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CPI(M) wields unity baton in campaign in the
racially turbulent Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri seats

2019-04-15

 

LF Chairman Biman Basu Campaigning for Saman Pathak.

Darjeeling, April 15 :  Undaunted  by the chauvinistic campaign of the BJP  and the autocratic & divisive policies of the TMC,  as hill people demonstrates an intense tale of betrayal ,  CPI(M)  has uphold the unity baton in its campaign amongst the  14,37,126 electors in the only Loksabha seat , perhaps in the country which spans over Himalayan region, Terai and the  sub Himalayan plains . Offering an all out clarity on its position, as  a party which is committed for all out economic and social development of the Hill people  and those from the plains, the vast tribal, schedule caste and general population , it chose not to play any card , but focusing on the unity in racially fragile area , which falls in the strategically important chickens ‘ neck of the country.

Interestingly CPI(M) candidate  Saman Pathak , is the  notable leader of the Tea workers in the  Darjeeling segment ,and the son of Legendary communist Ananda Pathak .Tallking with this reporter , Saman Pathak related how as a 10 year old , he had to escape from his house in Sonada in 1986 , at the height of Gorkhaland agitation , and  their  home in Sonada , was set upon fire by the cessionist forces.  ‘Our view is that only the   sixth schedule can solve the worries of the hill people , and  statehood  won’t be able to guarantee development of the hill people’. The racial overtures of the cessionists in the hills has been more buoyed by the  autocratic constitution of  16 different ethnicity oriented Boards by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who also forcibly using the administrative power has  exiled the top brass of the GJM leaders, who were erstwhile leading the cessionist sentiment in the hills. She also engineered defection of several top Morcha leaders , as a breakaway fraction of GJM , which supported her Party’s candidate  , Amar Singh Rai ,till recently a  GJM legislator.   In the hills  many like Sanjog Tamang  of  Jorbanglo  has alleged that this time too, like the erstwhile time  , the Darjeeling seat has been sold to BJP by GJM leader Bimal Gurung.

 On 15th April GJM ,today,conducted a show of strength , in the Chawkbazar area , where about 15000 GJM activists participated , and Gorkhaland or separate statehood was advocated by the hill leaders as well by the BJP candidate , a Corporate Tycoon from Manipur , with Nepalese ethnicity , and  the owner of Surya group ,with assets of more 1000 crore. Interestinly  BJP has adopted  an opportunist  twin strategy of advocating  for unified Bengal in the plains of the state , through out the North and South Bengal ,while in Darjeeling fanning racial sentiments and advocating for separate statehood.

 ‘Over a million of Tea workers and their dependents constitutes the  electorate in the Parliamentary segment of Darjeeling ,and Daju  (brother ) Saman Pathak  is a  big factor this time ‘ conceded Mahendra Gurung ,once considered to be ‘Bimal Gurung’ of Bagdodra. Interestingly this is for the first  time in the last thirty years  that CPI(M)  has forced its way in the hills too, and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury led a huge rally of CPI(M) activists ,mostly from the working class background  and Tea plantation workers  in the hills. They came from  the various tea estates of the hills, and filled up  the chawkbazaar area ,last Saturday with the slogan of voting for  Hasua Mardi bartalo, (Hammer-sickle and star)  ,the electoral symbol of the CPI(M). From Ghoom bustee to Gurung bustee area  , CPI(M) posters are everywhere , as  a breakaway fraction of CPI(M) , CPRM led by former MP RB Rai ,has lost steam after supporting the  sangha pariwar, in this election. CPI(M) which was the dominant party in the hills before 1986 , when the Gorkhaland agitation started, still commands respect  for its honest communist ethics , aand lifestyle of legendary communists Ratanlal Brahmin and  Ananda Pathak , are still recollected by the elders of hills like retd Armyman Shivakumar Rai of  Gandhigote to Meena Yulo of  Chawkbazaar, whose makeshift shop sells  shawls and cardigans.

 ‘The racial feeling of the GJM , and opportunism of  BJP and TMC has peeved a large number of hill people ‘  In the plains of Siliguri  ,  in the three assembly segments od Siliguri , Matigara  and Naxalbari , and in Chopra , the BJP   GJM combine will fare very badly. Interestingly after  2014 , TMc has not also won a single election in  the plains  and last November ,to wrestle aPanchayet Samity in Naxalbari it used police force to arrest CPI(M) Sec member and CITU leader Goutam ghosh , and kept him imprisoned for 71 days on false charges .  Siiliguri Mayor Ashok Bhattacharya an extremely popular figure in the Siliguri and North Bengal ,explained to Prajasakti , that this time there will be three cornered contest in the hills , which has changed the earlier poll calculation. CPI(M)  commands  most of the votes  in the plains  ,  for its principle stands , is gaining now in the hills.   This according to Manjula Tamang and Mina Gurung , the only two woman Central committee members of GJM , whom Prajasakti met today  near the rally . In an undisclosed place , near the Mall area  , the Woman face of GJM agitation , who are leading the agitation in hills in the absence of Exiled GJM leader  Bimal Gurung ,told  Prajasakti ‘   As Central Committee members of GJM , they are leading the agitation now in the hills  and said  that the todays  show of strength  by the GJM was necessary , to show ‘gaddar’- Morcha leader Binay Tamang now the GTA chief with Mamata Banerjee’s help , who the real power centre in the hill ,is? . Both of them has got multiple warrants issued in their name , and told ‘ We will be arrested if the Police  

 

Interestingly ,   in Naxalbari region , in the famous Totaram jote  and Kaluajote ,  Prajasakti had been privy  to election meetings being conducted in  night by the CPI(M) , where TMc hooligans  were matched  by eye to eye by the farmers and the  tea workers , and in one such case  ,the mother of Md Farhad,  TMC’s terror bigwig and student leader of Naxalbari college , told aus candidlythat she will support the party of Jyoti Basu this time , as experience has taught her , that peace ,unity and economic upliftment , is the necessity of the hour in Naxalbari, which can fall prey to racial or communal politics if  TMC or BJP , wins.    Standing by the side of river  Bataria,   besides   ‘kamruddin  setu ‘a bridge named after Md  Kamruddin , a respected CPI(M) leader who led a hawkers , in the working class resided  Bustee (Slum), his grandson Rabiull Islam , a CPI(M) leader and Former Panchayet Pradhan, too echoed the feelings of communal unity and development. A youth  Babai Roy of Rajbangshi community , in another meeting in Matigara area said  that  only the Red flag supports the real development of all the ethnic groups , and PM Modi and CM Mamata  are students of the same Pathashala (village school ) of RSS. In Chopra assembly segment of the Darjeeling PS , where the last  5 years has seen umpteen Left martyrs, killed by the TMC , on Saturday witnessed an huge public meeting by  Left Front  Chairman Biman Basu and Siliguri Mayor Ashoke Bhattacharya.  On Sunday  Siliguri witnessed a mammoth rally of more than 30000 Left activists and Red flag bearers  in Siliguri. The deft march of  Red Flag bearers  has also electrified the hills,said Sunil Pradhan  a Government  employee ,from Kalimpong .

Indeed the signs of back of powers of reasoning  and of poor working class peoples ideology  in the hills , has been a great  achievement for the Red flag bearers already in the hills of Bengal.

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