THE streets of Caracas and other cities in Venezuela were flooded with common people who had come out to solemnly observe the first death anniversary of Hugo Chavez on March 5. The small minority opposed to his legacy continued with its violent protests in scattered upper middle class areas of Caracas and a few cities. The presidents of Cuba and Bolivia, Raul Castro and Evo Morales respectively, had flown to Caracas to be personally present on the occasion of the late leader’s first death anniversary.
THE All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has condemned the decision of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) to revalidate the field trials for ten varieties of genetically modified (GM) food crops as well as other crops in a hasty manner despite serious concerns expressed by wide sections. This decision is a bonanza given on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections to the Indian and multinational agribusinesses, and reeks of corrupt intentions. It is undemocratic and in violation of the Election Commission’s guidelines as well.
THE General Elections for the 16th Lok Sabha is going to be held in the background of a crisis in the economy and the society as a fallout of the vigorous pursuit of neo-liberal policies by the successive governments at the centre, particularly those led by both the Congress and the BJP.
AN impression is sought to be created by government spokesmen that Indian agriculture, especially the foodgrain sector, has left behind the stagnation that afflicted it in the immediate aftermath of the “economic reforms”. It has now “turned around”, and those who are still highlighting the deleterious effect of the neo-liberal regime upon food security are simply raking up a past that no longer exists.
THE CPI(M) released final set of its booklets for election campaign on March 28. Out of the total 11 booklets prepared by the Party, four were released – two each on March 24 and March 26 and remaining seven booklets were released by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member A K Padmanabhan and Central Committee member, Sudha Sundararaman. The seven booklets of the final set are:
For An Alternative Food Security and Price Control Policy
To Advance Workers' Rights
To Protect and Defend Agriculture, Farmers and Workers
Against the Caste System: For Equity and Dignity of Dalits
A delegation of the West Bengal Left Front committee led by Biman Basu, chairman and accompanied by the CPI(M) leader in Rajya Sabha, Sitaram Yechury met the Election Commission of India on April 1, 2014 regarding the issue of conducting free and fair Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal and submitted a memorandum. It also enclosed a list of 35 letters written to the EC since December 19, 2013. The delegation comprised Rabin Deb from CPI (M), Manju Kumar Majumder from CPI, Joyanta Roy from All India Forward Bloc and Manoj Bhattacharya from Revolutionary Socialist Party.
THE manner in which the RSS/BJP is pumping in monetary and material resources in the current campaign to ensure the success of its prime ministerial aspirant to head the future Indian government after the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections is, indeed, unprecedented. According to some, it is allegedly estimated that the recently enhanced Election Commission’s limit on expenditures per candidate per constituency of Rs 70 lakh has already been far exceeded (totalling all 542 constituencies) by the RSS/BJP in projecting their PM aspirant alone.
CHEVARAMBALAM, a small hamlet near Kozhikode city, has got many stories to tell about its beloved late comrades, P Krishnapillai and A K Gopalan. Both of them organised workers and peasants in this area decades ago. Through the legends passing from generation to generation, these great leaders are still alive in the memory of the people here.
THE Tripura East (ST) Lok Sabha seat is to go to poll on April 12. Spread over Dhalai, Khowai North, Unakoti and a part of both Gomati and South Tripura districts, this constituency has 30 assembly segments. Since the first general election of 1952, this constituency has been a stronghold of the Left. Out of the 15 elections held so far, it has sent communist members to parliament ten times. It was this seat which legendary communist leader, Comrade Dasharath Deb, used to contest. In 1952 he contested from this seat while he was underground.
LF CAMPAIGN SURGES AHEAD IN TRIPURA
THE Congress won’t be able to win half the Lok Sabha seats it got last time while the BJP, pursuing the same ruinous economic policies and trying to divide the masses on communal line, is no alternative. What is needed to save the country is a secular non- Congress government based on alternative pro-people policies, and an increased strength of the Left is a prerequisite for this alternative to emerge.