NORTH 24 PARGANAS PEOPLE RAISE THE BANNER OF PROTEST
KOLKATA, 1ST OCTOBER: Kolkata witnessed another mammoth rally on October 1, signaling growing discontent and mounting protest against the Trinamool Congress-led state government. The rally, called by CPI(M) North 24 Parganas district committee, saw tens of thousands of people from all corners of the district converging in Rani Rashmoni road, inundating the heart of the city with streams of people. The central slogan of the rally was “Stop terror, Run the state”. The rally was preceded by month long intensive campaign throughout the district highlighting the demands of the people as well as protesting the neo-liberal attack on toiling masses.
Right from the morning thousands of people began to assemble in Kolkata. Some people came from distant areas of Sundarbans after hours of journey. A special train from Bangaon in Bangladesh border arrived with full of people. Hundreds of people came from Haroa and adjoining areas which are terror-stricken. Students and youth were visibly enthusiastic while participating in their processions. Industrial workers, including jute workers, came from famed and now distressed Barrackpore industrial area. Surprisingly, IT employees from Salt Lake were also present in good numbers. On top of these, a colourful procession of around 50,000 people marched from Sealdah station to the venue of the public meeting.
Addressing the gathering, Biman Basu, state secretary of CPI(M), said that the crisis-ridden USA was trying to shift its economic burden on to the Indian people. They are forcing the Indian government to orient its policies to suit their interests. The UPA government is surrendering to these pressures and heaping intolerable burden on the common man. Trinamool Congress remained silent when they were inside the ruling coalition. Even now, while they are opposing FDI in retail, they are silent on the role of the US. The pseudo-Left posture of Trinamool Congress is a part of wider design, he said.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M), said criminals and anti-socials have started to think that the current state government is their own government. The irresponsible comments from the highest executive head of the state has repeatedly encouraged criminal activities like murder, extortion, intimidation, rape and other forms of crime against women.
Bhattacharjee vehemently attacked the industrial policy of the state government. Drawing the example of Singur, Bhattacharya said that Trinamool Congress is still moving on the same path because of which no investment is coming to the state and no employment has also been created in the last one and half years. He attacked the government on the issue of reservations to minority communities. He said that the present government has completely rejected the process of reservations to minorities in jobs initiated by the earlier Left Front government of the state. Raising the issue of farmer suicides, Bhattacharjee said the current government has utterly failed to provide remunerative prices to the farmers.
Both Basu and Bhattacharjee criticised the way the panchayats are being attacked in the state. They strongly expressed the determination of the Left to not concede even an inch without resistance in the coming panchayat elections despite being under severe attack.
Surya Kanta Mishra, leader of opposition in the West Bengal state assembly, said that the government brought a resolution against FDI in the assembly, which was not opposed by the Left Front. But the Left Front wanted to introduce a small amendment to the resolution by incorporating the word ‘neo-liberalism’ and ‘imperialism’, which was not accepted by the government. He raised a question on the credibility of TMC’s role on the FDI issue. Dr Mishra also said that the Party is ready to face panchayet elections at any point of time.
Gautam Deb, North 24 Parganas district secretary of CPI(M), said that this rally was not called to oust the state government. It is a warning to the government. The Left Front has showed extreme restraint for the last sixteen months. But if the state government does not mend its ways, they must be prepared to face huge mass resistance.
Though it was a rally called by CPI(M), Left Front leaders were present on the occasion and addressed the rally. Veteran Forward Block leader Ashok Ghosh saw in the rally signs of rejuvenation of the Left in the state. Manjukumar Majumdar, state secretary of CPI, urged for bigger struggles. Khiti Goswami, state secretary of RSP, also addressed the gathering. Amitav Nandy and Tarit Topdar explained the demands of the district. The meeting was presided over by Md Amin, veteran trade union leader.
A charter of demands was also submitted on behalf of the Left Front North 24 Parganas on various demands of the district to the industry minister Partha Chatterjee.
One of the most touching part of the rally was the solidarity with the families of the martyrs. CPI(M) North 24 Parganas district committee reached to 30 lakh people to raise money to help these families. Families of 50 martyrs were given Rs 1 lakh each. The family members of the martyrs were showered with respect from the entire gathering.