THE people of Tripura will not bow down before enemies of the people and will not allow single space to secessionists and communal forces. Despite the obstacles imposed by the centre and by the trouble makers, they will march to another victory. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar, asserted with conviction at a public meeting in Kolkata on December 28. The meeting was organised by the CPI(M) West Bengal state committee to express solidarity with the struggling people of Tripura. Held at Promode Dasgupta Bhavan, the meeting was overcrowded, people had to stand outside the hall to listen to Sarkar’s speech.
CPI(M) in West Bengal has called upon all the Party units to go to the people, explain the conspiracies hatched against the Left Front government in Tripura and collect money to help the fighting comrades of that state. The mass collection has formally started from December 27, though in many districts it had started even before. In Kolkata, Biman Basu and other Party leaders collected money in boxes and buckets on streets, at Sealdah railway station, markets, and busy areas. In other districts too, mass collection was organised in markets, door-to-door collection has also started. In the public meeting, Party district committees and many activists and sympathizers donated money towards the fund. The collection will continue upto January 10, 2018.
In the solidarity meeting, Manik Sarkar explained how conspiracies are being hatched to destabilise Left Front government. He said that after the Planning Commission was abolished, the north eastern states are being deprived of special status they used to enjoy. Eight states including Tripura are suffering. Tripura has lost nearly Rs 2000 crore per year which seriously affects the development planning for a small state. At the same time, allocations for centrally sponsored schemes have been drastically changed and reduced. Tripura is the leading state in the performance of MNREGA, but the centre has refused to allot money and is doing so only for 42 days of work.
Sarkar said, in the past too there have been conspiracies to disturb the unity of tribals and non-tribals in Tripura. We faced terrorism in the name of independent Tripura. With political and administrative actions we could stem that trend. New attempts to disturb peace have started with patronage from the BJP. A section of IPFT are now raising slogans for the formation of ‘Twipraland’ and division of the state. They have indulged in road blockade, bandh and anarchy leading to two deaths; but the Tripura government has faced this with patience. Thousands of tribals have come onto the streets to protest these secessionist conspiracies.
Sarkar said, another dimension of the conspiracy is an attempt to foment communal disturbances. RSS-BJP people are behind attacks on temples. Some of them have been arrested already.
BJP has demanded President’s Rule in Tripura. Sarkar asked, what is the logic behind this absurd demand? There is no breakdown of constitutional rule in Tripura. According to central government reports, the law and order situation in Tripura is among the best in the country. BJP is trying to defer state assembly elections due by February.
Sarkar said, none of these conspiracies would be successful. The struggling people of Tripura will resist any attempt to disturb peace, democracy and development.
He thanked the Party and the Left movement in West Bengal for their solidarity and said, despite fighting for the restoration of democracy in the state, West Bengal’s support will embolden the spirit of the people of Tripura.
Biman Basu, presiding over the meeting, said that the people of Tripura will be victorious in their fight against divisive forces. Amidst thunderous claps CPI(M) state secretary Surjyakanta Misra delivered an one liner: ‘Red Tripura will remain Red’.
Red Waves in Public Rallies in West Bengal
HUGE mobilisations are taking place in public rallies, related with CPI(M) district conferences in West Bengal. Till January 4, five district conferences have taken place. In Bankura, there was no public rally. In the other four, tens of thousands of people have thronged in open sessions.
In Tehatta in Nadia, the first bugle was sounded. Thousands of people gathered in an area where communal tensions have taken place earlier. On the one hand TMC terror is rampant; on the other RSS-BJP is spreading poison in this area. But the defiant rally reflected the courage of the people.
The open session of Jalpaiguri district took place in Chalsa, a tea garden area. This area has seen starvation deaths in gardens, as well as struggle of joint forum of tea workers. The rally was attended by workers, a large number of whom were tribals.
Rampurhat in Birbhum witnessed a massive rally. A large part of the district is terror-stricken with TMC mafia gangs operating with impunity. CPI(M) leaders and activists are practically ‘banned’ from working in areas. This district has also become a fertile ground of the RSS-VHP with tacit support from the ruling party. The crime rate is one of the highest in the state. There were threats, direct attacks to prevent people from attending the rally. Despite everything, the rally ground was overflooded and the entire area became red. This was the biggest mobilisation of the CPI(M) in Birbhum in the last seven years.
The Party is facing three-pronged attack in Murshidabad. TMC is trying to expand its base through vicious violence; they are using police to frame false cases and arrest CPI(M) leaders; Hindutva forces are aggressively pushing their agenda of polarisation. In this background, the district conference started with a huge rally in Baharampur. This again was one of the largest mobilisations ever.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau members Biman Basu, Surjyakanta Misra, Md Salim and state leaders have addressed these rallies. They are calling upon the people to fight steadfastly against both the TMC and the BJP, who are complementary to each other. In all rallies, resolutions were adopted to fight the next panchayat elections with courage.