August 31, 2009

Kowtowing to imperialists unacceptable to Left: Jyoti Basu

Kolkata, Aug 31 (IANS): Claiming that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is “surrendering to the imperialists” and framing policies adversely hitting the poor, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) patriarch Jyoti Basu Monday said the Left parties will staunchly oppose such moves.“Whatever be the impediments, the Leftists will work in the interest of the workers and the common people. We will never accept the way the central government is surrendering to (the) imperialists,” the nonagenarian Basu said in his written message at a rally organised by West Bengal’s ruling Left Front to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a mass movement against food shortage.

“Due to the policies pursued by the centre, poor people are being adversely hit. Peasants are committing suicide. Food crisis is also escalating in the country,” said Basu, who was chief minister of West Bengal for 23 years from 1977. He stepped down in 2000 for health reasons.
He said prices of essentials, hoarding and black marketing are on the rise, and asserted that the Left parties had built up agitations against the maladies.

“We will never agree to the strategies aimed at dividing the poor,” he said in the missive, read out by Left Front chairman Biman Bose. Attacking the state’s opposition parties and Maoists for stalling development by perpetrating violence and triggering lawlessness, Basu appealed to the Left workers to mobilise the people against such atrocities.

“Work for the people. We should not lose faith in the people, even those who have turned against us. Many have voted against us in the last general election. We have to correct our mistakes. We have to bring these people back to our fold,” the leader said. “I have confidence that the people of our state will never pitch their lot with opportunistic alliances and parties devoid of policies and morals,” said Basu.

Left Front’s massive show of strength in Kolkata

Kolkata, Aug 31 (IANS): After a series of electoral losses, West Bengal’s ruling Left Front Monday sought to enthuse its cadres by organising a huge rally in the city to mark 50 years of a mass movement against food shortages.Held six weeks after Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee-led main opposition Trinamool Congress mobilised lakhs of people in its annual Martyrs’ Day rally, the ruling combine’s show of strength - with claims of nearly 600,000 in attendance - choked traffic in large parts of the city.

The Trinamool’s spectacular performances in the polls to rural and civic bodies, the Lok Sabha and in the assembly by-elections, have cast doubts on whether the ruling Left Front can stretch its marathon stint in power beyond the 2011 state assembly polls.

On top of that, Banerjee’s almost daily announcements of new trains and other railway projects and political statements aimed at weaning away the front’s base have also put the ruling coalition under pressure.

In a written message to the rally, ailing Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu urged the Left workers to go to the people and regain the confidence of those who have turned against the state government.

“Work for the people. We should not lose faith in the people, even those of our former supporters who have gone against us. We must not think of them as our enemies. We have to bring these people back to our fold,” the nonagenarian Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader said in the missive read out by Left Front chairman Biman Bose.

Cautioning the people that canards were being spread dime a dozen against the front, Basu asked the gathering to take a pledge for making a turnaround in the combine’s fortunes. CPI(M) politburo member and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee appealed to all sections of the people - particularly the youths and students - to thwart the designs of the evil forces.

Bhattacharjee said the Trinamool was killing CPI(M) workers in East Midnapore district, while the Maoists are doing the same in West Midnapore. “The opposition is all smiles. They are enjoying. They feel that the Maoists are doing what they wanted to do in West Midnapore,” he said.

Terming the ‘atrocities’ committed by the Trinamool on CPI(M) cadres in East Midnapore’s Nandigram as fascist, he said: “The Trinamool and the Maoists want to terrorise people. We won’t allow them to go forward. We will march ahead.”

A condolence resolution adopted at the rally claimed that uncountable number of Left workers and supporters had been murdered by “anti-socials” backed by opposition parties like the Congress, the Trinamool and the Maoists since 2006 assembly polls.

“Everyday, our workers are being attacked and killed. Efforts are on to create lawlessness in the state and bring back the landlord classes into power. Through violence, reactionary forces are trying to break poor people’s unity,” said the resolution.

The Left Front leaders also paid homage to those who fell to police firing during the Food Movement which was launched in 1959 when the state was suffering from acute food shortage.The movement reached its peak Aug 31, 1959, when a large number of processions converged into a huge rally in the central part of the city leading to a severe police baton charge.

The Leftists have claimed that 80 people died in police atrocities on that day, but other political parties dispute the figure. The Food Movement was one of the many agitations organised by the Leftists through the 1950s and 1960s to mobilise the masses leading to the installation of two United Front governments in 1967 and 1969 and finally the uninterrupted rule of the Left Front since 1977.

Maoists gun down two CPI(M) men in Bengal

Purulia (WB), Aug 31 (PTI): Two CPI(M) workers were today shot dead by Maoists in Purulia and West Midnapore districts, police said. An active worker of the CPI(M) Debiprosad Hansda (50) was shot dead by armed Maoists on the charge of being corrupt at Bitting Lohar village of Balarampur in Purulia last night, the police said.
Four more CPI(M) workers and leaders, including Latika Hembram, Pradhan of Kepka Ghatber Panchayat Samiti, her husband and two relatives were beaten-up at Amghar and Nandudih villages in Balarampur last night, they said. The party leaders were also told to desert CPI(M) at the earliest, sources said.
The incident comes close on the heels of the killing of a CPI(M) leader and a party worker in Purulia district since Saturday.In West Midnapore district, Maoists today gunned down a CPI(M) leader for allegedly spying for the police at Amjharna jungle near Lalgarh.

Buddhadeb hits out at Centre for rise in prices of essential goods

KOLKATA,31st AUGUST: The country has failed to achieve “freedom from hunger,” though it had attained “political freedom,” West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Monday.
Mr. Bhattacharjee was addressing a mammoth rally here, organised by the Left Front to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Food Movement” in the State. The Chief Minister slammed the Congress-led government at the Centre for its “failure” to rein in the spiralling prices of essential commodities.

He said, “Through its advertisement messages, the Congress claims that the United Progressive Alliance government is an ‘aam admi ka sarkar.’ But going by its own record, 30 crore people in the country are still going hungry. What sort of an ‘aam admi ka sarkar’ is it then?”

He accused the Centre of allowing private companies to engage in forward trading in essential commodities, thus leading to increase in prices, ignoring the “repeated warnings” by Left parties.
“The Congress made tall claims of ushering in the Green Revolution in the country. But did that ensure enough food for the masses? It did not… why is the food production going down? I would like the Congress-led government to take lessons from the past.”

On the Trinamool Congress’ allegation that the State government was responsible for the price rise, he pointed out that the prices of foodgrains in the city was much cheaper than in Delhi and Mumbai. Terming the Trinamool Congress an “evil power,” he alleged that the Opposition in the State did not speak against the violent activities of the Maoists because of their close links.

“The Opposition is delighted at the violence and terror spread by the Maoists because the rebels are doing what they themselves wanted to achieve… The Maoists are creating havoc in the Paschim Mednipur district, while the Trinamool Congress is doing the same at Nandigram and Khejuri in the Purbo Medinipur district.”

Left Front Committee chairman Biman Bose blamed the Centre for the current food crisis in the country. “I would like the Congress-led government to take lessons from past”