THE SFI-TSU combine registered a splendid victory defeating the RSS-affiliated ABVP in all the 22 general degree colleges in Tripura, where students council elections were held on September 12. Out of a total 393 office-bearers and 385 class representative seats, the SFI-TSU won 385 and 366 seats respectively. In all, the SFI-TSU (Students Federation of India and Tribal Students Union) combine won 751 (96.53 per cent) seats. The remaining eight office-bearer and 19 class representative seats were won by the ABVP.
Jubilant SFI-TSU activists took out victory processions.
Out of total 778 seats, the SFI-TSU combine won 530 seats uncontested as the ABVP could not put up candidate. These include all the seats in nine colleges where SFI-TSU candidates were declared elected unopposed.
With an eye on the assembly election due for early next year, the BJP projected this college election as a semi-final. Laying utmost importance on this election, they lavishly used money to allure the students to contest for the ABVP. In many colleges, BJP state leaders directly involved themselves in campaign for the ABVP. After they failed to gather student support, they mobilised non-student miscreants from outside to vitiate the peaceful situation inside most of the colleges so that election process could be disrupted. But for the peace-loving students, college administration and alertness of the police, they failed to stall the election.
The ABVP which we see at present is nothing but NSUI elements that were active in the colleges earlier. As most of the Congress followers had defected to the BJP, their student wing entirely crossed over to the ABVP. While they highlighted the BJP's education policy and so-called "progress" in Modi regime in their campaign, SFI-TSU activists campaigned on the regressive education policy of the Centre that has been coated with Hindutva agenda and performance of the Left Front government of the state for providing ample opportunities for education to wide section of the people despite the Centre's non-cooperation.
Rural working people launched a massive protest on September 14 against the Centre's attempt to cripple MNREGA.
Rural people of the state staged stay-in movement and rally in front of the 54 out of 58 blocks and at Dharmanagar Sub-Divisional town. This programme in remaining four blocks in Udaipur Sub Division would be taken up shortly. In all, about one lakh people participated in this block-wise demonstration in the state.
In every point, the president of the respective rally either sent Fax message or e-mailed to the prime minister pressing for the following demands:
1. Stop reducing quantum of allocation in MNREGA scheme
2. Though Tripura needs much more, the Centre had assured only 42 days work per card-holder for the current financial year. The quantum of fund so far released fall far short of that assured target of 42 days. Urgently release fund for 200 days at the rate Rs 300 per day per head.
3. Urgently release the arrear amount of Rs 100 crore that was already expensed by the state government in advance as material cost last year.
4. Please come out of the political narrowness in allocating adequate fund in MNREGA scheme for the state of Tripura.
CPI(M) Central Committee members Gautam Das and Bajuban Reang addressed two rallies in Hezamara Block in West Tripura District and Dasda Block in North Tripura. They said MNREGA which was introduced during the UPA I regime was a product of long-standing demand and ceaseless struggles of the Left parties. This scheme contributed in the rise in demand for consumer goods of the rural poor which had a cascading effect in all economic sectors. But unfortunately, the BJP does not like it. It is trying to take its hands off the so-called "burden" on MNREGA. Hence, instead of abruptly closing it, they are gradually reducing allocation on this scheme.
In respect of Tripura, with an eye on the forthcoming assembly election, the BJP-led Modi government has adopted a policy to tame the defying state not by beating but by resource starving. It is evident in giving a sanction of only 42 days work per head per year in this financial year for Tripura, which was awarded first prize in the country for its excellent performance in five consecutive years. The speakers urged upon the people to rise against political vindictiveness of the central government to embarrass the state and its people.
Bijan Dhar's Press Briefing
The bandwagon the BJP is riding on in the state is not unknown to the people of Tripura. These Congress-turned-BJP leaders are known to be anti-people, anti-democratic and symbol of terror in the state. The BJP's daydream of dislodging the Left Front government in Tripura will never come to be true. Formation of the eighth Left Front government in Tripura in the ensuing election is inevitable, said Bijan Dhar in a press meet on September 16, after a state committee meeting.
In reply to BJP leader Ram Madhav's remarks limiting the Left Front government's life for only next four months, Dhar said that now the BJP's own house is burning. Before dreaming of coming to power in Tripura, they should mend their own house. He referred to the recent students council elections in JNU, Delhi, Rajasthan, Kerala, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Guwahati etc. universities where ABVP has been washed out, raising popular movements in different states on price rise, GST, and plight of the peasantry. He also mentioned the victory of historic kisan movement in Rajasthan.
Dhar greeted the students community of the state for decisively reposing trust in the SFI-TSU combine in all the 22 general colleges of the state defeating the ABVP. On the issue of curtailment of allocation in MNREGA, mass stay-in and rallies were held in 54 block offices where about 70 thousand people mobilised. Peace rallies on September 1 were held in all the Sub Divisional headquarter.
Severely criticising disruptive activities committed by BJP, Dhar said that they are trying to break communal harmony, secular and democratic atmosphere and ethnic friendship in the state. To set in total disorder and instability in the state, BJP-RSS miscreants carried out several attacks on the CPI(M) leaders and workers. They carried out raid in the CPI(M) office and on the party workers in Manu, Baganbazar, Pratapgarh, Churaibari and Nalchar etc. places. Road-blockades organised by the BJP on even a most minor issues is a regular feature.
They are in one hand patronising IPFT to vitiate tribal-non-tribal unity with the glossy separate state slogan. On August 1, spreading rumour of kidnap and murder of a tribal woman, IPFT vandalised police station, government offices, and industrial units at Budhjungnagar and inflicted injuries to 15 security men including an officer.
On August 9, the IPFT miscreants had chalked out a heinous crime to burn alive party workers at Khumulwng. They suddenly raided the party office with lethal weapons and set fire to it. Seven party workers were injured in the attack. They tried to perpetrate terror atmosphere in Jampaui and Ampi opposing CPI(M) rally on six-point people's demands. All these happened with moral and monetary support lent by the BJP. Protest movement are rising in the state against anti-democratic every move of the BJP and its cohorts.