Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The European Union election results confirm the trend for the rallying of forces around the Communist Party of Greece

The EU parliamentary elections on the 25th of May 2014 took place in Greece together with the 2nd round of the regional and municipal elections. This was the first time that these two election battles have been conducted in the same period, while it was the first time that the voters could choose their preferred candidates from the lists of the parties (previously the parties determined the order of preference).

The results of the EU parliamentary elections

43 parties took part and 1299 candidates in the EU parliamentary elections for the 21 seats that Greece has in the EU parliament (1 less that in the 2009 elections). 59.9% of the electorate took part in the elections and an atmosphere of polarization between the two new bourgeois poles was formed. On the one hand ND sought votes so that, as it said, “there will be no instability and derailment from the way out of the crisis”. On the other hand, the new social-democracy, SYRIZA, sought the transformation of the elections into a “referendum”, so that it could demonstrate a significant increase and outstrip the dynamism of the governing parties. With the slogan “we vote on the 25th so that they leave on the 26th”, SYRIZA set as its goal victory in the EU parliamentary elections so that the government would resign and the early parliamentary elections declared.

In these difficult political conditions, when the bourgeois parties promoted false dilemmas for the workers, the KKE achieved a small, but tangible, increase (+1.6%), in relation to the elections of 2012 and received 6.1%.

The new social-democracy, SYRIZA, although it emerged as the first party, could not increase the percentage it had received in 2012.

The government parties suffered significant losses. The conservative ND fell – 7% and the social-democratic PASOK, which participated in the elections with the “Olive Tree” coalition, had losses of – 4%.

The “Democratic Left” was crushed, which for a period participated in the government with ND and PASOK, lost -5% and remained outside of the EU parliament.

The rightwing party “Independent Greeks” lost – 4%.

At the same time the efforts for the recomposition of the political scene through the strengthening of fascist Golden Dawn (+2.2), as well with the emergence of a new “centre” party, led by a well-known TV star who has a PASOK background. His party, the “River”, received 6.5%.

The other 34 parties that participated in the elections but did not pass the electoral threshold of 3% and did not elect MEPS, received in total around 17% of the votes.

So, of the parties that participated in the elections of 2012, only the KKE and fascist Golden Dawn had an increase in terms of votes and percentage.

In addition, the KKE re-elects 2 MEPs.

  This result acquires particular significance because the political line of the KKE is a line of conflict against the capitalist development path and the imperialist EU, the bourgeois class and the parties that serve its interests. The KKE posed the framework that corresponds to the people’s interests: disengagement from the EU and unilateral cancellation of the debt, with workers’-people’s power and the socialization of the concentrated means of production. This framework was attacked by every means at the disposal of the bourgeois and opportunist parties, the mechanisms of the bourgeois state, but it lays foundations for the increase of the people’s demands, for the understanding of the class character of the exploitative system and the imperialist predatory alliance.

Below we present the results of the main parties in comparison with the 2012 elections (with 95.7% of the votes counted).

Elections 2014
Εlections 2012

6.09 %
26.53 %
22.75 %
9.40 %
8.03 %
6.60 %
3.44 %
1.21 %

The results of the 2nd round of the local elections

On the 25th of May 2014 the 2nd round of the municipal elections was held.

The lists of ‘People’s Rally” that was supported by the KKE entered the 2nd round of the elections in 4 muncipalities and were victorious in all 4 of them.


  • In the municipality of Patras (the 3rd largest city in the country) it received 62.4% of the votes (it had 25.06% in the 1st round).
  • In the municipality of the island of Ikaria it received 50.8% of the votes (it had 44.1 % in the 1st round).
  • In the municipality of Petroupolis (which is in Athens) it received 53% of the votes (26.28% in the 1st round).
  • In the municipality of Haidari (which is in Athens) it received 68.5% of the votes (18.43% in the 1st round).

We should bear in mind that in the 1st round of the elections the KKE had a significant increase and had received 8.8% of the votes in the country’s 13 regions and an increase in 214 municipalities, electing dozens of councilors in the regions and hundreds in the municipalities.

Statement of D. Koutsoumpas, GS of the CC of the KKE, on the results of the EU parliamentary elections and the 2nd round of the local elections

The GS of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, in his statement in the evening of the 25th of May in relation to the results of the EU parliamentary elections and the 2nd round of the local elections underlined that:
“First of all we would like to thank all the people that responded to the appeal of the KKE, joined forces with it, supported the lists of the KKE and “People’s Rally” in the 4 municipalities where the KKE has taken part in the second round.
As to the EU parliamentary elections up until now the KKE has received more than 6% which means hundreds of thousands of votes and the election of 2 MEPs. In our opinion this result constitutes a small step; it is the continuation of the positive result of the previous week in the 13 administrative regions of the country where the party received 8,8% of the votes.
This tendency has been expressed, more or less in the municipalities all over the country where they the lists of the “People’s Rally” had a strong presence.
In the first round we increased our percentage in 214 municipalities. At the same time, we received more than 10% in more than 50 municipalities. 
In the 4 municipalities where we took part in the second round the candidates of the KKE achieved resounding victories.
The fact that in these conditions we won the majority in these municipalities, given the radically different political line expressed by the lists of the KKE in contrast to all the other lists of the parties that support the political of the EU and capital in local administration as well is a positive development.
The election result as a whole does not demonstrate any reversal  of the anti-people political scene; it does not create any “new political scene” in favour of the people.
Of course it demonstrates the people’s anger towards ND and PASOK who undertook the burden of implementing the anti-people governmental political line and the “EU one way- street”.
Although a significant part of the voters of SYRIZA made this choice with the expectation of a left orientation, the first position of SYRIZA does not express any strengthening of the left, radical, antimonopoly, anti-imperialist political line since SYRIZA has abandoned, even in its slogans,  the opposition to the monopolies, the EU, NATO.
The results –above all the EU parliamentary elections- indicate the consolidation of the tendency to substitute the bankrupted PASOK by SYRIZA, as part of the reshuffling of the political scene that started in June 2012.
At the same time, the course of other social democratic formations appears to be volatile e.g. the OLIVE TREE which was the main electoral formation of PASOK in the elections. The OLIVE TREE rallied some forces but received a smaller percentage than in June 2012. Furthermore, the percentage of the Democratic Left was reduced in favour of THE RIVER that appeared with slogans of a vague and less social-democratic character.
Although the tendency of the KKE to rally forces and receive new votes is positive,  the election results as a whole do not express any significant tendency towards the emancipation of the workers’ and people’s forces from the parties of the “EU one way- street”, the interests of capital and the monopolies.
The most extreme expression of this discrepancy is the high percentage of Golden Dawn.
The ruling class and the system still possess, unfortunately, significant reserves that allow it to appear with a new mantle. This assessment is based on the votes and programmes both of SYRIZA, as well as of the OLIVE TREE and the RIVER. As a whole, the recomposition of the political system is underway, the creation of new barriers to radicalization, something that we must specifically monitor in the next period. In the final analysis nothing has been decided, as the people themselves have not yet utilized their strength.

The election results as a whole in the EU countries can not be anything other than negative for the peoples. It is now necessary in every country, in all the EU countries, for a movement for rupture and disengagement from the EU to develop and to struggle for the overthrow the power of the monopolies. This movement with these goals must confront and smash fascism-Nazism in every country and Europe as a whole. We could say that inside this reactionary framework it is positive that the KKE in Greece demonstrates a trend of a small recovery after the strong pressure it was subjected to in June 2012.

The necessity of the recovery and regroupment of the communist and workers’ movement in Europe as a whole has become urgent, especially in France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy, to remove itself from the deadly embrace of social-democracy, the prettifying of the EU and the political assimilation and participation in the bourgeois anti-people management.

You can be sure that votes for the KKE will be utilized from tomorrow morning in every workplace, in every neighbourhood, in the schools, in the universities to impede new measures, to struggle for measures to relieve the unemployed, for the regroupment of the labour and people’s movement, for the social People’s Alliance.

The people must rally in the mass radical struggles around the KKE’s proposal for the way out, to organize and confront the anti-people measures that remain and to chart their own course for government and power in their own class interests. They must be rallied in a political line of rupture against the EU.

What is an immediate need is a strong People’s Alliance, a strong people’s opposition and a revived labour-people’s movement, which will confront the capitalist system, the EU, the monopolies, their power, charting a victorious course in favour of the people.

The KKE will continue to show the way for the real pro-people solution for our people, together with the readiness, starting from tomorrow, for a tough confrontation and struggle to relieve the workers, the unemployed, the popular households, the pensioners, the youth, all those who suffer.
We call on the people to resist the false dilemmas “stability and recovery” or “destabilization”, the false expectations fostered by the ND-PASOK government, as the stability and recovery will be for big capital and not for the people. 
SYRIZA on the other hand neither wants nor is able to save the people and pave the way for the overthrow
The people should trust in the KKE, which warned and struggled in a timely fashion, not in only with words and slogans, which is not bound by anti-people decisions, dishonorable signatures and dangerous consensus, unlike the other parties that seek the people’s vote and want either to continue their anti-people work, or sow illusions and false expectations.

From tomorrow onwards we must all struggle together to create the preconditions for the revival of the people’s movement for the concentration of forces to the benefit of the people.

We repeat tonight that we are aware of our responsibilities. We must contribute more decisively to the regroupment, the combativeness and mass character of the labour and people’s movement, to the organization of the daily struggle of the people, to the creation of a great people’s alliance, with the KKE strong everywhere. We need a strong KKE everywhere in order to prevent worse measures being taken by the anti-people local administrations in the municipalities and regions, so that we can struggle for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people, so that we can pave the way, with the people in the forefront of the developments, for the breaking of the shackles of the EU, the monopolies, their governments, whatever name they may go under.”

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Attack on Left is an Attack on Democratic Rights in West Bengal: Surjya Kanta Mishra

The post-poll violence in West Bengal has taken a serious turn when within a week of the last phase of election at least three left workers have been killed and hundreds injured. Many people have been evicted from their places. Left MLAs have not been spared in the state. Finally the police administration has kept a significant silence, said the opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra in a letter to the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He demanded immediate restoration of peace in the state and stop violence against left workers. He also stated that the attack on the left would weaken the strength of the secular democratic forces in the state.

While addressing the press at the Assembly gate Surjya Kanta Mishra stated that 'the violent attack of the ruling Trinamool Congress has already taken lives of three poor CPI(M) workers and injured many people seriously. In Mahul village of Ketugram, Burdwan the former CPI(M) Panchayat member Ashmira Begum has been brutally killed. CPI(M) worker Kajal Mallick of Palasan GP, Manteswar has been brutally killed by the violent Trinamool workers. Moumita Banerjee, a 18 year old student died of severe traumatic heart attack when she was molested by the Trinamool workers and a life threat of her father, a left worker, Rabindranath Banerjee.

Mishra also said that not just CPI(M) workers, most of the Left MLAs have been attacked in the post poll violence. Forward Bloc MLA Udayan Guha, CPI MLA Rameswar Dolui, Jiten Das, Tapas Chatterjee and many others have been attacked. Violence of the ruling Trinamool Congress continues in Coochbehar, Midnapore East and West, Burdwan, Bankura, North and South 24 Parganas and vast areas of the state. looting houses and personal belongings, shops, looting of crops, series of women molestation continues in West Bengal. In some Gram Sabhas nearly 6 lakhs rupees have been charged from CPI(M) and Left workers' families. Keshpur of West Midnapore has been witnessing severe violence where 1668 people have been ousted from their places. 593 people were molested physically. Nearly 500 people have been ousted from Burdwan and crops remained uncut to have dried in the field.

In Nadia, Gayeshpur, Chakdah, Ranaghat, Shantipur; in Hooghly, Arambagh, Dhanekhali, Tarakeswar, Goghat, Khanakul, Pandua, Uttarpara, Serampore; Maniktala, Kashipur, Belgachhia, Shyampukur, Beleghata, Kasba, Behala; Udaynarayanpur, Amta, Malipanchghara, Uluberia, Nischinda; Haroa, Minakha, Sandeshkhali, Basirhat in North 24 Parganas; Bhangar, Canning, Basanti, Kakdwip, Sagardeep of South 24 Parganas are severely affected by Trinamool violence.

The attack on the Left shows, Mishra said, massive attack on democratic rights in the state and one day in future the ruling TMC would also be not spared. People's mandate has not been reflected in the election but nevertheless this result was quite unexpected for the Left Parties in the state.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CITU Condoles the death of Com. R Umanath

CITU deeply mourns the demise of Comrade R Umanath, a veteran freedom-fighter, stalwart of the working class movement and of communist movement of the country who passed away on 21st May 2014 at around 7-15 am at Tiruchirapally after prolonged illness at the age of 93.

A life-long revolutionary, over seven decades of political and public life, right from his school days at Kozhicode; Comrade Umanath was a frontline organizer and leader braving atrocities, attacks and imprisonment during both, British rule and independent India. His entire life is a commentary of struggle and sacrifice for the cause of the country and its toiling people. Altogether he was imprisoned for nine and half years and underground life for seven years.

He joined the communist movement in his early young age as a whole-timer in 1940 to work in the-then Madras Presidency area despite pressing family obligation. In 1940s itself he was arrested by the British rulers and convicted for two and half years’ imprisonment. After his release from jail, he started working among textile, cement and beedi workers in Coimbatore area and among railway workers in Tiruchirapally in Tamilnadu organizing them in trade unions and led numerous strike struggles. He played frontline role in various capacities in building and leading the working class movement in Tamilnadu and also in other parts of the country. In early post independence period, the Left movement and the trade union movement had to face tremendous atrocities and attacks of hired goons and the police.

Comrade Umanath was one of the founders of CITU and was elected as the first General Secretary of the Tamilnadu CITU in 1970 and continued in that position till 1993 when became its state President till 1996. He was the national vice president of CITU From 1987 to 2010.

He was elected to the Central Committee of CPI(M) in 1978 and became its Polit Bureau member in 1991 and continued as PB member till Kozhikode Congress in 2012, where he was elected as a special invitee to the central committee. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1962 and 1967 from Pudukottai in Tamilnadu and in the Tamilnadu State Legislatiure from Nagapattinam in 1977 and was re-elected in 1980.

Comrade Umanath had always remained concerned for inculcating revolutionary consciousness among the workers and activists of trade union movement considering the leading role of the working class in fighting and ending the exploitative regime. During his work at CITU Centre in the late eighties and early nineties, Comrade Umanath contributed valuable inputs in formulating the organizational document of CITU which is popularly known as Bhubaneswar Document.

At his demise, the working class movement lost a great leader and guide. CITU Secretariat pays deep respectful homage to, recalls the great contribution and legacy of and salutes comrade Umanath and conveys heartfelt condolence to the bereaved comrades and family members of the departed leader.

Condolence Resolution: R Umanath

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses its deep grief at the passing away of Comrade R Umanath, veteran leader of the Party at Tiruchirapalli. He was aged 92 years.
R Umanath was a member of the Central Committee of the Party from 1978 to 2012. He was elected a member of the Polit Bureau in 1991 and served in that capacity till 2008. He served as a member of the Tamilnadu State Committee and Secretariat of the Party for several decades.
He began his political activity as a young student by participating in the freedom struggle. He joined the Communist Party in 1939 while studying at the Annamali University in Tamilnadu. He left his studies to become a wholetimer of the Party.
Umanath became a talented organizer of the trade unions and played an important role in building the trade union movement in different parts of Tamilnadu. He was one of the founders of the CITU and was the first General Secretary of Tamilnadu CITU. He served as the General Secretary and later as the President of the State CITU for long years. He served as the national Vice President of the CITU till 2010.
Comrade Umanath served as a member of the Lok Sabha in 1962 and 1967. Later he was elected to the state legislature for two terms. He was a powerful speaker in Tamil and English and made a mark in the parliamentary forums.
The Communist Party was repressed by the British rulers in the years before independence. Com. Umanath was convicted along with other Communist leaders in the Madras Conspiracy case and jailed for two and a half years. He spent altogether nine and half years in jail both before and after independence. He also spent seven years underground, the last period being during the Emergency in 1975-77.
Com. Umanath was a staunch Marxist-Leninist. He set an example of the Communist style of work among the working class. As a member of the Polit Bureau and the Central Committee, Umanath made a notable contribution to the evolution of the Party’s ideological and political line.
Married to Papa Umanath, they both were an inspiring example of dedicated work and simple style of living.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) pays homage to the memory of this outstanding communist leader. It conveys its heartfelt condolences to his daughters U Vasuki and Nirmala Ravi.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dastardly honour killing in Kharda, Maharashtra: CPI (M) delegation calls for State-wide protests

Ajit Nawale

On April 28, 2014 there occurred a dastardly act of honour killing of a 17 year old Dalit youth called Nitin Aage in Kharda village of Ahmednagar district, bordering the Marathwada region. The sheer cruelty with which the act was perpetrated shocked Maharashtra and rekindled the tragic memories of the Khairlanji and Sonai Dalit massacres a few years ago.

The news was flashed in the media on May 1, which is both the International May Day of the working class and also Maharashtra Day – the day on which the state was formed in 1960. On the same day, the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee and Ahmednagar district committee issued a joint press release condemning this honour killing and calling for statewide protest demonstrations demanding the immediate arrest of, and stringent action against all the upper caste perpetrators of this heinous crime and steps for the protection and rehabilitation of the poor Aage family.

On May 4, a CPI(M) state delegation led by state secretary and central committee member Dr Ashok Dhawale and comprising state committee members Shailendra Kamble, Prakash Choudhari and Dr Ajit Nawale, district committee members Dr Mahebub Sayyad, Kiran Moghe and Subhash Thorat, and Party activists Dr Sanjay Dabhade and Suresh Bhor visited Kharda village to console the Aage family and to bring pressure on the authorities to ensure that justice was done. They were accompanied by activists of democratic organisations. 

CPI(M) delegation led by state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale consoling the Aage Dalit family in Kharda.

Kharda is a village with a total population of around 15,000. There are around 250 Dalit families, which means a population of around 1,000. The village and the entire surrounding area has dryland agriculture and is chronically drought-prone.

The Aage family originally hails from a small village in the Patoda tehsil of Beed district of Marathwada, but it migrated to Kharda in search of work about a decade ago. The slain boy Nitin’s father Raju Aage is a manual labourer who does the hard work of breaking stones in a quarry. Nitin’s mother Rekha is a casual labourer who does whatever work she gets. Since they are migrants they do not live along with the Dalit community in the village, but have an isolated small hut on the outskirts. Apart from Nitin who was their only son, they have three daughters, two of whom are married, and the youngest is in the eighth standard.

According to the narrative told to us by Raju Aage, on the fateful morning of April 28 Nitin went to his school which is just opposite his house for extra coaching classes for the twelfth standard. It appears that he was friendly with a girl from a so-called higher caste. She was one year his junior in school. On that day he was seen talking to that girl behind the school building by her brother Sachin Golekar. Sachin and his friends confronted Nitin and started badly beating him up in the school premises itself. 

Nitin Aage's school in Kharda village. It was here that he was first brutally beaten by upper caste youth.
Seeing this, the headmaster and some teachers, instead of stopping the beating and warning Sachin, apparently told them that “there should be no fights in the school premises, and that they should go out of the school compound and do what they want.” Raju Aage was very bitter about the role of the school teachers. He said that had they stopped the fight and sternly reprimanded the goons, his son might still have been alive today.

As it happened, Sachin and his friends dragged Nitin to a nearby brick-kiln owned by his maternal uncle Sheshrao Yevale. Here he was beaten up mercilessly by a hammer, he was burnt by iron rods and finally he was strangulated to death. The perpetrators of this crime were around a dozen upper caste people, most of whom were relatives of Golekar and Yevale. The inhuman torture of Nitin continued for over four hours. Then they took the body and hung it from a nearby tree in order to make it appear like a suicide by hanging.

Nitin’s parents got word that he had been severely beaten up. They frantically searched for him all over the village. Nitin’s mother went to the above brick-kiln where she was told by Sheshrao Yevale himself that they had beaten up Nitin and that he would return home in the evening. Finally, after a prolonged search they were stunned to find his body hanging from the tree. The post-mortem report showed that Nitin was assaulted and strangulated.


We went to the school and spoke to the headmaster who was not only evasive in replying to our questions, but also resorted to the ploy of attacking the character of the slain Nitin. We met the Investigating Officer in the case – Deputy Superintendent of Police Dheeraj Patil. He told us that a total of 13 people had been arrested. They had been charged with murder and the SC/ST Atrocity Act had also been applied. He said that no stone would remain unturned to secure their conviction and investigations were on towards that end. When asked about the girl, he said that she was safe and secure. As a result of the statewide uproar, the state home minister announced that the case would be conducted in a special fast track court. 

CPI(M) delegation meeting the Investigating Officer in the case Deputy SP Dheeraj Patil.
The Golekar and Yevale families were among the dominant economic and social strata in the village. Apart from having a reasonable amount of land they also owned several shops, a brick kiln and other paraphernalia. One member of the Golekar family was the deputy sarpanch of the village (the sarpanch post was reserved for the Scheduled Castes). Another family member was on the school board and another controlled the local co-operative. We were told that they owed political allegiance to the NCP for the last several years.

That perhaps explains why the guardian minister of Ahmednagar district, Madhukar Pichad of the NCP (who is himself an Adivasi) nevertheless took over five days to visit the village of the caste atrocity. He made the ridiculous excuse that the election Code of Conduct came in the way of his visiting the village earlier.

The need of the hour now is to build a strong unity of all sections of the working people, not only to condemn such caste atrocities and also atrocities on women that are on the rise in Maharashtra as also elsewhere in the country, but also to ensure that such ghastly incidents are prevented from occurring in the future.

Towards this end, immediate protest demonstrations were jointly organised by the CPI(M), the Jaati Anta Sangharsh Samiti (Struggle Committee for the Annihilation of Caste) and by various mass fronts in Mumbai, Pune and other places. Memoranda to the district collectors were submitted in some other districts.

Maharashtra has a glorious tradition of the social reform movement that was spearheaded by Mahatma Jotirao Phule, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, among others. In view of these recent serious events, it is necessary that this tradition is taken forward with even greater grit and determination by the Left in the years to come.

Left Protest On May 14: Demand Repoll in Bengal

The Left parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party – have issued the following statement:
Protest against the Violence and Rigging in West Bengal
The last phase of elections for 17 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal has been marked by widespread violence, capture of more than a thousand polling booths, polling agents of opposition parties being driven out and physical attacks on people going to vote in various places.
The Trinamool Congress had launched this campaign of terror and intimidation on the eve of the polling.  The entire State machinery and the police have connived in this effort to manipulate the elections.
The worst incident took place in Haroa block in the Basirhat  parliamentary constituency where voters going  to the polling booth were fired upon. Four persons suffered bullet injuries and 17 others were injured by sharp weapons. 
Some of the worst affected seats are Kolkata North, Barrackpur, Ghatal, Dumdum, Basirhat, Bongaon and Diamond Harbour.
Along with the rigging done in the third and fourth phase of polling, this constitutes a brazen attack  on the democratic system.  Despite this violence, people have been braving these attacks and  asserting their right to vote. 
It is shocking that the Election Commission has been unable to intervene effectively during this round of polling, even though there was enough forewarning about what was to come, after the  earlier two phases of polling.
The Left parties demand that the Election Commission intervene urgently to restore conditions for a free and fair  poll. This can be done only  by ordering a re-poll in all the affected  polling booths in the third, fourth and fifth rounds of polling. It is only by doing this that the sanctity  of the democratic process can be protected. 
The Left parties call upon all democratic forces to voice their protest against this assault on democracy in West Bengal. The Left parties will organise protests all over the country on May 14 to demand that re-polling is conducted in all the  affected areas under the strict supervision of the Election Commission.

CPI(M) to ECI : Order Repoll in 800 Booths in Bengal

CPI(M) Polit Bureau members Sitaram Yechury and S. Ramachandran Pillai, met the Chief Election Commissioner today and expressed their displeasure over the failure of the ECI to respond adequately to the widespread violence and mayhem witnessed during the last phase of polling in West Bengal today. Terming it as “unfortunate”, they said that “the Election Commission and its apparatus” remained “mute spectators watching this mockery of democracy”.  They charged the ECI of remaining a “helpless bystander” and not discharging its Constitutional mandate of conducting  a free and fair election.

The delegation provided information available till 3.00 p.m regarding 465 polling booths in 14 parliamentary constituencies which were rocked by violence, booth capturing, rigging, intimidation of voters and driving out polling agents of parties opposed to the ruling TMC.  Subsequently, reports also came in of around 350 other booths were polling was rigged.

The Party has demanded re-polling in over 800 booths with “adequate arrangements for protection of the voters which includes the deployment of central forces, video surveillance of the booths, strict instructions to the concerned officials to take prompt action against those disrupting the conduct of free and fair elections, amongst others.”

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

CPI-M protests against Pankti Bheda

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has said that the State government should pass an ordinance banning the practices of Pankti Bheda (separate sitting arrangements for Brahmins during lunch) and Made Snana (where devotees of other castes roll on the leftovers of lunch by Brahmins) in temples in the State.
The party stage dharna to highlight the “discriminatory practices”, in Udupi and Mangalore on Monday.

In Udupi, the party launched an indefinite dharna near the Service Bus Stand here to protest against the ‘Pankti Bheda’ practiced at Sri Krishna Math/Temple, here. At the protest meet, G.V. Sriram Reddy, Secretary of the State unit of CPI(M), said that if the State government did not immediately issue an ordinance, the party would intensify its agitation on these issues. He said the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was in favour of these practices and defended them. But it was surprising that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who spoke openly against discrimination, should remain mum on these issues, which perpetuated the discrimination. He said that an assistant lecturer of School of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Vanita Shetty, was prevented from having lunch and asked to leave the dinning hall of the Sri Krishna Math/Temple in full public view on April 15, because she was not a Brahmin.

Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Math went all around the country speaking against the caste system. But he had done nothing to prevent caste discrimination which was taking place at the Sri Krishna Math/Temple here. The Pejawar seer should take steps to see that people of all castes had their meal together in the Krishna Math/Temple without any discrimination. Political parties were silent on this latest incident of ‘Pankti Bheda’ because of vote-bank politics, Mr. Reddy said.

In Mangalore, the party activists staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner. Addressing a gathering K. Yadav Shetty, CPI(M) candidate in the Lok Sabha elections and general secretary of the district unit of Karnataka Prantha Raita Sangha, said the party wanted to know why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not talking about “discrimination in serving food”. He said that senior Congress leader B. Janardhana Poojary took some progressive steps in Gokarnanatheswara temple at Kudroli but was not raising his voice against pankti bedha .
Vasantha Achary, a member of the district secretariat of the party, said that made snana practised at Kukke Subrahmanya temple and at some other temples should be stopped. He said that pankti bedha was the root cause for made snana .

Raichur District Committee of Communist Party of India - Marxist  staged a demonstration outside the office of Deputy Commissioner on Monday demanding the government to ban ‘Pankti bheda’ (separate seating arrangements for Brahmins and non-Brahmins while serving food). Condemning the recent incident where Vanita Shetty, an assistant lecturer at the School of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal, was allegedly told to leave the dinning hall meant for Brahmins in Sri Krishna Math. The agitating activists demanded that those who practiced caste-based discrimination be booked. A memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister was submitted to the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

In Kolar Members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office  demanding a ban on the practice of ‘pankti bheda’ in Sri Krishna Temple, Udupi. Led by CPI(M) district committee secretary Gandhinagar Narayanaswamy and State committee member G. Arjunan, the activists raised slogans against the inhuman practice at the Udupi temple.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Left parties have a greater role to play in divided Andhra Pradesh

At a time when corporatisation of politics has become a bitter reality and crony capitalism is perceived a looming threat, the Left parties do have a greater role in fighting the unwelcome trend. The current election is a do-or-die battle for the Left movement in the State, says CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu in a special interview to The Hindu given on ‘May Day’.

Can the shrinking political space be taken as a barometer of the acceptance level of the Left parties’ ideology?
The Left parties are indeed yielding space to others. The flexible labour policies, which the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party are advocating and have even included in their respective manifestos, will deal a deathblow to workers’ basic rights. It is a survival issue for the working classes. However, we stick to our ideology and believe that it will be ever relevant.

Bifurcation has happened. Now, what is the political space available for the Left parties in the two States?
The Left parties have always been the agenda-setters in the State. The communist movement is always strong in Khammam and Nalgonda districts of the unified State. When they have become part of Telangana, the Left has a great role to play in that State. In Seemandhra, our role is always marginal in the last four decades and it continues to be the same. If we do not strengthen our position at least now, we will not be able to play any role in future.

The corporate world is dictating terms in the current elections. What kind of threat do you foresee for the democracy if the trend continues?
Corporatisation of politics is an offshoot of liberalisation policy. The political parties are dependent more on the business world to get going. Crony capitalism that the country is witnessing now certainly makes life easy for the corporate world and difficult for the common man. Post-elections, the working classes will see more attacks and suppression of their rights.

Why have you chosen to contest in Tirupati (SC) Lok Sabha seat?
Tirupati has a prominent place across the world. Post-bifurcation, all eyes are on Tirupati as a growing city in Seemandhra. Apart from the Tirumala temple, it is already an educational hub and the region is poised to develop industrially, with a couple of ports and a 30,000 MW power plant coming up in Nellore district (coming under Tirupati LS constituency). There is a huge Dalit population, especially the downtrodden Yanadi tribal community. The party has a better opportunity to serve the working classes and the poor here.

Why did you choose to ally with Jai Samaikyandhra Party (JSP)? How is the alliance doing?
Before the birth of JSP, the CPI (M) was determined to go alone in the elections, as the TDP looked the BJP way and the CPI supported the Congress. When the journey is lonely, why not take the company of a like-minded ‘non-Congress non-BJP’ outfit? The agreement is complex, but the alliance is smooth. We will definitely leave our mark.
(Courtesy : The Hindu)