CPM’s Sangharsh Sandesh Rally a Big Success
While Tripura CM Manik Sarkar was a hit with the large crowd at the CPM rally, there were pointers by top leaders that more aggressive and united Left action might be seen across the country in the days to come
Sadiq Naqvi Delhi
Thousands of agricultural workers, landless labourers, poor and working class people, along with students and urban professionals, from all across the country gathered on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, for the grand CPM rally at Ramlila grounds in the national capital. The rally commemorated the end of the largely successful almost 20 day long nation-wide ‘Sangharsh Sandesh jatha’ campaign by the largest parliamentary Left outfit in the country.
Taking on the neo-liberal economic narrative that has dominated the country for the last almost two decades, and attacking the pro-corporate UPA II regime led by Congress, General Secretary of the party, Prakash Karat, said: "The CPM's alternative policy puts people, not profits, at the centre of development strategies as opposed to the anti-people and anti-poor neo-liberal policies of Congress and BJP." Elaborating on the success of the jathas, Karat remarked, “Our leaders have put forth the way forward for alternative policies in the country.”
An event which was attended by the leaders of all the major left parties of the ‘Left Front’, including CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc, Karat also stressed on the need to strengthen the secular and democratic forces in the country and pointed to a united campaign by the Left forces in the coming months, even as the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 looms large in the horizon.
“From May 15to May 31, our workers all across the country, will picket government offices and institutions with our demands regarding the question of land, employment, food security, education and communalism,” asserted Karat. “We will break the law, if need be,” he warned. Also, he said, the CPM will talk to other Left, secular and progressive allies to carve out a countrywide campaign against the policies and politics of Congress and BJP.
Meanwhile, it was the ‘popular’ Manik Sarkar, the humble and stoically honest fourth time Chief Minister of Tripura, who was the centre of attention at Ramlila Ground. “There is no confusion that we need to get rid of both Congress and BJP. This is also the political message of the jathas,” said Sarkar in his address, while the audience applauded. “People in Tripura have taken this alternate path. This was despite the fact that it was a tough election for the CPM because it had lostWest Bengaland Kerala. Also, Congress and Rahul Gandhi had put in all their money and muscle power. The people of Tripura gave them a befitting reply,” he added.
Stressing on the need to expand the base of the left forces, Sarkar said that there is a pressing need to build and strengthen democratic movements across the country. He said that there are crores of people who are still unorganised and are being “mislead” by Congress and BJP. Thus, it is necessary for the Left parties to reach out to them. He ended his address amidst loud cheers from the party cadres and supporters who thronged him for autographs and shook his hand as he tried to leave the venue. For a good 15 minutes, he was seen signing their modest placards.