Vol. XL No. 48 November 27, 2016

Tripura AIKS State Conference Held

Rahul Sinha, Haripada Das

THE 20th Tripura state conference of AIKS started with a huge mass meeting at Bishramganj mini stadium. It was addressed by chief minister Manik Sarkar, AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah, AIKS state secretary Narayan Kar and vice president of the state committee Narayan Rupini who was the president of the meeting.  Before the mass meeting Hannan Mollah hoisted the flag of the organisation. The flag and the torch were brought from Golaghati where tribal and non-tribal peasants were killed in police firing in 1949.

Addressing the meeting Manik Sarkar lambasted the Modi government for not fulfilling its promises given before the elections. People had believed the promises of two crore jobs a year, Rs 15 lakhs in everyone's account, increase in the support price for the peasants and bringing down the prices of essential commodities. But none of these have been delivered. Rather, people’s miseries are increasing. Farm suicides have gone up, prices are rising, unemployment is on the rise, FCI and JCI don't procure crops from farmers. Budget allocation for rural development is slashed. The Modi government is protecting the interests of the corporates at the cost of Aam aadmi. He said, in Tripura not a single peasant commits suicide as the Left Front government stands by it. We are the only government which doesn't charge a single rupee for irrigation.  We give subsidy for the electricity required for irrigation, give subsidy on fertilisers, on machines. Manik Sarkar said, if our policies are alternative and if we have to project them as an example for intensified struggle to change the anti-people, pro-corporate policies of Modi government,  we must strengthen our unity and expand our base.

Hannan Mollah in his address said, Modi government has betrayed the peasantry.  It had promised to implement the report of the Swaminathan commission, to give agri loan on cheap rates, to procure crops at a rate of 150 percent of the production cost. But none of them have been implemented.  The poor peasants don't get bank loans, the government files affidavit in the court that it doesn't have money to procure the produce of the farmers. The situation is so grim that farm suicides have gone up at the rate of 52 per day. 41 percent of the farmers want to quit farming. The government in last two years has written off 12 lakh crores of corporate loans, while it is reluctant to waive off a mere 1 lakh crore of farm loans that could have saved the entire peasantry.

Before the mass meeting, Hannan Mollah inaugurated an exhibition on the peasant movement of the state and in different parts of the country.  He inaugurated the delegate session in Binay Konar Nagar and Nurul Huda Manch on the 11th evening.  Addressing the delegate session, he said, the neo-liberal policies are at the root of the problem of the peasantry. Modi government is implementing these policies more aggressively. The land acquisition ordinance is aimed to benefit the corporate and real estate tycoons. The ordinance is in vogue in a number of BJP ruled states. The attacks on dalits and minorities are increasing.  We need alternative agri policies to save the peasant, peasantry and the country.He said, the situation demands revolt for alternative policies.  The kisan jatha is spreading this message all over the country. 

Narayan Kar stressed on the pro-peasant policies of the Left Front government and said the centre in the name of crop insurance is serving the Reliance industries in the state. Not a single peasant is getting any compensation but the company gets the premium deducted at the source   from the loan given to the farmer. Narayan Rupini stressed on the unity of people against the divisive forces.

Greeting the delegates, Manik Sarkar stressed on diversification of agriculture.  He said sole dependence on rice cultivation will not be helpful economically.  Importance should also be given to horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, fruit cultivation, medicinal plants and oil seed production. He said the Left Front government is working with an alternative and realistic plan for development of agriculture and economy as a whole and despite limitations, there are achievements.  But to streamline this success and carry it forward in the right direction, the AIKS has to play a vital role in motivating the peasantry. He stressed on close relation with the masses especially the poor, landless peasants and agricultural workers and rural non-farm workers.

On November 11 evening, Narayan Kar presented the draft report before the conference. The report dealt with the national situation particularly the plight of the peasantry under the BJP-led Modi government at the centre. The issues raised in the report were: accumulation of land by the rich, penetration of big capital in agri sector, debt-trap of the farmers, corporate dominated agri market, utter failure to implement crop insurance schemes, drive for communal and religious polarisation etc and the movements of the kisan masses.  The report elaborately details the condition of the state peasantry under the alternative policies of the Left Front government in spite of its limitations. 

The report says, unlike other Congress or BJP-ruled states, the condition of peasants in Tripura is not so grave and there is not a single report of farmer suicide in the state, thanks to the pro-peasant alternative policy of the Left Front government. But that does not mean, the peasants in the state are free from the adverse affects of the neo-liberal policies. The report detailed out the affects of these policies in the state. It also made some suggestions for the peasants to combat the neo liberal adversities. Those are: maximum use of land, multiple cropping, proper utilisation of irrigation water, use of modern technology in the fields, alternative use of fertilizer and pesticides, making variation of crops in the same land etc.

In the section on organisation, the report informs that last year, total members enrolled were 3,76,384 against 3,64,724 in the preceding year. There are eight district committees, 23 sub-divisional committees, 194 local committees and 1423 primary units under the Tripura State Kisan Council.

The conference adopted resolutions against anti-farmer agrarian policy of the centre, against price rise and downsizing policy, against fiscal deprivation of the state of Tripura, against the IPFT’s demand for splitting the state, in support of November 24 All India Kisan Jatha programme.

576 comrades including 55 women attended the conference. 34 comrades discussed on the draft report. The main issues they raised were: problems of getting MSP in the absence of central government procuring agencies, rise in prices of seeds and agricultural equipments, unavailability of sufficient subsidized fertilizers, difficulties in getting bank loans and benefit of crop insurance, falling prices of raw rubber, need for a proper rehabilitation package for the tribal patta-holders under Forest Rights Act, communal and religious instigations by the BJP and RSS supporters etc.

The CEM of TTAADC and general secretary of GMP Radhacharan Debbarma, state finance minister and president of Khet Mazur Union Bhanulal Saha too addressed the conference.  The conference elected a new state council of 123 members, which met and elected 38-member executive committee and 15-member state secretariat. Narayan Kar was re-elected secretary while Narayan Rupini was elected president.