CPI(ML) Assam 8th State Conference
The 8th CPI(ML) Assam State Conference took place on 11-12 December, 2010 at Ramnaresh Ram Auditorium (Samhati Bhawan) of Shaheed Mukul Baruah Nagar (Dibrugarh). The manch was named after Shaheed Comrade Kshitipati Das, who had laid down his life along with 7 comrades in Tripura in the Huruwa massacre in the 1980s. On the first day of the Conference an impressive mass rally was organized in the main streets of Dibrugarh town, where more than 3000 people, from both Dibrugarh district and nearby Tinsukia district participated. Most of the participants were Tea Garden and rural workers.
After the procession, a mass meeting was held in the premises of Samhati Bhawan. Mass singer and leader of Sadou Asom Janasanskritik Parishad, Comrade Loknath Goswami presided over the meeting. CPI(ML) State Secretary Com. Rubul Sarma, CPI(ML) leader from Karbi Anglong Com. Chandra Kanta Terang, Com. Mira Tanti, Com. Premchand Singh (Manipur), Com. Vivek Das and Com. Gangaram Kol addressed the mass meeting. In the open session a Souvenir was released by Com. Hasan Swarif Ahmed, former IPTA leader and associate of Jyotiprashad Agarwala.
PB member and central observer Com. D. P. Buxi hoisted the party flag. Com. Chandra Kanta Terang started Shaheed Tarpan and leaders, delegates and guests paid homage to the martyrs.
A presidium comprising of Com. Subhas Sen, Anju Borkatoky, Chandrakanta Terang, Gangaram Kol, Subhasis Bhadra was formed to conduct the Delegate Session, which began with the welcome address by the secretary of Dibrugarh district committee of the party Com. Partha Dey. Thereafter, central observer Com. D. P. Buxi delivered the inaugural address of the conference.
Party State Secretary Com. Rubul Sarma placed the Draft report which was discussed by delegates on the first and second days. Following this the draft report was unanimously adopted by the house.
The Conference resolved to strengthen mass movements and rise to the occasion with a campaign from the month of January itself. The Conference decided to implement the party call of 18 December by mobilizing all cadres and members of the party. The national call will be linked up with specific issues of the state. The Conference resolved to come forward with a new vision to develop and expand party work in the state as well as in the rest of the North East.
Thereafter a 17-member Assam State Committee comprising of Com. Rubul Sarma, Vibek Das, Pankaj Das, Subhas Sen, Arup Mahanta, Naren Borah, Partha Dey, Shrubhrajyoti Bardhan, Gangaram Kol, Lila Sarma, Mrinali Devi, Rajiv Dutta, Balindra Saikia, Jiten Tanti, Mira Tanti, Bhadrawati Gogoi and Swapna Sarma was unanimously elected by the house. Com. Rubul Sarma was re-elected as the state secretary.
Central observer Com D. P. Buxi placed his observations in detail and called upon the house to take up the challenge of strengthening the revolutionary movement in the state.
Rally at Singur
A 1000-strong rally was organized on 2nd December, 2010 at Singur at the call of the West Bengal State Committee of CPI(ML). The participants assembled at the Kamarkundu station from different parts of the adjoining districts of the state and the rally commenced at 2 pm. Slogans were raised, demanding that all lands acquired for the Tata Nano factory should be returned to the peasants with compensation, demanding immediate punishment of the murderers of Tapasi Malik and Rajkumar Bhule, withdrawal of all fake cases lodged against the agitators who were protesting forcible land acquisition and corporate land grab, and punishment for the Chairman of the local Panchayat run by Trinamool Congress who has been indicted for corruption.
The rally traversed through the entire area falling under the local panchayat, and terminated at the Singur railway station. Here, a small mass meeting was held in which the state party leaders and leaders of All India Kishan Mahasabha and All India Agricultural Labourers Association (AIALA) spoke. The speakers exposed the pro-big capital role of the Left Front government and the hypocrisy of the Trinamool Congress, which has utilized the Singur issue for its narrow electoral gains and has kept silent thereafter. The rally created a good impact on the local people, who welcomed the consistent efforts of the party to bring justice to the peasants, sharecroppers and agricultural labourers of the area whose livelihoods were snatched away by the forcible land acquisition by the Left Front government for Tata’s Nano factory.
Demonstration in Patna by Sand Labourers
Thousands of labourers employed by big businesses involved in the extraction of sand in the Ganga-Son river belt of central Bihar held a massive demonstration in front of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha on 8th December 2010. This demonstration was led by the Balu Mazdoor Sangathan (sand workers’ association) and CPI(ML). Comrades Gopal Singh, Secretary of Balu Mazdoor Sangathan and Rameshwar Prasad, President of All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA) led the militant demonstration. The rally caused a blockade of most main streets of Patna.
Recently, several contractors, who are patronised by the JD(U), BJP as well as RJD, have bought huge machines for sand extraction. This has resulted in thousands of workers in the Bikram and Bihta Maner block of Patna district and in the Sandesh and Koilwar blocks of Bhojpur dist becoming jobless. Most of the retrenched workers had to migrate to other states to earn their livelihood. The demonstration, first of this strength after the formation of Nitish Kumar’s government in Bihar, demanded withdrawal of the big machines creating unemployment. Several other demands of the sand labourers were also raised.
Senior government officials met a delegation of the Sand Workers’ Association and CPI(ML) leaders, and have given a verbal promise that the workers rendered jobless will be given employment either by withdrawing of machines or in various MGNREGA projects. If the promises made by the officials are not fulfilled, CPI(ML) will launch a bigger movement.
Convention on Women Agricultural Labourers in Mysore
A state-level convention on ‘Women Agricultural Labourers – Challenges and Resistance‘, was jointly organized by AIPWA and Samata Vedike on 5 Dec at Mysore. Nearly 500 women from the rural belts of Davangere, Koppal, Chitradurga, Mysore and Bangalore participated. Members of Samata enacted a skit on the issues of women agricultural labourers to inaugurate the convention. Chief Guest, Com Kavita Krishnan, all-India Secretary, AIPWA, inaugurated the convention and said that the BJP government in the state stands exposed. The CM himself is shamelessly claiming that his own ministers are more corrupt than him and that he is not the only corrupt state representative in the country. He justified his corruption by citing precedents. The BJP government is killing women with its policy of violence. Christian women and Muslim women are being attacked. Hindu women are targeted and attacked for “wrong behaviour” and for demanding their rights. The state is unleashing severe repression on women protestors. Comrade Kavita gave a call for women to break their silence and wage a determined battle against violence and this unjust system, which has money for liquor to flow but no money for drinking water. Meera Nayak, Convenor, Samata, presiding the inaugural session, stressed on the need for women to resist all kinds of exploitation and oppression.
This was followed by testimonies of struggles of women – against the closure of rice mills of Gangavati, against irregularities in NREGA at Harapanahalli and Nanjangud, struggles for availing of the PDS facility in Sathigehundi and HD Kote, against social boycott and sexual harassment of dalit women in Budihalli and on conditions of women workers in export garment units in Bangalore. Basamma Daggi, Sainabi and Sharada from Gangavati, Sanramamma and Gopika from Sathigehundi, Kariyamma, Shakinamma and Renukamma from Harapanahalli, Marakka and Lakshmakka from Budihalli, Rajeshwari from Nanjangud (Spoorthy) and Shaila from Bangalore presented their struggle experiences. While presiding over the session, Prof R Indira from Mysore University said that the corrupt governments in the state and centre do not have an iota of shame. Women need to reject all efforts of the corrupt BJP government to woo women with free sarees and be in the forefront of struggles against corruption and for a life of dignity.
In the second session, the testimonies on SHG issues, struggles against arrack sales, struggles for basic amenities including roads, bus facilities, toilets and Ashraya houses, distribution of Bhagyalakshmi bonds for female babies and issues of domestic workers were shared. Hampakka, State Vice-President of AIPWA and Honnamma from Hoskote spoke on the SHG issues. Jawajjar Honnamma from Budiyala, Devakka from Matthihalli, Honnamma from Kayakadahalli, Nagamma and Sharada from Nichapura of Harapanahalli, Sonamma and Shakina Begum from Gangavati, Maniyamma, Putnanjamma, Jayamma, Nagamma, Sanramamma and Kotramma from Sogalli, Sathigehundi and Nandinathapura of H D Kote spoke on anti- arrack struggles and struggles for basic amenities while Saroja (Domestic Workers Rights Union) from Bangalore shared the conditions of domestic workers. Anusuyamma, Convenor, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), presided this session. She said that the BJP government has completely betrayed the people. Women should gear up to fight the corruption and irregularities at all levels; they should consciously break out of the illusion that some one will fulfill their needs and should learn to grab their rights.
In the concluding speech Rati Rao, National Vice President, AIPWA, said that this convention could bring together the experiences of various struggling women and stressed the need to struggle for rights. Though the struggle against corruption has been a protracted struggle, our women’s response and resolve has been very encouraging and we need to forge a unity among our struggling sisters in different places and strengthen their voice of resistance.
A ten point resolution demanding a CBI enquiry on corruption, and demanding equal wages, crèche facilities, PF and BPL cards and so on was passed by the convention.
Kumuda from Samata also addressed the gathering. Susheela, Roopa Rao, and Anupama from Samata and Ranjani and Gandhimathi of AIPWA, co-ordinated the sessions. Geetha from Samata gave vote of thanks. Com Bharadwaj, Comrades Parsappa and Shivamurthy of HRFDL also spoke on the occasion.
AIALA Protest in front of Odisha Assembly
Holding a protest in front of the Odisha Assembly, thousands of agricultural workers demanded from the Odisha Government a minimum guarantee of 200 days of work with a minimum wage of Rs. 200 per day, as well as 50 kg food grains per family through the PDS. They demanded that the Odisha Chief Minister hold a special session of the Assembly on the issue of land reforms. They also demanded land pattas and withdrawal of false cases imposed by the administration on Comrade Tirupati Gomango, National Executive member of AIALA.
A huge protest procession started from Nagbhushan Bhavan, led and addressed by comrades Khitish Biswal, Radha Kanta Sethi, Satyabadi Behera, President AIALA Odisha, Bidyadhar Patra, Ashok Pradhan, Yusdhistir Mohapatra and Tirupati Gamango.
AICCTU Initiatives in Punjab
Chandigarh: The workers of Punjab Engineering College, under the banner of the PEC Mess Workers Union affiliated with the AICCTU, went on a strike on 3rd December 2010 to press the management to fulfill their demands. The workers were demanding recruitment of staff for the 43 posts lying vacant (because of which the existing workers are overloaded), a hike in their wages, a stop to the illegal deduction being made from the salaries of every worker for food even though no food is being issued from the mess stores and a job for the wife of a workman who had died of brain haemorrhage a few days before the strike.
The leaders of the workmen, Satish Kumar, Achar Singh and Ashwani Kumar said that workers have been raising their demands with the management for a long time. However, the management has not even called a single meeting to resolve the issues. When the management chose to turn a deaf ear to the workers’ demands even after repeated reminders, and even after the notice of the strike was issued, the workers have no other option but to ensure a successful strike.
The management of the PEC is however in no mood to resolve the issues. Rather, they are provoking the workers to resort to violent means by trying to bring contract workers from elsewhere to carry on with the work. The leaders of the movement alleged that the police are once again playing the role of a private army of the management – escorting the contract labourers from outside into the PEC premises, and issuing threats to the agitating workers.
The Chandigarh unit president of AICCTU, Kanwaljeet Singh said that the management of PEC should start negotiations and resolve the issues instead of resorting to unfair means of harassing and threatening the workers. He warned the Chandigarh administration that if the police do not stop playing this dubious, pro-administration role in the matter, the contract workers’ union of PGI, Gen. Hospital Sec. 16 along with other affiliated unions of AICCTU may also start agitations in favour of the PEC workers. He reiterated that the demands of the mess workers are genuine – workers are being forced to work up to 16 hours per day due to shortage of workers. One of the workers died of brain haemorrhage recently, which is a clear outcome of the inhuman work conditions which these workers are being subjected to.
The local unit of RYA (Revolutionary Youth Association) also supported the workers agitation and issued leaflets in its support. They appealed to the students to boycott the messes till the management does not resolve the issue with the mess workers.
IIMS Meeting in Kozhikode
On 7 December, Indian Institute of Marxist Studies (IIMS) held a meeting at the Press Club Hall, Kozhikode, on the topic ‘Women’s Movement in Contemporary India.’ The main speaker at the meeting was Kavita Krishnan, CC Member of CPI(ML) and National Secretary AIPWA. The meeting was chaired by Comrade John K Erumeli, Secretary, State Leading Team of CPI(ML) Liberation, Kerala. Comrade K M Venugopalan, Convenor of IIMS in Kerala welcomed the participants. State Leading Team members Joy Peter and O P Kunjupillai also participated in the meeting. Several activists of autonomous and left women’s groups, student activists and other left and democratic activists attended the meeting and participated in the discussions on the challenges before the women’s movement today, and the need to develop a women’s movement with a revolutionary left orientation. Advocate P A Pouran, Secretary, PUCL Kerala, Comrades Smitha, Ambika and Shajil of LCC Kerala, Viji, activist of Penkootu, a working women’s group in Kozhikode, activists of the Progressive Students’ Forum (PSF) and several media persons also participated in the meeting.
AICCTU’s Delhi Unit Holds 4th State Conference
The AICCTU held its Fourth Delhi State Conference on 28 November against privatisation, contractualisation and the assault on trade union rights, and with a call to intensify the struggle for minimum wages, social security and dignity. The Conference was held at Comrade Ram Naresh Ram Hall (the BSNL Employees Hall at Janpath), and 175 delegates from among building workers, security workers, rickshaw pullers, street vendors and other organised sector workers, DTC transport workers, government hospital workers, and MTNL employees participated in the Conference.
The Conference began with hoisting of the AICCTU flag and two minutes silence for the departed and martyred comrades and workers killed on Delhi construction sites and the Laxminagar building collapse.
Inaugurating the Conference, AICCTU General Secretary Comrade Swapan Mukherjee said the Congress-UPA Government, mired in scams to the tune of thousands of crores, was intensifying the assault of pro-corporate, pro-rich economic policies and unleashing repression on workers. Workers’ resistance too was on the rise as demonstrated by the 7th September All India General Strike. On 23th February in the coming year, workers are once again preparing, on the call of the trade unions, to bring Delhi to a standstill. He called upon to AICCTU to face the challenge of coming to the forefront of the workers’ movement in Delhi.
The delegate session discussed the draft document presented by the outgoing Secretary Comrade Santosh Roy and reflected on various aspects of AICCTU’s work in Delhi. The document, adopted after discussion and debate, stressed the need to develop mass struggles on workers’ issues to bring them to the centre stage of Delhi’s politics, the need to organise the workers of the city’s vast unorganised sector by raising the issues of minimum wages and rights as well as the range of their social-economic issues, the need to increase AICCTU membership with emphasis on the transport sector, construction sector, industrial workers, health workers, domestic workers, women workers, street vendors and rickshaw pullers, and to set an example of revolutionary trade union movement, fighting against all trends of formalism and legalism.
The Conference elected a 59-member State Council, a 29-member working committee and a 11-member office bearers’ team with Comrades N M Thomas as Honorary President, V K S Gautam as Working President and Santosh Roy as General Secretary.
The Conference was also addressed by CPI(ML) Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, CPI(ML) CC member Prabhat Kumar, and AISA General Secretary Ravi Rai. The concluding speech was given by CPI(ML) CC member Kavita Krishnan.
In the end, the Conference proposed resolutions on pressing issues of the time which were passed unanimously by the house. The Conference, expressing deep shock and grief at the killing of 70 members of the unorganised workers in Delhi’s Lakshmi Nagar building collapse, resolved to bring to book all the culprits whose omissions and commissions caused the killings; granting of compensations with dignity to the surviving family members of those killed; providing social security, accepting the right of existence, housing and other basic amenities along with secure and dignified living conditions for all the Delhi’s poor and immigrant working class on a priority basis. The Conference also resolved to intensify struggles against– (i) displacement and excessive harassment of workers during the run-up to Commonwealth Games, (ii) the repulsive and cruel act of Allied Nippon’s management in which it opened fire on the workers, (iii) continuing repression of the working class in Delhi and NCR, (iv) privatisation, contractorization, casualisation, workers’ displacement, insecure livelihood, all round attack on social and civic amenities and blatant violation of the basic human and working rights of migrant labourers in the name of making Delhi a world-class city.
State-wide Agitations in Karnataka
Scam after scam under the BJP rule in Karnataka has come to light, involving important ministers including the Chief Minister Yeddyurappa himself and his family. The BJP rule has proved that it is corrupt to the core. The BJP central leadership is condoning the all-corrupt ministry and government in the state and has lost its capacity to discipline the state leaders. The central leadership is kneeling before everybody, whether it is Bellary Brothers or the Yeddyurappa. Lokayukta has already issued notice to the CM for an enquiry on the land scam. But, the state government has ordered a judicial enquiry to escape the Lokayukta net. The Government has no time to address the issues of toiling masses as it is too occupied with scams, manipulations, looting the public money, and horse-trading on the floor of Vidhana Soudha to retain the Government.
Demonstrations demanding resignation of the Yeddyurappa Government were held all over the State, particularly at Davanagere, Koppal, Mysore and Bangalore on 27th November 2010.
Hundreds of people staged a day-long dharna in front of the DC’s (District Commissioner) office at Davanagere. Party’s State Secretary E Ramappa called upon the people to continue the agitation until the anti-people and corrupt BJP is removed from power. Several speakers including AISA leader Prasad DM, Parashuram (Taluk President of AIALA) and Chowdappa (District Secretary of Bellary) addressed the gathering.
At Koppal, hundreds of people staged a spirited demonstration in front of the DC office led by the Party State Leading Team member and AIALA State President J Bharadwaj. Rice mill workers and women participated in good numbers in the demonstration, which attracted democratic minded people from Koppal town. Com. Vittappa, district president of Koppal Zilla Bachao Andolan, Basavaraj Seelavander, district secretary of AITUC, Maddanaiah Swamy, district president of KRRS and KB Gonal, district president of TUCI also extended solidarity and addressed the gathering. Com. Virupaksha, taluk secretary of AICCTU also participated.
At Mysore, the demonstrators shouted slogans demanding resignation of the BJP government. The delegation led by C Javaraiah, SLTM and the District Secretary submitted a memorandum to the DC to be forwarded to the Governor.
At Bangalore, the demonstration was led by CPI(ML) incharge for Karnataka Comrade V Shankar. Workers from RMC, RDC and UNIMIX Readymix companies participated in good numbers. The demonstration also attracted a large crowd of general public and common workers from the surrounding areas. Com. Shankar said that the BJP government in the state does not have any moral right to continue in power any longer. He warned the BJP that they will be thrown out of power by growing people’s struggles if the government failed to resign on its own. He also pointed out that no party is an exception to corruption, be it the BJP-led state government or the Congress-led central government. Gaddappa and Manju of RDC, Anjaneyalu and Sitaram of UNIMIX, Govindaswamy and Mani of RMC and Gandhimathi of AIPWA also addressed the demonstrators.
AILC Convention At Midnapore
A Left Convention was jointly organized by the West Bengal State Committee of CPI(ML) Liberation and the Marxist Communist Party, a breakaway group from CPI(M) belonging to the Danton area of Midnapore district, on 20th December at the Vidyasagar Hall of Midnapore town. Apart from the state leaders of CPI(ML), the Convention was attended by Comrade Swapan Mukherjee (CPI(ML) Central Committee Member), Comrade Mangatram Pasla (CPM(Punjab) General Secretary), Comrade Aloke Nandy (General Secretary of Marxist Communist Party) and Comrade Jayanta Gupta Bhaya (General Secretary of Marxbadi Mancha, a left group from Burdwan district).
In his speech, Com. Swapan Mukherjee emphasized the importance of holding such conventions, given the turbulent situation in West Bengal where the degenerated Left led by CPI(M) is fast giving way to a reactionary Trinamool Congress, and the prospect of resurgence of a revolutionary Left is brightening. Com. Pasla talked about the root causes of degeneration of the CPI(M), of which he was once a part. He said that the CPI(M) has abandoned the toiling poor and has adopted big capital instead. He expressed a strong optimism about the immense prospect of building a revolutionary Left co-ordination throughout the country by uniting the struggling left forces. Com. Alok Nandy and Com. Gupta Bhaya also welcomed the initiative taken by the All India Left Co-ordination (AILC) to unite the revolutionary and struggling Left forces in the country and expressed their primary willingness to be part of such an initiative.
Com. Partha Ghosh, state Sectretary of CPI(ML), underlined the significance of holding the convention in the district of Midnapore which has, of late, emerged as the most turbulent hot bed of political activism in the state, be it at Nandigram or in Jangalamhal. Com. Kartick Pal, another State Committee Member and Politburo Member of the party proposed further interactions among such like-minded parties and groups in West Bengal to chalk out a future course of action and to forge stronger unity.
AIALA’s 4th Tamil Nadu State Conference
AIALA’s 4th State Conference of Tamil Nadu was held on 18-19th December in Kumbakonam. The conference was held in the background of revelations of massive corruption in the allotment of 2G Spectrum airwaves – a scam which has left the ruling DMK thoroughly discredited, and which has exposed not just the corruption of ex-telecom Minister A. Raja but also Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s desperate attempts to shield him. At the same time, the Niira Radia tapes have revealed beyond any doubt the extent of crony capitalism in India, as ruling class parties, the corporate media and business houses collude to loot the nation’s resources.
Even as the DMK government stands indicted in a massive land scam involving illegal allotment of land and buildings belonging to the Tamil Nadu Housing Board at cheap rates to several top ranking officials in the state (including high court judges, IAS officers and police officials), Chief Minister Karaunanidhi claims that the government cannot fulfill DMK’s election-time promise of giving 2 acres of land to each landless family since there is no land available. The DMK government has been claiming that agricultural labourers and farmers in the state can enjoy dignified lives thanks to the spate of schemes announced by the government (including monthly pension of Rs. 500 for the members of the Agricultural Laborers and Farmers Welfare Board, cheap rice, concrete housing, free televisions, gas and health insurance).
However, the reality is otherwise. The peasantry in the state has suffered heavy damage due to the rains and the agricultural laborers in particular could not find jobs to sustain themselves during the rains. In this situation, the total ‘relief’ package announced by the TN government was only Rs.500 crores! Farmers and agrarian labourers could not but help compare this pittance of a Rs. 500 crores ‘relief’ with the Rs.1,76,000 crores involved in spectrum scam. The simmering anger against the anti-people policies of the DMK government found a voice in the support that AIALA has received from the rural poor of the state – a support that was amply reflected in AIALA’s increased membership. 51,180 members were recruited in the membership campaign launched prior to the conference. This membership is from 129 panchayats. AIALA now has more than 10,000 members in three districts, more than 1,000 members in 9 panchayats and more than 1,600 members in one panchayat. Therefore, this conference saw a significant improvement in the membership and support of AIALA in Tamil Nadu. Before this state-level conference, panchayat level conferences (in panchayats having more than 500 members) were held in 34 panchayats.
A week-long mobilization campaign for AIALA’s rally and conference in December was held in the villages of Villupuram and Tanjore districts in the month of November. The 18th December Kumbakonam conference began with a rally in which 1,500 rural poor participated. The rally went through the main streets of Kumbakonam, raising slogans against the DMK government. The non-fulfillment of promises – 2 acres land for each landless family, homestead lands and pattas, inclusion of rural poor in the BPL list, Rs.200 daily wages and guaranteed work for 200 days under the NREGA scheme – was highlighted during the rally which culminated near the Mahamaham Tank.
At the conference, the mass meeting was presided over by Com. TKS Janardhanan, State President of AIALA. The ‘Martyrs Torch’ carried from Manaloor, the martyrdom site of comrades Chandrakumar and Chandrasekar and presented to AIALA and CPI(ML) leaders. Two minutes silence was observed in memory of Com. Vinod Mishra, Com. Ramnaresh Ram, other martyrs and departed leaders. Com. Dhirendra Jha (AIALA Gen. Secy.), Com. S. Kumarasami, Politburo member of CPI(ML), as well as Com. Thenmozhi (AIPWA State President) addressed the meeting.
Several resolutions were passed placed by Com. Venkatesan, State Secretary of AIALA. Comrades Palanivel and Krishnamoorthy (AICCTU office bearers), donated Rs. 40,000 to the conference, collected from workers of Pricol, TIDC, MRF and Hyundai. Com. Rameshwar Prasad (AIALA National President), Com. Balasundaram (CPI(ML) State Secretary) N.K. Natarajan (State Gen. Secy. AICCTU), Com. Bharati (State President of AISA), Com. Balasubramanian (CPI(ML) State Secretary, Puducherry) and office bearers of AIALA were also present at the meeting.
On 19th December, Com. Rameshawar Prasad hoisted the party flag in front of the conference hall named after Comrades Vinod Mishra and Ramnaresh Ram and inaugurated the delegate session. The Conference paid homage to other martyrs and departed leaders. Addressing the conference, Com. Rameshwar Prasad, noting that AIALA is emerging in Tamil Nadu too, appealed to the delegates to intensify the land struggles at panchayat levels in the coming days. The conference was attended by 123 delegates (including 33 women), from 14 districts. The conference was conducted by a 9-member presidium, with 4 women members, chaired by Com. Ilangovan. Com. S. Janakiraman, outgoing Gen. Secretary, presented the work report. The report highlighted the significant improvements that AIALA has made after the 3rd conference and put forth certain key questions for debate such as the need to develop an internal dynamism in AIALA work from the top to bottom, to intensify work at the block levels, and to develop a network of promising activists and cadres. Com. Janakiraman summed up the discussions and the draft report was unanimously adopted by the house.
Election for the next AIALA state body was conducted by Comrades Dhirendra Jha and Balasundaram (All-India Vice-President of AIALA). A 55-member State Council was elected which in turn elected a 19-member state executive. 11 members – TKS. Janardhanan, S. Janakiraman, C. Ponraj, P. Usha, M. Venkatesan, Senbagavalli, S. Ammaiyappan, V.M. Valathan, Rajangam, S. Ilangovan, and T.Kannaian – were elected as office bearers. Com.TKS Janardhanan was elected as State President and Com. S. Janakiraman was re-elected as State Gen. Secy. Comrades S. Kumarasami, Balasundaram, S.Balasubramaniam, Com. N.K. Natarajan, Com. Bhuvaneswari (State Dy. Gen. Secy. AICCTU), Com. Rameshwar Prasad, the AISA State Secretary and Com. Mathikannan (of the cultural forum Manuda Vidudhalai Pannpattu Kazhakam) spoke at the conference.
The conference came to a close with a rendering of the Internationale.
AIPWA Protest at Singur
On the 4th martyrdom day of Tapasi Malik, an activist of the Singur stuggle who was raped and murdered by CPI(M) goons in 2006, AIPWA held a protest demonstration at Kumarkundu, Singur. The gathering was addressed by AIPWA’s State Secretary Chaitali Sen and other leaders.
Protest of Unorganized Sector Workers in Odisha
On 15th December hundreds of unorganized workers from different sectors joined in a protest rally and Dharna in front of Odisha Assembly. Raising the slogans ‘workers of the world unite and workers’ solidarity long live’ the rally started from Nagbhusan Bhavan and marched to the Bidhan Sabha with the demand to accord due priority to the unorganized labour and grant permanent patta and ration cards to all unorganized sector workers. The forest workers, Rickshaw Coli Sangh, Motor Boat Workers’ Union of Chilika and construction workers from different parts of Orissa participated in the rally. The protest rally demanded an end to frequent retrenchments and chronic unemployment, a pension of Rs 1000 for the construction workers, 200 days work for all unorganized workers, creation of unorganized workers’ board, identification of forest workers and issue of card to them and insurance benefits. The rally was led by Orissa AICCTU President Com. N. K. Mohanty, AICCTU General Secretary Com. Radha Kanta Sethi and AICCTU Secretary Com. Mahindra Parida.