May 18, 2011

Trinamool planting weapons

KOLKATA, 17th May,2011: Referring to the Trinamool Congress' slogan of “change, but not revenge” in the run-up to the West Bengal Assembly elections, Biman Basu, Chairman of the State Left Front Committee, cited various incidents of attacks on the supporters of Left parties since the announcement of the results on May 13 and said here on Tuesday that the Trinamool had failed to keep its word.

“The manner in which these incidents are occurring is far removed from the rhetoric of the leaders of the Trinamool Congress,” Mr. Basu said.

He also alleged that workers of the Trinamool are planting weapons in party offices and homes of local leaders of the Left parties which is the reason for the large haul of arms that have been recovered over the past few days.

He chaired a meeting of the Left Front during the day which followed a meeting of the State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

According to a press release, at the CPI (M) State Committee meeting, Mr. Basu, who is also the party's State Secretary, said even though the number of votes polled by the Left Front had increased since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, its vote share had declined.

“A large number of people had participated in the Left Front's campaign for the Assembly elections. More and more people attended the rallies, procession and other programmes organised by the Left Front. Based on this, it had been estimated that it will be possible to form the eighth Left Front government. That has not been achieved,” Mr. Basu said, adding that the reasons for it will be examined in full.

On being asked about the comments of senior CPI(M) leader Abdur Razzak Molla on the defeat of party heavyweights, including Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Nirupam Sen, Mr. Basu said: “We do not supports his remarks.”

Mr. Molla was reportedly censured at the meeting for his comments.

Leader of Opposition

Mr. Bose denied that any discussion had been held so far on nominating the Leader of the Opposition, stating that it would be done only “after the new government has been formed.”

He also said that the Left parties had “strongly protested” the Centre's inability to tackle escalating prices and proposals to further increase fuel prices and said that a protest rally will be organised in Kolkata by the end of the month. 

May 17, 2011


New Delhi, May 16: A meeting of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was held in New Delhi on May 16, 2011. It has issued the following statement:

On Election Results

After being in office for a record thirty four years, the Left Front suffered a big defeat in the West Bengal assembly elections. The Polit Bureau decided to conduct a detailed review of the results and draw the necessary conclusions to ascertain the causes for this defeat. The Left Front government had over the three decades registered significant achievements. Despite these, there were shortcomings in the political, governmental and organisational spheres. It is evident that the people have opted for a change and the circumstances that led to this mood among the people should be properly assessed. The Party will seriously conduct this examination and take the necessary steps to overcome the shortcomings and reconnect with the people who have been alienated.

Those who have written off the CPI(M) and the Left Front on the basis of these results are not only mistaken but will be proved wrong. Despite the electoral reverses, the Left Front has got the support of one crore 96 lakh people which is over 41 per cent of the votes polled. The CPI(M) and the Left Front  will unitedly work to expand this support base by assiduously championing the people’s interests both within the assembly and outside and launching struggles of the working people.


In Kerala the LDF fell short of a majority by three seats. The electoral performance of the LDF shows that people have generally appreciated the work of the LDF government. The LDF polled 45.13 per cent of the votes cast which is only 0.89 per cent less than that of the UDF.  The CPI(M) and the LDF will continue to work for defending the pro-people policies and will conduct struggles in defence of the interests of the working people.

The Polit Bureau expressed its gratitude to the tens of thousands of workers of the CPI(M), the Left Front in West Bengal and the Left Democratic Front in Kerala for the hard work they have put in during the election campaign.

Election Review

The Polit Bureau decided to convene a meeting of the Polit Bureau and Central Committee from June 10 to 12, 2011 at Hyderabad. After the review conducted by the State Committees, the Central Committee will finalise the Election Review and the steps to be taken to strengthen the Party and the movement.

West Bengal Attacks Condemned

The Polit Bureau noted that immediately after the election results there have been widespread attacks on the CPI(M) and the Left Front in different parts of West Bengal. Scores of Party offices and houses of cadres and supporters have been attacked. There have two murders of CPI(M) leaders  in the last two days. In Garbeta in West Midnapore District, CPI(M) Zonal Committee Member Jiten Nandi was killed on May 14. A day later on May 15, in Bankura District, CPI(M) Local Committee Secretary of Saltora, Ajit Lohar was killed by TMC goons.

A list of the attacks which have taken place is attached.

The Polit Bureau demanded an immediate halt to the violence directed against the CPI(M) and the Left Front. The Trinamul Congress leadership has the responsibility to ensure that this violence is ended. 

The Polit Bureau calls upon the entire Party and the Left forces to stand behind the CPI(M) and the Left Front in West Bengal to face this onslaught.

The Polit Bureau appeals to all democratic forces in the country to protest against such anti-democratic attacks and physical violence directed against the opponents of the ruling alliance.

Karnataka Crisis

The BJP government headed by Yeddyurappa has been fully exposed by the Supreme Court order quashing the disqualification of 16 MLAs of the Karnataka assembly. The judgment shows how through manipulation and illegal moves the MLAs were disqualified. The Yeddyurappa government has lost all legitimacy and should resign forthwith.

The CPI(M) is of the opinion that Article 356 should not be resorted to in Karnataka.


Results are Disappointing, Yet Left Policies Remain Relevant: POLIT BUREAU

CPI(M) Polit Bureau on Assembly Election Results

Date: 13 May 2011

West Bengal

The Left Front has suffered a big defeat in the West Bengal Assembly elections. The CPI(M) accepts the verdict of the people. The Party will analyse the results carefully and come to proper conclusions about the electoral reverse. After the Left Front being in office for a record 34 years continuously, the people have opted for a change. The TMC-led combine has been the beneficiary of this change.

The Left Front had won seven successive elections and governed the state for more than three decades which is unprecedented in the parliamentary democratic system in India. In this period, there were solid achievements – land reforms, a democratized panchayat system, progress in agriculture, assurance of democratic rights for the working people, for unity, integrity and communal harmony in the state. These are historic gains of the people of West Bengal and an enduring legacy.

Lakhs of people have supported and voted for the CPI(M) and the Left Front in the most adverse circumstances and against heavy odds. The Polit Bureau conveys its greetings to all of them. It assures them that the CPI(M) and the Left Front will stand by the interests of the people and struggle for the cause of the working people. The Party expresses its gratitude to the tens of thousands of Party and Left Front workers who worked tirelessly during the election campaign.

The Polit Bureau cautions that there should be no repetition of the violence that took place against the CPI(M) and the Left Front cadres and offices in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha polls in 2009. We appeal to the people to work for peace and tranquility.


The results in Kerala show that the people have by and large endorsed the record of the LDF government of the past five years. The Left Democratic Front has very narrowly lost the elections with the UDF getting a slender majority of only two seats. This shows that there has been no anti-incumbency trend. However, some caste and religious forces have worked to influence the elections.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) conveys its warm greetings to the thousands of Party and LDF workers who have made this creditable performance in Kerala possible. The CPI(M) and the LDF will vigorously advocate alternative pro-people policies and firmly defend the interests of the working people.

Left Role

The results of West Bengal and Kerala will be a disappointment for the Left and democratic forces in the country. But this will, by no means, make the Left policies and programmes irrelevant for the country. The CPI(M) and the Left forces will not only continue to work for the people in West Bengal and Kerala but will vigorously pursue the struggle against the neo-liberal economic policies, defend the livelihood and interests of the working people and combat communalism and defend secularism in the country.


The Polit Bureau welcomes the sweeping victory of the AIADMK alliance in Tamilnadu. The AIADMK and its allies have won more than four-fifth of the seats in the Assembly. The Tamilnadu result is a decisive rejection of the corrupt misrule of the DMK and is also a verdict against the corruption which has flourished under the UPA regime at the Centre.


The Congress party has won a majority in the Assembly elections. The peace talks with the ULFA and the division in the opposition parties have contributed to the Congress victory.

Biman and Buddhadeb's Joint Statement on Poll Results

The following is the Joint Press Statement issued by Biman Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on May 13, 2011 in Kolkata

THE election result has brought a break to the historic period of the Left Front government which governed for 34 years in West Bengal. This result was unexpected. The Left Front accepts the people’s verdict and promises to perform the role of a responsible and constructive opposition in the state Assembly. The West Bengal Left Front affirms its commitment to identify the reasons of the defeat and initiate continuous corrective measures to regain people’s confidence. The Left Front pays its gratitude to those who have rendered their valuable support to the Left Front despite facing an all-out attack in such a crucial situation.

The poor and common people of this state have achieved considerable rights in the last 34 years. Working people, farmers and lower middle class of people have achieved dignity in their lives. The Left Front believes that people of the state would try to retain those achieved rights and honour.

In this post election results scenario, the Left Front appeals to the people of the state to retain the democratic environment and peace. Our appeal to the leaders, workers and followers of the Left Front is to not respond to any provocation and build up a greater family in every village, para, mahalla and ward, to work for the people’s cause. For any grievance, please lodge written complaints with specific documents to the local police station. The state and district leadership of the Left Front will stand beside the people . The MLAs of the Left Front would initiate struggle in and outside of the Assembly to safeguard the achieved rights of the people.

Decidedly mixed results

The Hindu, Date:14/05/2011  Editorial

No one explanatory framework could have held together the 2011 Assembly elections in four States and one Union Territory. The issues were different, as were the personalities, in West Bengal and Assam in the east of the country, and Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the Union Territory of Puducherry in the south. For West Bengal, this was a watershed election, marking the end of the 34-year-rule of the Left Front headed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). A government led by Trinamool Congress, with the mercurial Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister, will be of a very different persuasion from the ones headed by Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Having drawn on the support of sections and classes with conflicting interests, Ms Banerjee could steer the State in new, even if unpredictable, directions. In Tamil Nadu, the return to power of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, with the charismatic Ms Jayalalithaa at the helm, holds long-term import for the socio-economic development and governance of the State. As for Kerala, the 2011 contest will be best remembered for the performance of the loser, not for the victory of the Congress-led United Democratic Front. In a State known for bringing about a regime change every five years, the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front, riding a late surge created by the campaign of the octogenarian Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, almost nullified the anti-incumbency sentiment to make this the closest election since 1965, when the contest produced a hung Assembly. Assam gave the Congress and Tarun Gogoi a hat-trick of wins, something of a rarity in recent years. In Puducherry, the Congress lost to its breakaway group, the N.R. Congress led by former Congress Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy, which had fought the election in the company of the AIADMK.

In Andhra Pradesh, another breakaway group of the Congress, the YSR Congress formed by Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, has jolted the ruling party by the enormous margins of its victory in the by-elections to the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies. The rise of the YSR Congress threatens to destabilise the demoralised Congress regime in South India's largest State, as many YSR loyalists might see political advantage in switching sides early. The overall consequences of the April-May 2011 elections are hard to predict. While the Congress can take some comfort from its victories in Assam, West Bengal, and Kerala, it will have to deal with increased pressures and changing equations within the United Progressive Alliance. While managing relations with a strengthened TMC will be a challenge, its alliance with the DMK is likely to face an existential crisis sooner than later, given the comprehensiveness of the Tamil Nadu rout and the increasing heat of the 2-G corruption cases.

The fall of the red citadel

By Marcus Dam

THE HINDU, KOLKATA, May 14, 2011

The “winds of change,” as described by the Trinamool Congress leadership, the first breath of which was felt in West Bengal three years ago, have finally swept from power the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government, which ruled the State for a historic 34 years. With the announcement of the Assembly election results on Friday, the red citadel has fallen.

The Left Front's much hoped-for turnaround, since it had been stung by the first of a string of reversals that began with the local bodies polls in May 2008, did not materialise. In a poll which in popular discourse was described as a contest between paribartan (change) and pratyabartan (resurgence), it is the former that has prevailed.

Anti-incumbency factor

The anti-incumbency factor was never in doubt in a State where a government had been in power for a generation and more. But that it gained in potency despite the Left Front having suffered body blows in three successive elections in as many years, only to deliver the final knock-out punch this time around, raises the question whether what had so long been perceived by the Left as a negative vote against it has finally morphed into a positive mandate for an alternative dispensation at Writers' Buildings, an endorsement for “change.”

True, it was the toughest election fought in the State in recent history. Not only was a Left Front, bruised by the electoral defeats suffered over the past three years, facing the combined might of the Trinamool and the Congress, though not for the first time, the CPI(M) in particular was up against enemies within — ones who saw the party as a route to self-aggrandisement.

The “rectification” process that has been initiated within the party is an on-going exercise that cannot afford any time schedules — and certainly not the just concluded Assembly elections.

And then there was the debate over acquisition of farmland for industry which undoubtedly became a potent issue only to redefine political priorities. There might have been “lessons learnt” from the developments at Nandigram and Singur but by then the Trinamool had extracted the maximum mileage out of them.

That the Left Front had to cope with a Trinamool leadership that made it a matter of policy not to “co-operate” with it in attempts to arrive at any sort of consensus — whether on land acquisition, to restore peace in an area troubled by violence and on matters of development — could not have made things any smoother for it, particularly when it came to governance.

Ironically, these various stances adopted by the Trinamool, governed by party chief Mamata Banerjee's fine-tuned one-point agenda of ousting the Left Front, might have added to her popularity and enhanced her acceptance by the people. For, it was her, rather than the party nominee in the fray, whom they voted for, every other leader of the Trinamool admits.

What should be particularly worrying for the Left as it goes about “taking corrective measures and making sustained efforts to regain the confidence of the people” is that it has suffered defeats at the hands of the Trinamool in places where it stood its ground even in the worst of times earlier. But then, it has never been as bad as now. Little remains of the Left bastions, wherever they were.

All this notwithstanding, the Left Front has been prompt in responding to the disastrous and “unexpected” outcome by assuring the incoming government that it would play its role “as a responsible and constructive Opposition.” As one senior leader of the CPI(M) succinctly put it, “ … most of the people wanted to see history being created. To see a new government is half the truth; the other half is to see a new Opposition.”

Only a detailed review will reveal reasons for defeat: Biman Basu

KOLKATA, May 14, 2011: Pointing out that a thorough analysis had to be done of the “unexpected debacle” suffered by the Left Front in the West Bengal Assembly elections, State Left Front Committee chairman Biman Basu said on Friday it was evident that the “Opposition's slogan for change has received the endorsement of the people.” 
“The reasons for the debacle will have to be reviewed in detail. From a preliminary assessment, it can be said we did not understand the mindset of the people, who have endorsed the slogan for change,” said Mr. Basu, who is also the State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Asked about the confidence with which he had predicted a win for the Left Front, Mr. Basu admitted that “our assessment was not right.”
Refusing to comment further on where the Left had gone wrong, Mr. Basu said that only a detailed review could reveal the reasons for its defeat.
A joint statement issued by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Mr. Bose earlier in the day said the Left Front had humbly accepted the verdict of the people and assured them that it “will fulfil the duty of a responsible and constructive opposition.”
“In the last 34 years under the rule of the Left Front, the poor have earned their rights. Workers, farmers and the lower classes have earned their dignity. Left-minded people hope that in the coming days, the common people will try to preserve their rights and dignity,” said the statement.
In the evening, senior leaders of the Left parties met at the State headquarters of the CPI(M).
“The Left parties have not been born in this world to remain in government. They must wage the struggle for the people and will continue to do so,” Mr. Bose told journalists after the meeting.
Asked about the role the Left parties would play as an Opposition, he said: “We will fight the anti-people policies of the government tooth and nail.” But “if the government takes pro-people measures, we will definitely cooperate.”
Mr. Basu said he attached “no special significance” to the defeat of Mr. Bhattacharjee in Jadavpur at the hands of the Trinamool Congress' Manish Gupta.
“Other ministers have been defeated, other candidates have been defeated and he [Mr. Bhattacharjee] has also been defeated.” Even as news trickled in of local offices of the CPI(M) being attacked by Trinamool supporters, Mr. Bose said it was unfortunate.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Resigns

KOLKATA, 13th May, 2011: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday stepped down as West Bengal chief minister following the Left Front's drubbing in the Assembly election at the hands of the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine that saw the collapse of the 34-year-old red bastion.
Mr. Bhattacharjee’s resignation brought to an end the longest Communist rule in India since 1977.
Mr. Bhattcharjee himself trailed much behind Manish Gupta, State’s former chief Secretary, in his Jadavpur constituency.
The 66-year-old CPI(M) politburo member, who faced the toughest electoral battle in his political career, succumbed to the ‘strong winds of change’ and failed to steer the Front to victory for the eighth time in a row in West Bengal.
Known to live a spartan life, the dhoti-kurta clad Bengali ‘Bhadralok’ with a clean image, Mr. Bhattacharjee, a connoisseur of art and music, never moved out of his two-room government flat on Palm Avenue in south Kolkata during his tenure as chief minister.
Mr. Bhattacharjee took over from his mentor Jyoti Basu when the latter finally decided to step down as the country’s longest serving chief minister on health grounds in November 2000, ahead of the assembly elections in 2001 and led the LF to victory. In 1999, he was deputy chief minister of the State.


KOLKATA, May 13, 2011: The Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance on Friday swept the West Bengal Assembly polls with more than a two-thirds majority, ending 34 years of Left Front rule.
Even as results were pouring in, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee tendered his resignation to Governor M. K. Narayanan at the Raj Bhavan in the afternoon.
Accepting his resignation and, inter alia, all the other members of his Council of Ministers, the Governor requested the Chief Minister and his colleagues to continue to discharge their duties till alternative arrangements are made.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee called on the Governor in the evening and staked her claim to form the next government.
All set to be the State's first woman Chief Minister, Ms. Banerjee described the landslide for the alliance as a “victory for democracy, a victory for the people, a victory for maa, mati, manush [her party slogan that translated reads: mother, soil, people]” She promised “good governance, good administration, not autocracy…The people are the winners…”
Among those who fell before the Trinamool-Congress juggernaut were Mr. Bhattacharjee and 25 Ministers, including Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta, Industries and Power Minister Nirupam Sen, Housing Minister Gautam Deb and Minister for Sundarban Affairs Kanti Ganguly. In all, 34 Ministers, including the Chief Minister, were in the fray.
The Trinamool secured a majority on its own, bagging 184 of the total 294 seats. A decision on whether or not the Congress, which won 42 seats, will join the new government will be taken soon. Ms. Banerjee has, however, welcomed it and another ally, the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) to join her in the next government. The SUCI has won one seat.
Pointing out that Ms. Banerjee had achieved what the Congress could not in the past years, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that “the mandate was clearly in favour” of her. “In Bengal, a frail woman, within 13 years [since the Trinamool Congress was formed], could dismantle a strong CPI(M) party by reducing them not to a three-digit but a double-digit figure,” he said, adding that his party had, in its own, “humble way helped her achieve the success.”
The Left Front's tally was reduced to 62, with the Communist Party of India (Marxist), its major constituent having to content itself with 40 seats. The position of other parties in the Left Front are: the CPI (2), AIFB (11), RSP (7), SP (1) and the Democratic Socialist Party (1).
The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha won three seats and Independents two.
“This result was unexpected,” Mr. Bhattacharjee and Biman Bose, chairman of the Left Front Committee, said in a statement adding that “the Left Front promised to play the role of a responsible and constructive Opposition.”

May 5, 2011

Confident of our victory: Buddhadeb

Wed, 05/04/2011

Kolkata, May 4 (IBNS): West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday said Left Front will retain its power in West Bengal.

“West Bengal has already undergone four out of six phases of Assembly elections. So far, the way people have exercised their democratic right, we are confident of our victory. People are going to establish eighth Left Front government in West Bengal,” Bhattacharjee said in a press statement on Wednesday.

He slammed Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and said: “Lots of efforts were put in by the Trinamool Congress to break confidence of our workers.”

“Trinamool is campaigning for an imaginary cabinet. They will also try to influence a part of voters in the coming two phases of elections. Earlier also they tried to do the same, but failed in their efforts,” said Bhattacharjee.

“I am confident that truth will prevail over lies and West Bengal’s people will ensure Left Front’s victory,” the veteran CPI-M leader said.

Over the last four years, the Left, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), suffered back-to-back poll debacles which saw their majority challenged by Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Lok Sabha, Municipal and Panchayat elections.

Nearly 85 percent of the 1.26 crore people spread across 63 constituencies in four districts of West Bengal thronged to 15,711 polling stations throughout Tuesday for the fourth phase of state elections as voting concluded without any major incidents.

This was arguably the most closely watched phase of elections so far which included some of the most politically volatile areas of the state, including Singur and Nandigram which were the centres of violent protests against the ruling Left Front government during its last tenure.

The earlier two legs also saw largely incident-free polling amid high voter turnouts.

With the fourth phase getting wrapped up, West Bengal will go to vote for the fifth and sixth legs of the six-phased polling which began on Apr 18, on May 7 and 10 respectively. The counting is on May 13.

May 2, 2011


Buddhadeb asks people to defeat Trinamool if they want peace

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday exhorted the people of Purba Medinipur to defeat the Trinamool Congress in the ensuing elections if they want peace. This district, which includes the Nandigram constituency, goes to the polls on May 3 in the fourth phase of Assembly Elections in West Bengal.

Addressing an election rally at Khejuri near Nandigram, Mr. Bhattacharjee said: “Get ready to resist any attempt to foment trouble on election-day. Wherever there is Trinamool Congress, there is unrest – if you want peace, defeat them,” he exhorted the gathering, warning that the Trinamool only brings about bloodshed.

Reassuring the gathering that none would be able to defeat the Left Front, he said that the Opposition was trying to break the people's morale by projecting themselves as the winners. “They are trying to dampen your spirits. Don't be disheartened. None can defeat the Left Front,” he said.

Nandigram agitation

Referring to the period of unrest during the Nandigram agitation, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that the State government had wanted this place to become another Haldia (the industrial hub in the same district). Haldia, he said was just another village till it was transformed by the Left Front government. It is now providing jobs to thousands of youths, he said.

‘No mistake made'

“We made no mistake in choosing Nandigram (for setting up industries). But the rumour-mongering Opposition set Nandigram ablaze. We built roads, they dug them up. We laid bridges, they set them afire. They created trouble by ushering in the Maoists here,” he said. “Many people of this area had to flee their homes due to the terror unleashed by the Trinamool,” said the Chief Minister.

Pointing out that the panchayat here, now being governed by the Trinamool Congress, was riddled with corruption, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that this could not continue and it was time for people to stand up for their rights.

“What do they want to change?”

Ridiculing the Opposition's clamour for change, he quizzed: “What do they want to change — do they want to take land back from the marginal farmers to whom we gave land rights through land reforms?”

He said that the Eight Left Front government will take this process forward.

Commending the local girls for being well-educated, he said that the Eight Left Front government was keen to set up more colleges so as to empower the local youth.

THE HINDU, 30th April, 2011

EC issues notice to Trinamool

The Election Commission has issued notices to the Trinamool Congress and the chairmen of the United Bank of India and the Allahabad Bank in Kolkata seeking their explanation for availing themselves of /issuing pay orders for Rs.1.33 crore against cash payment.

In the notice to the Trinamool president, the EC wanted to know from the party the “circumstances under which the pay orders got issued by deposit of cash, in violation of the Reserve Bank of India guidelines without routing it through the bank account and the Commission's instructions on the subject.”

The Commission recalled that, at its all-party meeting and through various instructions, it had advised all parties to avoid transactions in cash during the election process in West Bengal.

In the notices sent to the chairmen of the United Bank of India and the Allahabad Bank, seeking their explanation by April 29, the Commission said the Kolkata main branch 14-India Exchange Place of Allahabad Bank had made two drafts for Rs.10 lakh by deposit of cash by the Trinamool, dated April 25, 2011, favouring M Power Global Access India Limited.

The Old Court House Street branch of the United Bank of India had made five drafts for Rs.1.23 crore on March 23, 2011, against deposit of cash by the Trinamool favouring Visual Audio.

“The RBI guidelines dated 1.7.2009 categorically prohibit any remittance of funds, by way of DD/telegraphic transfer or any other mode, of Rs.50,000 and above against cash payment. Besides, the EC is concerned about cash transactions during the election process as such transaction vitiates the poll process,” the notices said.

Buddhadeb's road show attracts huge crowds

Painted faces, balloons, umbrellas, large cut-outs of the party symbol being waved along with the party flag — everything about the procession that started at the gates of the Botanical Gardens in Howrah district on Tuesday was red. Even the showers of flowers — hibiscuses, roses and balsams — that shrouded the windscreen of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's car as soon as it entered the venue were crimson.

The roar of the crowds shouting out their “Laal Salam” to Comrade Buddhadeb Bhattcharjee drowned out the announcements being made over the loudspeakers. They had been waiting for hours in the sun anticipating his arrival. The numbers were so overwhelming that the open-hooded jeep that Mr. Bhattacharjee mounted was held back for a while before the procession could take off.

The jeep crawled its way through the procession that meandered its way through Shibpur, Howrah Uttar, Howrah Madhya and Howrah Dakshin constituencies for well over three hours till it reached its destination at Salkia. The district, along with Hooghly, Purba Medinipur and parts of Bardhaman will be going to the polls on May 3.

Supporters bearing flags and all forms of Communist Party of India (Marxist) insignia walked alongside — some of them inches away from Mr. Bhattacharjee's vehicle. Outstretched arms reached out to him even as he tried to shake hands with as many as he could, waving out to the rest. Some had painted their faces, others had plastered them with stickers of the CPI (M) symbol; some proudly flaunted tee-shirts given by the party, others had hunted through their wardrobe for shirts, saris or kurtas — anything red they could find.

Red caps and hats, scarves and bandanas, flags and banners — a red sea followed the black jeep Mr. Bhattacharjee was riding, flanked by the local candidates of the Left Front. Strains of “We shall overcome!” and other Bengali favourites of the Left movement followed the jeep everywhere it went.

Local residents managed a bird's eye view from the terraces and balconies of their homes even as they debated whether they had ever seen such a large procession go by in these parts. Children, student and youth activists and even the physically challenged had made their way to the procession. Francis Haldar, a 55-year-old supporter paralysed from the waist down, has attended several Left Front rallies, including mammoth rallies organised at the Brigade parade ground in Kolkata. “But this time is particularly special because the Chief Minster has come to my neighbourhood,” said Mr. Haldar, a resident of Shibpur.

Buddhadeb demands judicial inquiry in arms drop case

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday demanded a judicial inquiry by the Centre into the “political conspiracy” behind the arms drop from a foreign plane in Purulia 16 years ago.

“A political conspiracy has been exposed in the media behind the arms drop 16 years ago. And in this context and in the interest of internal security and the gravity of the incident therein, I demand a judicial probe,” the chief minister said in a statement here.

Recalling the dropping of a huge cache of arms from a plane “meant for the Anandmargis” in Purulia at midnight on December 17, 1995, the Chief Minister said, “An alert message from the Union home ministry reached the state home department a few days after the incident.

“The Central alert of December 12 was dispatched to Kolkata from Delhi by ordinary mail in a very casual manner. No advance wireless message was sent to the state on an urgent basis considering the gravity of the situation. The mail reached after the arms drop in Purulia.”

Mr. Bhattacharjee, who holds home (police) portfolio, said the state government handed over responsibility of the inquiry to the CBI considering the gravity of the incident.

“All seized sophisticated arms were handed over to the CBI by the state police. All the seized arms since the days of inquiry were in the custody of the CBI,” he added.

Purulia: Prakash Karat for judicial probe

The Communist Party of India(Marxist) on Friday demanded a judicial probe into the Purulia arms-drop case to uncover the network responsible for the incident.

“The Purulia arms-drop in December 1995 was one of the most serious instances of assault on the country's sovereignty. The investigations and the court trial proved that the arms were meant for the Ananda Marg, which was planning to use it to foment violence to destabilise the Left Front government,” the CPI(M) Polit Bureau said in a statement in the wake of an interview by Niels Christian Nielsan alias Kim Davy, the absconder in the case.

The party said the judicial inquiry should be held by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

Addressing a press conference here, party general secretary Prakash Karat said the revelations by Davy and Peter Bleach, who was sentenced in the case, raised new questions and necessitated a fresh inquiry.

Mr. Karat said both Nielsen and Bleach made some serious charges of connivance by certain authorities in the air-drop plan and the cover up later.

He said the party believed that the then Central government was “grossly negligent” in dealing with British intelligence information about the arms-drop, “but are now revising our view.”

“We are not interested in scoring political points but when information was available why was the Centre not able to act and the main conspirator has still not been extradited …the government has been tardy in getting him extradited…” the CPI(M) leader said.

The Centre sent the arms-drop information to the State government by registered post and it arrived one week after the incident, Mr. Karat said, adding that Davy gave specific details of how he had escaped from the Mumbai airport and reached Nepal.

Mr. Karat said Davy named Pappu Yadav, an MP then, as the one who assisted him and that people of Purulia saw Mr. Yadav there soon after the arms-drop.

He said Mr. Yadav, who is in jail serving a life sentence for the murder of CPI(M) MLA Ajit Sarkar, should be interrogated and the trail by which Kim Davy escaped from the country should be uncovered and the persons responsible brought to book.

The existence of the Left Front government in West Bengal has been anathema to many domestic and international forces, he said, adding that even today, the spectre of violence in the form of Maoists is being used to destabilise the Left Front.

‘Killing fields'

“Even the Union Home Minister recently talked of the ‘killing fields' in West Bengal and blamed the CPI(M) for them. On the other hand, Maoist violence is being aided and supported by the Trinamool Congress, which is part of the Congress-led government at the Centre.”

Purulia: was West Bengal's LF regime the target?

By Marcus Dam

THE HINDU, April 29, 2011

The revelations to an Indian television channel on Thursday by Kim Davy, a prime accused in the arms drop case over the Jhalda area in West Bengal's Purulia district on December 17-18, 1995, and by Peter Bleach who served a sentence for his role in the incident, only go to indicate that various international forces have been colluding with those within the country in targeting and destabilising the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government in West Bengal.
They come not just as an eye-opener at a time when the Left Front is facing its most fierce electoral battle in recent times against an alliance of the Trinamool Congress and the Congress in the ongoing Assembly polls in the State; they also serve as a reminder to the electorate waiting to exercise its franchise in the coming three phases of polling — on May 3, 7 and 10.

What Mr. Davy has had to say in his interview to Times Now TV channel is, according to the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M), “further confirmation of the fact that there was a well-planned conspiracy to use violence to destabilise the Left Front at that time… Such moves are still on.”

Significantly, the arms drop occurred a year before Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were held in the State.

As the CPI(M) Polit Bureau observes “…it was a serious assault on India's sovereignty and a diabolical plot against an elected government [in West Bengal] and the Constitution.”

On being asked whether the Central government knew and had authorised the arms drop over Indian territory, Mr. Davy replied: “There were political forces at the Centre who saw it as an opportune way to further their political agenda.”

He continues: “You must remember that we are talking ancient history here, but in 1988 the Centre introduced Presidential Rule in Tripura [the Left Front was in power there in 1987-88] after engaging in supplying arms to different rebel groups there. The same strategy was announced publicly in the beginning of the 1990s that there was a decision to introduce Presidential Rule in West Bengal and therefore it was seen as a furthering of this agenda that arms were procured to protect local people.”

Startling exposé

The disclosures to Times Now by Mr. Bleach are more startling.

Asked what could be the motive behind dropping the arms in “Indian territory in such an illegal manner,” Mr. Bleach says: “To understand that you have to stop thinking of Indian territory. This wasn't dropped so much in Indian territory as in Bengali territory. The target here was the government of West Bengal. At that time, Jyoti Basu was the Chief Minister and the CPI(M) government was in power.”

“The whole objective [according] to my understanding was to destabilise the government of West Bengal so that President's rule could be declared in terms of the Constitution and the State would have been ruled directly from Delhi. That could have disposed the CPI(M) government and that was the entire purpose of the job as I understand it now. I didn't understand it at that time and I have to stress that,” Mr Bleach goes on to add.

As Biman Bose, CPI(M) State Secretary in West Bengal, says: “There have been moves to destabilise the Left Front government… There have been repeated demands for President's rule in the State; like the repeated efforts of the principal Opposition party in the State [Trinamool Congress] to get the Centre to impose President's rule in the State by engaging with the CPI (Maoist) in Jangal Mahal [in the south-western region of the State].”