A PEACEFUL demonstration against the Rowlatt Act at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919, turned into a site of massacre by the British government, killing more than thousands of protestors including women and children. A hundred years from then, the British government still fails to render an apology for one of the most heinous crimes it had ever committed.
THE electoral bonds scheme which came into effect in March 2018 is a brazen and opaque method to funnel corporate funds, kickbacks and black money into the ruling party’s coffers.
That is why the CPI(M) challenged the scheme and the amendments made in the relevant laws in the Supreme Court. The Association for Democratic Reforms also petitioned the Court to strike down the scheme. The CPI(M) was the only party to declare that it will not accept electoral bonds.
CPI(M) had organised a protest dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on April 16 against the failure of Election Commission of India (ECI) in ensuring free and fair elections in Tripura. The polling for the West Tripura Lok Sabha seat saw large scale violence and rigging by the BJP. Election officials and observers and central forces were not seen in the booths that were “captured”. Further, polling agents of the opposition parties were expelled from most of the booths and CCTV cameras were also damaged to hide the misdeeds.
A DELEGATION of the CPI(M) led by Sitaram Yechury, general secretary, consisting of Nilotpal Basu, Polit Bureau member and Shankar Prasad Datta, CPI(M) candidate for the West Tripura parliamentary constituency met chief election commissioner on April 15. The delegation submitted two memorandums – one demanding re-poll in 464 booths in West Tripura constituency and conducting of free and fair election in East Tripura parliamentary constituency and the other pertaining to the issue of violation of the model code of conduct and conducting of free and fair elections in West Bengal.
WITH two phases over, campaign by the leaders, workers and supporters of CPI(M) is at its peak in West Bengal. The scorching sun and sweltering heat has not been able to act as a dampener to the combative spirit of the comrades. Every nook and cranny of every constituency is being visited by Left activists who have laid more stress on door-to door campaign and people-to-people contact. They are approaching every voter to listen to their woes and show their solidarity with their daily struggle for survival.
RICH tributes were offered to Comrade Makineni Basavapunnaiah, a great Marxist theoretician and one of the pioneers of CPI(M), on the occasion of his 27th death anniversary. A meeting was conducted at MB Vignana Kendram (MBVK) at Vijayawada on April 12. P Madhu, chairman of MBVK Trust and CPI(M) state secretary explained the life of Comrade MB and his contribution to the Indian communist movement. He praised the vision of Comrade MB, which has been showing the party a clear direction in difficult situations.
UNABLE to sustain its narrative around Pulwama and Balakot and more importantly no tangible achievements to trumpet about, the BJP is back to its time-tested stratagems. BJP president Amit Shah, candidate from Gandhinagar constituency, in a road show at the start of his campaign thundered “Kashmir hamara hai” (Kashmir is ours). This, in a constituency, which, ever since its creation in 1967, has returned the BJP nine out of fourteen times, is a giveaway. Those elected from here include Shanker Singh Vaghela, Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani.
JULIAN Assange’s arrest by the UK police from the Ecuadorian Embassy after the Moreno administration withdrew his asylum, has drawn worldwide condemnation. Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire are among the leading figures who have condemned Assange’s arrest. In India, N Ram, Arundhati Roy, Gopal Gandhi, Indira Jainsing, P Sainath and Romila Thapar, condemning the arrest, stated, “His (Assange’s) arrest, and the attempt to extradite him to the US are, clearly, attacks on freedom of the press and its right to publish.”
IT was an impressive culmination of famous film directors, writers and artists of Tamil Nadu, as they raised hands in support of CPI(M) candidate from Madurai constituency Su Venkatesan and against the most undemocratic Modi rule, and appealed the people to oust it.