March 23, 2014
Left Front Campaign Picks up in Tripura

Rahul Sinha

EAST TRIPURA: THE campaign programme in support of Jitendra Choudhury, the Left Front nominated CPI(M) candidate in the East Tripura constituency, is picking up pace with every passing day. A number of rallies, meetings and conventions are taking place each day. On Sunday, March 16, the Gana Mukti Parishad (GMP) organised a convention at Chailengta town hall while the Khet Mazoor Union organised another at Manughat town hall, both in Dhalai district. The supporters and workers of both the organisations came from different parts of the division to attend these programmes. The main speaker at both the conventions was Bajuban Reang, a CPI(M) Central Committee member. He said both the Congress and the BJP are destructive forces for our country. While both are competing with each other in following the anti-people neo-liberal policies, the BJP wants to divide our country in the name of religion. Stressing upon the possibility and necessity to form a non-Congress, non-BJP government at the centre, as people are looking for a viable alternative to both these parties, Reang urged the masses to ensure the victory of both the Left Front candidates with a greater margin to ensure a stronger presence of the Left in parliament to pave way for such a government with alternative policies. Niranjan Debbarma, general secretary of the GMP Central Committee, said the Congress is in the habit of forgetting everything. This party has forgot the promises which it had made at the time of the 15th Lok Sabha elections. This is the time to change the very character of the central government, Debbarma added. The other speakers included CPI(M) state committee members Gajendra Tripura and Nirod Saha. Meetings were also held in the Chailengta ST Colony Para and Naitongchara regrouping colony. Bajuban Reanag, Gajendra Tripura, CPI(M) divisional secretariat members Himangshu Deb and Naresh Rudrapaul addressed those meetings. A big procession, followed by a mass meeting, was organised in Chakmaghat of Khowai district on March 16 afternoon. People from different adjoining areas attended the meeting. Here the CPI(M) candidate Jitendra Choudhury said that the upcoming vote is a medium of protest. The Congress and the BJP are just the two sides of a single coin. He said in order to save the country we have to throw out the Congress and defeat the BJP at the same time. The CPI(M) state committee’s member Khagendra Jamatia asked the people to further increase the margin of victory of the Left Front candidates. Several meetings were held at Kulai, Ambassa, Kachuchara (Kamalpur) and Panisagar. In all these programmes, thousands of common Bengali and tribal people gathered and raised slogans to form an alternative government at the centre. WEST TRIPURA: The village of Debipur under Santirbazar subdivision was once the self-styled capital of insurgents in the undivided South Tripura. Now as the insurgents are on the back foot, the development of Debipur is something the local people take pride in. The rural growth centre with facilities like a market, a motor stand, a community hall and other basic structures has changed the face of the locality. Gone are the days of starvation deaths. Roads, electricity, school and safe drinking water have reached all the 18 hamlets of the village. People have jobs as the MGNREGA is being implemented here with sincerity, as distinct from several other states. While India is searching for an alternative at the centre, Debipur, like other villages of Tripura, can tell where is the alternative which is the need of the hour for the whole of the country. On March 16, the day long campaign of Shankar Prasad Dutta, Left Front supported CPI(M) candidate, got off the mark from this very village Debipur. As early as at 8 in the morning the community hall was jam-packed as tribal, non-tribal and Muslim minority masses gathered to attend the first meeting of the Left Front here. Lakhim Miah and Manirung Reang told this correspondent that if their lives had changed due the policy of the Left Front government, only a similar alternative government could solve the nation’s problems. Apart from the candidate, the meeting was addressed by CPI(M) Santirbazar district secretary Manindra Debnath and others. They urged the masses to increase the strength of the Left parties for a pro-people alternative government at the centre. In the day long campaign, the candidate addressed five more meetings at Bogafa, Betaga, Santirbajar community hall, Manubajar and Birchandra Manu. All these meetings saw the enthusiastic presence of the masses, including new voters. In Udaypur subdivision too, the campaign was enthusiastic. In a meeting in the Kakrabon-Salgarra assembly segment, addressed by CPI(M) state committee member and minister Ratan Bhowmik, 52 voters of 18 families deserted the Congress and declared to support the Left Front. There were four more meetings at Jamjurri, Rajarbag, Santipalli and Madhyaparra. In Sonamurra subdivision of Sepahijala district, Tripura Khet Mazoor Union organised a militant rally in support of Sankar Prasad Dutta after a vibrant convention at the local town hall. Union leaders said the UPA at the centre was to be blamed for the agrarian crisis and peasant suicides in the country. They urged the people, and agricultural workers in particular, to teach the Congress a lesson for its callousness towards the sufferings of the masses and its refusal to pass a central legislation for agricultural workers. On March 16 alone, 280 voters of 98 families all over the state severed ties with the Congress and declared to work for the Left Front. On March 18, the city of Agartala witnessed a colourful and vibrant procession of the Left Front workers as Shankar Prasad Dutta, the Left Front supported CPI(M) candidate for West Tripura Lok Sabha seat, filed his nomination papers for the election to be held on April 7. The CPI(M) candidate for the East Tripura (ST) seat, Jitendra Choudhury, was to file his nomination papers later, on  April 21. The March 18 procession started from the premises of Rabindra Shatavarshiki Bhavan, with the CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar and state secretariat member Rama Das accompanying the candidate. In the forefront were the Forward Bloc state president Dr Brajagopal Ray, CPI(M) Sadar district secretary Samar Adhya, state committee members Samir Chakraborty, Pranab Debbarma, Chhaya Bal, Krishna Rakshit and Matilal Sarkar, RSP state secretariat member Gopal Das and other leaders of the CPI(M) and other Left Front parties. Thousands of men and women joined the procession enthusiastically. While it was thought that people from within the city and Sadar division would be taking part in the procession, a good number of people from the areas adjoining the city, from the CPI(M)’s Dukli district committee’s and Sadar East district committee’s areas also joined it. The colourful procession carrying red flags, banners and placards, urged the masses to make the Left Front candidate victorious. Slogans were raised for electing the CPI(M) candidate to form an alternative government at the centre with a set of alternative pro-people policies. The roaring and marching procession was unambiguously in a militant mood and expressed the determination to isolate the anti-people Congress, BJP and their allies. Hundreds of enthusiastic people watched the procession from the wayside. Passing through Kaman Choumohoni, Post Office Choumohoni, Paradise Choumohoni and Battala, the procession culminated in a mass meeting in front of the DM's office. Here the Left Front candidate submitted his nomination papers before the DM and returning officer, Abhishek Singh.