Left Parties' Nationwide Protests Against Corrupt Modi Government

Left parties- CPI (ML), CPI, CPI (M), Forward Block, RSP and SUCI (C) held protest marches and meetings in several cities, state capitals and the national capital, Delhi on 20 July 2015, to protest against the shielding of scamsters, murder and terror accused by the Modi government even as it launched a vindictive witch hunt of activists. The blatant attempts by the BJP government to shield the accused in the Lalit Gate, Vyapam Scam and Vyapam murders and several other scams surfacing in states where there are BJP governments such as in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.

In Delhi, along with the six aforementioned parties, CGPI also participated in the protests. Among those who addressed the protestors were Com. Kavita Krishnan, PB member CPI (ML), Com. D. Raja from CPI, Com. Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary CPI (M), Com. Abani Roy from RSP, Com. Debabrata Biswas from Forward Block, Com. Satyavan from SUCI (C) and Com. Prakash Rao from CGPI. Com. Brinda Karat, PB member CPI (M) also participated in the march that started from Mandi House and culminated in a public meeting in Jantar Mantar during which the effigies of scam tainted ministers were also burnt.

The left leaders who spoke in the public meeting, raised the issue of the BJP governments at the centre and the state who were using every possible trick to shield the BJP ministers and other high profile people with strong BJP-RSS links whose involvement in scams like Vyapam and Lalitgate have exposed the hollowness of BJP’s anti-corruption claims. The attempts to shield the accused this time have assumed an unprecedented level with nearly 50 people related to a particular scam dying under ‘mysterious circumstances’ in last two years. They demanded immediate action against Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Besides raising the issue of shielding of accused, the left leaders also highlighted how the government was launching a witch-hunt against activists like Teesta Setalvad and Javed who were carrying on a determined struggle for justice for the victims of the Gujarat 2002 riots.

In Ranchi also the left forces combined to protest against the various scams and the subsequent attempts to shield the accused by the central and state BJP governments. CPI (ML) General Secretary, Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya and ex CPI (ML) MLA, Com. Vinod Singh were among the left leaders who participated in the protest in Ranchi. The issues raised also included several other scams in which Jharkhand Ministers are implicated. Minister Saryu Rai is implicated in the salt & sugar scam (in which the civil supplies department is accused of buying sugar and salt for PDS at higher than market rates and the). There is also a housing allotment scam, in which Urban Development Minister and Ranchi MLA CP Singh is accused of allotting a house in Ranchi in the name of his wife violating the Housing Board rule that the allottee should not have a house within an 8 KM radius. Singh already has three houses within a radius of this house. Another scam involves bribery by Satyendra Narayan Singh, PA to Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi. And then there is the witness scam, in which Agriculture Minister Randheer Singh, who had won on a JVM ticket, defected to BJP and was made a minister, and in exchange turned hostile in the Ajmer blast case in May. The Left parties demanded resignation of the concerned ministers and institution of judicial probe to punish the guilty.

In Kolkata, 17 Left parties jointly marched from College Street to Rani Rashmoni Road. The public meeting held there was addressed by CPI(M) leaders Biman Basu and Suryakant Misra, CPI leader Probodh Panda, CPI(ML) General Secretary Partho Ghosh. The speakers raised the scams in which the Modi Government was implicated as well as the Sharda chit fund scam in Bengal. Comrade Partho Ghosh pointed out that Sharda-accused Madan Mitra continued to remain a Minister even while under arrest. He also raised the issue of TMC MLA and the CM’s nephew boasting that the Government had murdered Kishenji; he demanded that the CM and other authorities be arrested and prosecuted for murder.

Protests were also held in several places in Tamil Nadu such as Tirunelveli, Madurai, Pudukkottai, Coimbatore, Kanchipuram, Namakkal, Karur, Dharmapuri, Erode, Salem, Thiruvallur, Kanyakumari and the state capital, Chennai. In the protest march organised in Chennai, the left leaders who addressed the hundreds of protestors included, CPI (ML) State secretary, Com.Balasundaram, Com K. Subbarayan, ex MP from CPI, Com. T. K. Rangarajan, Rajya sabha MP from CPI (M) and Com Rengasamy from SUCI(C). Protests in all places, particularly Pudukkottai, Chennai and Coimbatore, witnessed a massive participation by the people.

In Odisha, the 6 left parties organized a demonstration in front of Odisha Assembly in which several hundred activists and people participated. The demonstration was led by CPI (ML) Central committee member Com. Yudhistir Mohapatra, Com. Ashok Pardhan, Com. Mahendra Parida from CPI (ML), Com. Ali Pattnaik and Com. Suresh Panigrahi from CPI (M), Com. Ramakrushan Panda and Com Dibakar Nayak from CPI, Com. Raghunath Das and Com. Puran Behera from SUCI(C) and Com. Joyti Mohapatra from Forward block. Protest demonstrations were also held in various districts like Kalahandi, Bhaadrak, and Kendrapara. Raising concerns about corruption at both state and centre levels, the left parties demanded resignation of the accused ministers.

Protests were also held in several places in Punjab such as Moga, Tarn Taran and Chandigarh. The protestors demanded sacking of the accused ministers and also raised slogans against the anti-people land acquisition ordinance. The state leaders of the left parties – Com. Hardev Arshi (CPI), Com. Charan Singh Virdi (CPM), Com. Mangat Ram Pasla (CPM-Punjab) and Com. Gurmit Singh Bakhtupur (CPI-ML) Liberation) addressed protestors in several protest sites.

Left parties also joined to hold a protest in Lucknow near the Gandhi statue. In Bangalore, Left parties held a rally and demonstration from Town Hall to Mysore Bank Circle.

Left Parties' Bihar Bandh

The Left parties today organized a Bihar bandh on the issues of revoking the Land ordinance, resignations of scam-tainted Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raman Singh, Vasundhara Raje and Sushma Swaraj, curbing price rise, legal rights for sharecroppers, 5 decimals homestead land for the poor, registration of BPL names and other issues.

During the bandh CPI-ML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, CPI-ML State Secretary Kunal, PB member Dhirendra Jha, CPI State Secretary Satyanarayan Singh, CPIM State Secretary Awadhesh Kumar, SUCI (C) State committee member Arun Kumar, Mahesh Singh of the RSP and Dinesh Singh Dangi of the Forward Bloc along with thousands of other bandh supporters were arrested in Patna.

Other leaders who participated in the bandh included CPI leaders Ramnaresh Pandey, Rambabu Singh, and several others from CPI; CPI-M State Secretary Board member Arun Mishra, Com. Sadhna from the SUCI(C), and CPI-ML leaders Com. Amar, Meena Tiwari, and Shashi Yadav. The arrests took place when bandh supporters blocked Dak Bangla crossroads, and Ashok Raj Path.

The bandh supporters targeted the train services throughout Bihar. CPI-ML activists stopped the Shramjeevi Express at Rajgir. Train services were affected with the blocking of the Howrah-Gaya Express in Shekhpura, the Vaishali superfast at Muzaffarpur, and other trains.

300 bandh supporters kept the GT Road at Sasaram blocked from 9 am to 12 noon. The NH5, NH 57 and NH 28 in Muzaffarpur, the Laheriya-Samastipur, Darbhanga-Supoul, Darbhanga-Jaynagar, Laheriyaserai-Bahedi roads in Darbhanga, the Siwan-Mashrakh, Siwan-Chhapra, and NH 57 at Siwan were blocked at various places. All the bazaars at Mairwa, Guthni, Aandar, Raghunathpur, Hasanpura and other places remained closed. The Rasoiya Sangh (mid-day meal workers) participated in the bandh at Siwan under its banner. Most of the block HQs and even the banks at Muzaffarpur remained closed. The NH 57 at Darbhanga were blocked at Mufti and the Darbhanga-Jaynagar was blocked at Dome chowk.

About 500 Left activists took out a march at Aurangabad. The bandh was very effective at Obra, Daudnagar and other areas. CPI-ML activists blocked the NH 31 at Beguserai. Traffic was paralysed at NH 110. At Katihar the Shaheed chowk was blocked and a meeting was held under the leadership of former CPI-ML MLA Mahboob Alam, attended by thousands of bandh supporters.

The Patna-Ranchi NH 31 at Biharsharif in Nalanda district, the Patna-Gaya road at Hilsa, and the Patna-Biharsharif road at Chandi were blocked. The NH 28 was blocked at Chatoni chowk in Motihari. 150 people were arrested at Raksol. Thousands of bandh supporters were arrested at Prajatantra chowk at Navada. Most shops remained closed and traffic was affected at Lakhiserai. Left activists blocked the Darog Rai chowk at Chhapra for 3 hours. The Patna-Aurangabad NH 98 at Arwal and the Arwal-Jehanabad road were fully blocked.

The bandh had a widespread effect in the Patna rural areas of Masaurhi, Bihata, Maner, Fatuha, Dhanrua, Paliganj, and Punpun. The bandh was also effective at Buxar, Vaishali, Gaya, Bhabhua, Purnea, Arariya, Champaran, and other regions.

Left parties congratulated the people of Bihar on the success of the bandh. They condemned the attack by BJP activists on bandh supporters in Siwan and the arrests in Patna.

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