Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mammoth Rally at Sahid Minar Maidan on 16th December, 2014

Red Flag Challenges Enemies of the People

Mammoth Rally at Sahid Minar Maidan Warns TMC and BJP

Kolkata: IN another sign of Left’s resurgence, tens of thousands of people marched into the heart of Kolkata on December 16, at the call of CPI(M) North 24 Parganas district committee. They came from faraway forest areas of Sundarbans, from working class habitats of Barracpore industrial area, from middle class suburbs like DumDum. With red flags held high, stream of humanity overflowed Sahid Minar Maidan.

This was the fourth large gathering by the Left in a fortnight in Kolkata. On December 2, thousands rallied demanding interrogation of the chief minister in Saradha scam. On December 6, another rally marched through the streets at the call of 17 Left parties, denouncing communal forces. A militant gathering broke through police barricade in a protest action on December 11. And, on the top of them, the mammoth gathering in Sahid Minar, that too from a single district, has clearly indicated towards the invincibility of red flag in West Bengal.

Undivided district of 24 Parganas, and now North 24 Parganas has been one of the strongholds of the Left movement, carrying the legacy of many historic battles of the working class and the peasantry. The political influence of the Left, the social - cultural impact of the Communist movement runs through the veins of this district. The Left activists and supporters in this district faced brutal terror in the last three and half years and many areas were still ‘prohibited’ for them. CPI(M) district committee launched an intensive campaign for more than one month in preparation for this historic rally. Hundreds of public meetings took place in the entire district. Massive door to door campaign was organised to put forward the political stand of the Party. The rally in Kolkata was the successful culmination of this determined political mobilisation.

Addressing the rally Biman Basu and Surjyakanta Misra called upon the people of the state to intensify resistance against the onslaught of the TMC government in the state. Biman Basu said that we did not favour implementation of Article 356 and, instead would expose this anti-democratic, anti-people regime to its core. Surjyakanta Misra referred to the TMC’s involvement in Saradha scam and said that Mamata Banerjee and her government have brought shame for the state.

Both Basu and Misra challenged the BJP and said that there were no forces on earth who could take away red flags from the people of West Bengal.

CPI(M) district secretary Gautam Deb had to address the gathering through video as he was recuperating from a surgery. Deb denounced the designs of communal forces and said the people of Bengal would never polarise on religious identity and would fight anti-people policies unitedly.

Families of 19 martyrs were felicitated and monetary help was handed over to them in the rally. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee met the relatives of the martyrs and assured them that the Party will always stand by them. The money was collected from millions of households in North 24 Parganas.

The rally, as was announced, marched towards the Nabanna, the state secretariat, led by a delegation. The police blocked them and immediately roaring waves began to sweep the barricades away. However, the CPI(M) leaders appealed to the people for restraint and went to submit the deputation in the state assembly house to senior cabinet ministers.

West Bengal Left Front Memo to PM on Financial Scams

Monday, December 22, 2014

NEW DELHI: A Left Front Parties delegation led by Biman Basu (Chairman, Left Front Committee, West Bengal), Sitaram Yechury (MP, leader of the  CPI(M) Group in Rajya Sabha), Abani Roy (Ex-MP, Revolutionary Socialist Party) Surjya Kanta Mishra (Leader of the Opposition, Legislative Assembly of West Bengal), Pallab Sengupta (Communist Party of India) and Ali Imran Ramz (Member, Legislative Assembly of West Bengal, Forward Bloc) met the Prime Minister today on the issue of financial irregularities and fraud committed by financial companies in West Bengal.  The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister.

The text of the memorandum given below:

Dear Hon’ble Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned, draw your attention to the alarming financial irregularities and fraud committed by about 186 financial companies (`Chit Funds’ or `ponzi schemes’ as per local parlance) in the state of West Bengal.  In the communications with earlier governments, it was pointed out, inter alia, the inadequacy of action on the part of the State and Central Governments in this matter.  It was urged to involve and forge coordination between various investigation agencies under the Central Government like SEBI, SFIO, CBI and ED along with the State agencies. 

Along with the letter No. 990/L.O./2014 dated 28.11.2014 from Dr. Surjya Kanta Mishra, Leader of the Opposition, Legislative Assembly, West Bengal, seeking this appointment, we had enclosed copies of a memorandum dated May 9, 2013 from the Left Front Committee, West Bengal addressed to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Prime Minister of India, a detailed reply from Shri Namo Narain Meena, the then Minister of State for Finance (Expenditure & Financial Services), letters dated July 15, 2013 and October 7, 2013 to the then Prime Minister of India on this issue.

Though some progress has been made in the investigations in this fraud under the Supreme Court supervision and some action against some of the culprits has been taken, this is inadequate.

Hob’ble Supreme Court upon a Public Interest Litigation directed the C.B.I. to investigate into the matter of cheating the common man being a part of larger conspiracy wherein involvement of officers of different regulatory agencies and the political personalities/parties could not be ruled out. 

This larger conspiracy can only be unearthed and the guilty punished if all these fraudulent chit funds which operate in many other states of eastern India (Odisha, Assam, Tripura, for instance) are thoroughly investigated. 

We apprehend that there may be an all out endeavour on behalf of the beneficiaries of this massive fraud to misdirect and/or throttle the investigation.  The arrests of some Hon’ble MPs and a senior State Government Cabinet Minister raises genuine apprehensions of the involvement of the highest level in the State Government and the ruling Party in the state. Many such names, including the Hon’ble Chief Minister, have been reportedly mentioned by those interrogated so far.

We are seeking your intervention in order to ensure that all these fraudulent schemes in various states of eastern India are thoroughly investigated by the Central government and its agencies.

The Left Front parties are very much concerned about the repayment of the life long savings of millions of poor people who invested in these fraud `ponzi schemes’.  It becomes the responsibility of the Government of India to identify the people involved in the larger conspiracy and attach their properties, movable and immovable, and ensure return of the deposits to the people so defrauded.  The state government had appointed the Justice Shyamal Sen Commission to identify and compensate those defrauded.  This Commission has since been wound up.  It’s investigations and report, however, have not been made public.  These materials must be taken over by the CBI to facilitate the ongoing enquiry. 

We reiterate our position mentioned in our earlier letters for making the National Saving Scheme more attractive and taking expeditious steps for spreading banking network in West Bengal and in several other States by the Government of India.  This, along with banning of such fraud `chit funds’, is the only way to guarantee the security of small investors. 

A faulty Bill, `The West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Bill, 2013’ moved by the present State Government after a legislation moved by the earlier Left Front Government and unanimously passed by the West Bengal Legislative Assembly in December 2009 was withdrawn on 30 April, 2013 and sent to the Hon’ble President of India for his assent. But, for reasons beyond our knowledge this was withdrawn and a new Bill has been passed in the Assembly on 12 December, 2013 which is still pending with Government of India and awaiting the Presidential assent. 

Given the huge number of victims, we sincerely hope that you will urgently intervene on their behalf and also in order to put in place corrective mechanisms and regulations, so that such frauds cannot be committed in the future.  

Earlier submissions: