Vol. XLI No. 18 April 30, 2017

WEST BENGAL: Mass Rallies in Siliguri and Coochbehar

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury called upon the people of West Bengal to fight simultaneously against the BJP and the TMC to restore democracy in the state and defend unity of the people. Yechury attended massive rallies in Siliguri and Coochbehar and also addressed CPI(M) workers of the Darjeeling hill areas in Kurseong.

In Siliguri and Coochbehar, Yechury alleged linkage between the TMC and the BJP and said, both are playing the card of polarisation. While the BJP is using majority communalism, TMC by helping minority communal forces, is actually giving strength to the BJP. In parliament, TMC plays soft towards Modi government. The recent example is TMC’s absence in the voting against finance bill. On the other hand, the centre pushes to slacken enquiry against TMC leaders in the chit fund scam.

Yechury alleged that the biggest damage done by the TMC in West Bengal is making way for communal forces. West Bengal was the citadel of communal unity and an example for the whole country. TMC has damaged that. Sangh forces are taking advantage of that and in the name of religious functions, they have supplied arms even to school children. It is essential to fight against both these forces. They are two sides of the same coin.

In the rally in Coochbehar, Yechury recounted the days of 1992 after Babri demolition. He said, when riots broke out in different parts of the country, many people, particularly from Muslim mohallas rang CPI(M) Central Committee office and requested they be sent to Jyoti Basu’s Bengal where there was no communal clash. After 2002 Gujarat riot, people like Kutubbuddin Ansari, the face of the victims of riot, took shelter in Kolkata.

Yechury said, it is the Left forces who can fight communal forces ideologically and politically. The best way to combat these forces is to wage struggles on the question of livelihood. The hammer of the working class and sickle of the peasantry will stop the juggernaut of communal forces.

Yechury addressed CPI(M) workers in Kurseong in Darjeeling hills. In an area, ravaged by divisions in the name of identity, he outlined the Party’s stand and said, CPI(M) stands for unity of the people, regional autonomy with real powers and development for all. Darjeelimg should be included in the central hill development council. Nepali-speaking people should be recognised as linguistic minority. Minimum wages for tea workers should be guaranteed.

In Kurseong, Yechury recollected that the Communist Party was a strong force in hill areas even before it spread in plains. The politics of division has weakened the Party which has to be rebuilt to achieve democratic advance of the hill people.