AIKS, D.P.Singh, President U.P. Kisan Sabha, Harpal Singh, Secretary, Haryana Kisan Sabha, Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, Secretary, Punjab Kisan Sabha, Dulichand, Secretary, Rajasthan Kisan Sabha and Jaswinder Singh, President, M.P. Kisan Sabha. Vijoo Krishnan, AIKS Joint Secretary made the introductory remarks and welcomed the gathering. P.Krishnaprasad, AIKS Finance Secretary made the concluding remarks.
Basudeb Acharia, Chairperson, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and leader of CPI(M), Lok Sabha, C.P.Narayanan, M.P, K.N.Balagopal. M.P, CPI(M), Rajya Sabha, addressed the Parliament March. Khagen Das, M.P, Ramchandra Dome and Saidul Haque, M.P, CPI(M) Lok Sabha also joined in solidarity.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On the Interim Budget

The Finance Minister’s Speech presenting the Interim Budget for 2014-15 was more of a political statement aimed at the forthcoming elections rather than an effort to overcome the current challenges faced by the Indian Economy. On the contrary the manner in which the economy has been managed suggests the worsening of our economic fundamentals. This will mean imposing further burdens on the people who are already groaning under severe hardships, through continued price rise and contraction of employment opportunities.

The GDP growth rate has been estimated at 4.8 % and could grow up to 4.9 %. Agricultural growth is estimated at 4.6%. This means that the non-agricultural economy has stagnated at best.

The claim that there has been a fiscal consolidation with the fiscal deficit pegged at 4.6% of the GDP below the estimated 4.8% is untenable. This has been achieved by a gross reduction in budgetted expenditures, particularly in social sectors.  The revised estimates show the total Central plan outlay is Rs. 66,000 crores less than the budgetary estimates. The budgetary support for the Central plan was Rs 63,575 crores less. Likewise the central assistance for plan expenditure for states and Union Territories was Rs. 17,215 crores less. Thus, the fiscal deficit has been contained through a severe squeeze in expenditures. In other words, through a budgetary contraction of the economy.  The announced nominal increase in major subsidies is actually less in real terms if the inflation rate is taken into account. It is at the same proportion of 12% as in 2013-14 budget. All these means that over 2013-14, job opportunities have shrunk significantly with no increased financial support to the beleagured people.

This fall in employment combined with the rise in prices of essential commodities will impose further severe burdens on the people. The Consumer Price Index for food items continues to hover around double digits.
The cut in excise duties in order to give a boost to the manufacturing sector, particularly, the automobile sector can only be very transient unless the domestic demand rises significantly. On the contrary, the efforts of fiscal consolidation have led to sharp contraction of domestic demand. The announcement of further reduction of tariff protection will affect the domestic manufacturing sector adversely.

The emphasis on containing the Current Account Deficit (CAD) through attracting greater foreign investments and not through restricting unnecessary luxury imports is bound to make the Indian Economy further vulnerable to international speculative capital flows. In fact the marginal success in containing the burgeoning CAD has been mainly through hike in the import duties on gold. Overall, instead of expanding public investment thus expanding employment generation leading to a growth in domestic demand which in turn would provide the required impetus to revive the manufacturing sector and propel industry growth, this Interim Budget only compounds the crisis by contracting the economy and imposing greater burdens on the people.

In the global situation of continued economic crisis, the anticipation of further foreign capital inflows is not merely unrealistic but would mean a slew of measures for attracting foreign capital, undermining domestic manufacturing and further mortgaging India’s economic sovereignty.

In fact, the crisis in the Indian economy which is destined to further compound, is not due to any policy paralysis. It is precisely due to the policy of appeasing international finance capital at the expense of undermining India’s domestic economic fundamentals and imposing greater burdens on the people.

Monday, February 17, 2014

AIKS Parliament march on February 18

Hundreds of peasants from the States neighbouring Delhi will March to Parliament on 18th February demanding remunerative prices for their produce and other related matters.

The Congress-led UPA Government has not been taking into account the increasing input costs due to decontrol and has been fixing the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) in such a manner that the cultivating peasantry do not even recover the costs of production in most crops, let alone earning surplus. Even the MSP announced in such a manner is not realisable by the peasantry as there is no effective procurement in most States. Different state governments are also not taking any steps to provide incentive to the peasantry. AIKS has been protesting against the flawed mode of calculation of the Costs of Production in the meetings of Commission For Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) as well as with the government. However, the government has not made any efforts to address these concerns. Instead it has decided to increase annually the MSP by only Rs.50/Qtl for paddy and wheat irrespective of the exorbitant rise in input costs. Sugarcane farmers are also in a crisis due to unremunerative prices, non-payment of arrears and deregulation.

The UPA as well as Congress-led state governments have also decided to keep fruits and vegetables outside the purview of the APMC Act. This effectively will benefit big buyers, like organised retailers and small farmers will struggle to access markets. The networks and individuals who control the existing trade in fruits and vegetables will become more dominant. Instead of increasing market access with better infrastructure, transport facilities, collection centres, removal of middlemen and entrenched lobbies comprising politicians, traders and commission agents, the move only is aimed at strengthening their role as well as that of organised retail.

Against these policies the AIKS has called for a March to Parliament. The March will begin at Jantar Mantar by 10.00 AM and will be addressed by leaders of the Kisan Sabha as well as Members of Parliament. A delegation will meet the Agriculture Minister and submit a memorandum.

A delegation will also submit a memorandum to Chairman of Dedicated Freight Corridor Limited against the unfair compensation for land being acquired for the Dedicated Freight Corridor in Uttar Pradesh and seek enhanced compensation as well as just resettlement and rehabilitation.

AP: Workers Struggle

EVEN as the Delhi maneuverings to decide on the bifurcation issue reached a feverish pitch, the  working people of all three regions of Andhra Pradesh are unitedly on struggle path centering around their genuine demands.
The 1.8 lakh strong Anganwadi workers and helpers in the state are conducting indefinite hunger strikes demanding hike in wages. Addressing the Anganwadi workers at the strike camp in Hyderabad, CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu  demanded that the genuine issues facing the working people of the state must be discussed in the state assembly. He demanded that the Anganwadi workers must be paid a minimum wage of Rs 10,000 along with retirement, ESI and PF benefits. He expressed full support of the CPI(M) to their struggle.
At the same time in support of over 60,000 outsourced sanitation workers in municipalities, nine workers’ unions undertook a five-day long strike across the state demanding hike in wages. The mayor of Hyderabad threatened the workers of invoking ESMA but the workers stood firm.
A huge Chalo Assembly was oganised jointly by the unions in which thousands of workers rallied. CPI(M) state secretary and floor leaders of Left parties addressed the workers.
CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu and CPI(M) MLA J Ranga Reddy led a delegation of leaders of employees and workers and submitted a memorandum to the chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on 11th February seeking his urgent intervention in resolving the issues.
The issues raised by the delegation included solving the problems facing the Anganwadi workers and helpers; hiking the wages and regularising the over 5.5 lakh contract and outsourcing employees working in government departments, corporations, local bodies and universities etc; regularising over 50,000 time-scale/contingent employees and till that process is completed, payment of wages on par with regular employees;  provide job security to contract lecturers and consider regularising them.
Bowing to the steadfast struggle, the municipal administration minister called a meeting of unions and conceded to hike the wages of the contractorised sanitation workers. The government agreed to pay Rs 8500 a month to a sanitation worker in Greater Hyderabad, Rs 8300 in other municipal corporations and municipalities, and Rs  7300 in nagar panchayat areas. The workers had demanded a minimum salary of Rs 12,500.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Hundreds of mid day meal workers under the banner of The All India Co ordination committee of Mid Day Meal Workers (CITU) organized a March to Parliament on  13 February 2014. More than two thousand Mid day meal workers from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan UP and Uttarakhand participated in the programme.
Nearly 26 lakhs workers, mostly women belonging to backward sections of society are employed in the Mid Day Meal Programme of the government of India, which provides nutritious food to the crores of school going children in our country. These midday meal workers who work at least 6-8 hours every day are neither recognised as workers nor paid any wage. They are paid a pittance of Rs 1000 a month and that too only for ten months in a year. They are not provided any social security.

The 45th Indian Labour Conference held in May 2013 recommended that the Mid Day Meal Workers be recognized as workers, paid minimum wages and social security including pension. The HRD Ministry had assured the 45th ILC that the remuneration of the Mid Day Meal Workers will be enhanced in 2013-14. But this has not been implemented so far.

The main demands were,
• Implement the 45th ILC recommendation
• Immediate increase in remuneration upto minimum wages
• Payment for all 12 months, through zero balance bank account
• 180 days paid maternity wages
• Stop privatisation of the MDMS by handing over to corporate NGOs
• Ensure safety of Mid Day Meal Workers and provide medical insurance. Mid Day Meal Workers must be covered under Janshree Beema Yojna

The March was inaugurated by Com. Tapan Sen MP (General Secretary, CITU) at Jantar Mantar. He called upon the mid day meal workers to carry on the struggles to keep the issues on the agenda of the nation and the political parties.

The Presidium consisted of Satvir Singh(Haryana), Chabi Ram(HP), Manzubhai Kothwal (Maharashtra), Radha Sarangi (Odisha), Charanjeet Kaur (Punjab), Sumitra Chopra (Rajasthan) and Karuna(UP) and Reshmi Bisht (Uttarakhand).

Sitaram Yechury MP and Basudev Acharya MP leaders of CPI(M) assured the gathering that the struggle inside the parliament by the left parties will echo the struggle outside the parliament by the working class.

Those who addressed the gathering include K Hemalata, Secretary CITU, Ranajana Nirula, Convener, ASHA Workers Coordination Committee and Treasurer CITU, Maimorrna Mollah, AIDWA, Avoy Mukherjee, General Secretary DYFI, V Sivadasan, President SFI, Wazir Singh, Vice President STFI.

Mid Day Meal Union leaders Saroj(Haryana), Jagat Ram(HP), Malini Meshta (Karnataka) Nagargojhe Prabhakar (Maharashtra), Isani Sarangi (Odisha), Harpal Kaur (Punjab), Manju Gaur (Rajasthan) and Rampyar Yadav(UP) addressed the gathering.

A R Sindhu, convener AICCMDMW (CITU) concluded the meeting. It is decided that the AICCMDMW (CITU) will launch struggles if the government is not increasing the wages with effect from April 2013 and continue the struggles for regularisation and minimum wages and pension.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stop Attacks on People from North-East

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses its deep concern at the continuing attacks on people from the North-East in Delhi.  After the death of the Arunachal student Nido Taniam, several other incidents have occurred including the rape of a minor girl from Manipur and physical attacks on other young men.
There is no doubt that there is a racist bias in such attacks.  It is imperative that citizens from any part of the country are able to live  in peace and harmony and pursue their work or studies in the capital of India without being subject to racist attacks.
While all necessary measures need to be taken to ensure the safety and security of people from the North-East in Delhi, the Central government should also consider drafting an anti-racist law to curb such discrimination and attacks.

Brigade infuses new spirit, Bengal stands up to terror!

Overcoming many hardships & untold terror, the resilient people of Bengal turned out at the Brigade on 9th February, 2014. The mammoth crowds created history. People from all parts of the state joined to make the Brigade a success. What was noticeable, were the people from the areas where the Red Flag has been banned by unspeakable terror.

People had started to enter the city from Saturday night itself and spent their nights under the open sky, as the Yuba Bharati Krirangan was refused to them by the State government. Things got worse when the PHE even denied the supply of water. Overcoming all barriers, they turned the Brigade into a success.

Such enthusiasm and passion was heavily punished by the ruling party. At Tarakeshwar, Abhijit Bali, a SFI activist and his father Nishith Bali were almost beaten to death by the Trinamool goons, their home ransacked. In another incident, on the way to the rally, 16 participants suffered an accident at Keshtopur and were denied any treatment by the RG Kar Hospital, blatantly citing political bias. The buses booked for the brigades were fined heavily and threatened. The unorganized workers, in many areas, were stripped off their work and many more incidents have taken place all over Bengal that displayed nothing but the fascist-like mindset of the ruling party.

This Brigade was a boost to the confidence of the Left and its supporters and invoked in them a spirit to keep the Red Flag flying. They have started protesting. The move to censor the buses at Burnpur Bus-stand, even fining them Rs.1400/- was stopped by all the workers. They called a strike in which all buses participated. Six casual workers, loaders/unloaders at Diamond Beverages, Taratola had gone to the meeting. When they joined work on Monday, they were refused work, the management citing Trinamool censorship. The workers went ahead & had a dialogue with the management, asked them to correct the situation in day, failing which they will call a strike. Hamidil Gegen, a farmworker from Tehatta-1 block, Nadia has a new found confidence in his voice. He says that this rally has exceeded all his expectations, esp., the sight of an infant in the arm of a young bride, the other arm chaperoning her 70 year old mother-in-law. He adds the story of another one, whose father is admitted to a hospital, mother at his bedside. This man goes off to buy an urgently required medicine, travels three & a half hours by bus, attends the rally, comes back & then spends the night awake at his father’s bedside.

Bandana Midhya & Azizul Sheikh of Sunderbans has a different tale to recount. They have become VIPs with villagers who could not attend the rally wanting to hear about it. They are even plied with tea in order to coax them to share the Brigade experience. Chandranath Pike, a resident of Shonachura, Nandigram has an impassioned tremble in his voice. He says with unmistakable passion, ‘I have been driven out of my village. I had to come early, in secret. I was a bit nervous about the turnout in the morning, when the grounds were still empty. But, as the day progressed, all that apprehension was cast aside. The pain of homelessness was gone. With so many people with us, the will to fight back has been strengthened.

It is neighbouring Keshpur, where Trinamool terror is at its peak, that provides the motif of change. It’s after a long time that the Red Flag flutters again, symbolic of the new found spirit in terrorised people of Bengal.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

CPI(M) Andhra Pradesh Electoral Tactics to be Finalised after Clarity on Bifurcation

THE Andhra Pradesh state committee of the CPI(M) has discussed about the electoral tactics to be adopted in the state for the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections during its two-day long meeting that concluded on 02nd February in Hyderabad. It has resolved that the central committee of the Party must decide on the tactics keeping in mind the opinions expressed by the state committee.

This was stated by the CPI(M) state secretary and Polit Bureau member B V Raghavulu at a media conference at M B Bhavan. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury participated in the state committee meeting from all India centre. Raghavulu said that the option of contesting independently or having seat adjustments were some of the options that came up for discussion in the meeting.

Since the elections are taking place to both Lok Sabha and assembly simultaneously, it is the tactics adopted for Lok Sabha polls that would be the main tactics. And, it is the central committee of the Party that decides these tactics, he explained to a question. The CPI(M) tactics are aimed at ensuring the defeat of both the Congress and the BJP.

The CPI(M) state committee also decided not to participate in the February 7 voting in state assembly for elections to Rajya Sabha. Voting has been necessitated due to a rebel Congress candidate joining the fray. There are seven candidates for six seats. Raghavulu attacked the state government for making a mockery of the last two assembly sessions where people's issues were totally neglected. He demanded that at least the the vote-on-account session being held on February 6 and 7 must be extended to discuss burning issues of people.

The CPI(M) state committee extended full support to various sections of working people who are undertaking strikes/struggles on their problems. These include municipal workers who are going on indefinite strike from February 8; contract workers of Electricity department waging struggle for regularisation; anganwadi workers struggle to enhance wages etc. The state committee slammed the government for not spending nearly Rs 10000 crore SC, ST Sub Plan funds. These funds would lapse if not spent by March 31st. Despite passing the legislation for proper implementation of Sub Plans over a year ago, the state government has not notified Rules for the Act. The CPI(M) state committee demanded that the Rules be framed immediately to prevent such tardy implementation.

The CPI(M) held a dharna on 04th February in front of Central Discom in Hyderabad against the proposed hike of Rs 9320 crore in electricity tariff. This hike is apart from the Rs 33000 crore burden imposed on consumers by the Discoms during the last three years. CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu and CPI state secretary K Narayana and leaders of CPI(ML) New Democracy, RSP, YSRCP, and hundreds of activists were arrested by the police as they laid seige to the office of Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission. The Commission began public hearing on 04th February and it was sought to be obstructed by the Left parties. The chairman of the Commission had to adjourn the hearing twice as activists held arguments with the Commission inside the premises also. Raghavulu termed the hearing itself as illegal and unjust. He demanded that this hearing must be postponed at least till the parliament session is over by when there would be clarity on whether the state remains as one or is split into two.

On VS's Letter to Kerala CM

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau considers the letter written by Comrade V.S. Achuthanandan, as leader of the Opposition, to the Chief Minister of Kerala on February 7, 2014, as a wrong step and not in conformity with the stand of the Party.

A tidal Red wave at Brigade! People vow to create their Alternative at Delhi


People, in unending protest lines, in lakhs, came in from all over the state; women, the elderly, children, youth, students, teachers, intellectuals, farmers & workers. The spirit was revolutionary, the ambient sound, mythical. A roar a minute, from every common man, registering his protest against the misrule of the 30 month Trinamool government! The thunder of the collective roar would have surely reached the CM’s ears when CPI (M) General Secretary, Prakash Karat said that the only alternative for a people’s government at the center was the Left led coalition. The collective roar seemed to better itself when former Chief Minister & CPI (M) Polit Bureau member, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya thundered that while Mamata Banerjee is able to avoid answering to the Bengal Assembly, she will have to answer to the people.

The entire Left Front with its state & national leaders were in full attendance on the stage & speaker after speaker was greeted with thunderous applause from the assembled multitude. The martyrs were remembered, saluted! The galaxy of speakers were led by Prakash Karat, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Biman Bose, Surjyakanta Mishra of the CPI (M), Ashok Ghosh & Hafiz Alam Sairani of the Forward Bloc, Kshiti Goswami of the RSP, Manjukumar Majumdar of the CPI, Ratan Mazumdar of DSP, Janmejaya Ojha of the SP, Mihir Bain of the RCPI, Pratim Chatterjee of the MFB, Umesh Choudhury of BBC, Shivnath Sinha of the Workers party, Samar Bardhan of the Bolshevik party. Every speaker castigated the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool government for its attack on democracy, its encouragement of unprecedented atrocities on women, its inaction on the growing inflation & the growing totalitarian nature of its government.  Forward Bloc & RSP leadership flays both their errant MLAs & the conduct of the Trinamool party in the unprecedented horse trading in the just concluded Rajya Sabha polls.

Left Front Chairman & CPI (M) Polit Bureau member, Biman Bose reminded the audience of the promises made by the TMC before the 2009 LS polls & 2011 Assembly polls. The promises of employment, industry, schemes for farmers, universities, even airports across the state, et al remained empty. He reminded the audience that while her promise before the polls was to do away with contractual employment, she had only created a handful of contractual jobs which pay less than the minimum wage. All that the CM was interested in was hosting ‘festivals’ at the cost of keeping crores of stomachs hungry. The government & the ruling party were encouraging the growth of anarchy & divisive forces. It was trying to break the unity of the poor & toiling masses, every dissenting voice muffled. He urged the people of Bengal to recognise the true face of this ‘dishonest’ political force, which has taken 145 lives of left workers & leaders so far. She had allowed her ‘naughty’ boys to attack women with gay abandon, with the most heinous cases of rape & murder becoming common place. It was a shame for all Bengalis that the most modern, cultured & safe society of Bengal leads the country today, in atrocities against women.

Prakash Karat termed the rally a historic one, both in terms of sheer numbers & for overcoming the Trinamool terror. He blasted the UPA-2 government which came to power in 2009 with Mamata Banerjee’s help as one which has only multiplied the woes of the common man; rampaging inflation, growing unemployment, massive corruption. The BJP, which was trying to position itself as an alternative, had the same economic policies. Modi’s Gujarat model, he said, is but a euphemism for large scale ‘loot’ by big corporations, Indian & MNC. He stands for ensuring supernormal profits for these companies & will complete the full measure of neo-liberal economic policy. That apart, Karat reminded the people of BJP’s divisive agenda & Modi’s role in the 2002 genocide. The party is therefore working towards creating a non-Cong & non-BJP alternative that will govern the country on an ‘alternative policy’ trajectory. He informed the people of Bengal of the initiative taken by the CPI (M) & the left parties to bring together all secular & democratic parties to fight the scourge of communalism; a 14 party convention was successfully held in Delhi. He announced that all parties will meet soon & announce the ‘Third Alternative’ before the Lok Sabha elections.

The Leader of the Opposition & CPI (M) Polit Bureau member, Surjyakanta Mishra electrified the audience with his appeal to the CM to use her ‘eyes & ears’ to listen to the protests of the people of Bengal. He castigated her for the complete lack of democracy in her party, her voice being the only one, as was evident in the TMC rally on the 30th of Dec. As he delivered the Charge sheet, one after the other, the massive crowd roared its approval. He dubbed the government, 1) Totalitarian, 2) Anti-people, 3) Anti-development & 4) Corrupt. He exposed the massive growth of per capita debt of Bengal after this party came to power. 55,000 crs had been added in just 30 months, more than 1/4th of the total debt the state had after almost 60 yrs of rule since independence. Bengal had gone from being the 13th in per capita debt to being the no.1 in the country. He charged that the CM had bankrupted the state by her ad hoc expenses, most of it in festivals across the state, throughout the year. The new administrative calendar was more of a festival itinerary, having planned 60 in the coming year, one a week. He thundered that the people will no longer allow her to loot the votes like she had done during the Panchayat & Municipal polls, they will fight back. Mishra ended his speech with a reference to a legendary piece of dialogue from Satyajit Ray’s iconic ‘Hirak Rajar Deshe’. Replacing the Raja with a ‘Rani’, he asked the people to do what the revolutionary school teacher had asked the people fighting the evil tyrant, ‘Dori dhore maaro taan, Raja hobe khaan khaan’, i.e., ‘ Give the rope a strong tug, the King will bite the dust’!

Former CM & CPI (M) Polit Bureau member, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, ended the meeting with a brief detailing of the policy alternative; industry & jobs, arresting the fuel price hike & inflation, Land to the rural poor, no selling of banks, insurance companies or natural resources. Every policy commitment was seconded by the people by a thundering roar. When he thanked the audience & the people of Bengal for ensuring a record turnout, the applause lasted minutes. He said that the Mamata government was insulting the youth of the state, not only increasing unemployment by closing down industry, but being dishonest in advertising creation of new jobs, a trickle actually; like the contractual policemen, which paid less than minimum wage or exhorting them to work for fraudulent companies such as Sharada, etc.  He accused her of playing with the lives of the Bengali people. He said all work, be it industry or agricultural had come to a standstill. He termed the government as shameless; to be wasting people’s money for promoting her own face in government sponsored advertisements at an unprecedented scale, every possible media vehicle, every day. He blasted the CM again for having a tacit understanding with the communal BJP & exposed Modi’s governance claims. He reminded the people that Gujarat, unlike Bengal had no Land Reforms, no people’s representation at the grass-roots. It was backward in both primary & secondary education. He said that the people of Bengal know that it will repent the ‘Two Laddoos of Modi-Mamata coalition’ that BJP PM hopeful offered, i.e. ‘Modi at the Center & Mamata at the state. The people of Bengal, he said , knew that the left front stood for all round development of the working masses & will vote for a non-Cong, Non-BJP ‘Third Alternative’ at the center.

Earlier, in the day, one saw scores of people march towards the Brigade grounds from all corners of the city. A common slogan was that the ‘Mamata Government was no longer required in the state’. Echoing the sentiment, Biman Bose ended his speech urging the people of Bengal to turn out a win for the Left Front in each of the 42 seats in the coming Lok Sabha elections. That would be a record. But then, this political season has been one of breaking records, the turnout at this Brigade Rally of the Left Front surpassing all previous benchmarks & expectations!

As Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said, ‘the voices of the toiling masses of Bengal cannot be stopped; the Red Flag can never be forced to surrender’!