Vol. XLV No. 16 April 18, 2021

WEST BENGAL: Conspiracy Resulted in Sitalkuchi Firing

THE politics of polarisation and violence took its fatal toll in Sitalkuchi in Coochbehar district in the fourth phase of elections in West Bengal. Five youth were killed, four of them in CISF firing in a bizarre turn of events.

Subverting the Election Commission

THE subversion of constitutional bodies under the Modi regime is proceeding apace. Nothing exemplifies this more than what has happened to the Election Commission of India (EC). The EC’s stand on the elections for three vacant seats from Kerala in the Rajya Sabha has brought out the stark fact that the Commission is bending to the will of the Modi government. Nothing else can explain the strange behavior of the Commission regarding what is a routine election for...

Brutal Second Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic

A belated high-level meeting at the PMO blamed the people and the states for this Covid crisis. This serves only to enable the centre to evade responsibility for the present situation and give itself an excuse for future inaction or failure. Learning from the first wave, it is important that measures are taken through a partnership between the centre and states, with the centre providing evidence-based guidelines and financial as well as other...

Biden’s Package and Its Pitfalls

US President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package is one of the most ambitious measures to revive the US and, with it, the world economy. Coming on the heels of Trump’s $2 trillion package last year and a further $900 billion package announced in December 2020, it seeks not just to provide relief from the pandemic but to start a new boom in the US which, it is expected, will have spill-over effects for the world as a whole, notwithstanding the...

US Navy in Lakshadweep: Gunboat Diplomacy Masquerading as Freedom of Navigation

HAVING endorsed US Freedom of Navigations on the South China Sea, the Indian government had a rude awakening. It discovered, from a US Seventh Fleet announcement on its website, that the US had conducted a similar Freedom of Navigation Operations in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around Lakshadweep on April 7. This was done without requesting India’s prior consent. The US...

Yet Another Rafale Exposé

THE French investigative web-portal Mediapart released a three part series of articles last week containing much dramatic new material on touching on the controversial Rafale deal. The material once again brought into focus murky dealings, possible shady transactions, and evasive as well as non-cooperative responses by supposedly independent investigative agencies and top government and corporate officials in both India and France.

Stop Attack on Farmers

THE All India Kisan Sabha, in a statement issued on April 8, has condemned the decision of the Narendra Modi led BJP government to allow fertilizer companies to hugely hike the prices of chemical fertilizers. The price of DAP (18-46-00) which was Rs 24,000/MT in 2020 has now been increased to Rs 38,000/MT or an increase of Rs 14,000/MT. Farmers who were paying Rs 1200 for a 50 kg bag have to now pay Rs 1900. The prices of NPK complex fertilizers have also seen an exorbitant rise....

Bihar: Bust of Martyr Comrade Jagdish Chandra Basu Installed

A BUST of Comrade Jagdish Chandra Basu was installed on April 11, 2021 in Meghauna panchayat in Khagaria. Comrade Jagdish was murdered, the last year-2020 on April 11, during the lockdown. The reason for murdering Comrade Basu was that he was fighting against the culprits of the region, these culprits were involved in killing a principal of Chikni Primary School on August 15, 2019.

MNREGA Wage Hike of Less Than Four Per Cent is Cruel to Rural Workers

THE central government has announced new wage rates for the people working under MNREGA for the year 2021-22. According to the revised rates announced by the Ministry of Rural Development on March 15, the enhancement is from Rs 0 to Rs 23 in different states. At the national level, the hike is than four per cent which is unfair towards the poor rural workers, majority of whom are dalits, tribals and poor...

The relevance of re-election of LDF in Kerala

THE ongoing farmers’ struggle in India is an integral part of the class struggle by the producing classes - the peasantry and the working class- the world over against the imperialist globalisation. Declining purchasing capacity of the two major producing classes has paved the way for enormous recession and related massive unemployment and price rise.

Comrade Kunja Bojji

VETERAN Communist and a three-time MLA, Comrade Kunja Bojji (95) passed away on April 12, at a private hospital in Bhadrachalam. Comrade Bojji was born on February 10, 1926. He became a member of the CPI(M) in 1951.