Five left political organisations, namely CPI-ML(Liberation), Left Collective, Samajik Nyay Vichar Mancha, Mazdoor Kranti Parishad and Radical Socialist, came together in West Bengal to form a united platform for ‘working people’s movement for democracy and secularism’ (abbreviated as ‘Gana Mancha’ in Bengali, which loosely translates into People’s Platform) through a joint convention held in Kolkata on August 7, 2014. The convention adopted a resolution which will serve as guideline for coordinated action by the five organisations in the upcoming days. The convention was held at Phani Bhushan Mancha, near Bagbazar, in the state capital. The convention called for building mass political struggles against corporate-fascist offensives of the NDA government at the centre and against anti-people policies and undemocratic measures of the TMC government in West Bengal.
Partha Ghosh, State Secretary of CPI-ML, in his speech rejected the notion peddled by a section of the media, that this platform is being built by some ‘disgruntled/dissident CPI-M workers’. He said, this is a platform for struggle, for taking effective action against the anti-people policies of the government. “One after another factories are getting closed, and the owners keep getting away with looting PF and gratuity dues of the workers. Yet the government keeps mum. This platform must take up issues like this”, said Comrade Ghosh. He spoke on starvation deaths in the tea-gardens, on how peasants in Singur and Nandigram are yet to get justice, and how the rights of dalits, adivasis and muslims are being trampled upon in the state. Speaking on the threat of corporate communal fascism, he said we must take up the challenge to build the broadest co-ordinated movement to defend both democracy and secularism. “Some in the left camp are still pained about Singur, and sympathize with Tata. They must apologize to the people” he said. Comrade Rezzak Mollah said that we are planting a sapling today which will grow into a big tree in the future. He called out to the youth of the state to build a powerful movement against the oppressive anti-youth policies of the centre and state. Comrade Prasenjit Bose of the Left Collective said the so-called ‘Gujrat model’ of development followed by the erstwhile ruling left in Bengal produced an environment where a dictatorial party like the TMC could usurp power. Building people’s movement in the streets is the need of the hour.
Amitabha Chakravarty of the MKP, and Kunal Chattopadhyay of the Radical Socialist also spoke on the occasion. Comrade Mangat Ram Pasla, General Secretary of CPM Punjab who came to extend solidarity to the convention spoke of building a principled left unity in this critical time in our country. Representatives from other left organisations also extended solidarity to the initiative. Apart from Com. Pasla, Com K K Rema, wife and comrade of slain RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan along with left activists from Tamil Nadu, Maharastra and Kerala were present as guests in the convention.