8th March Programmes ### Condemn the Arrest of CPI(ML) Candidate from Karakat

8th March Programmes

International women's day was observed by AIPWA in different districts in West Bengal in different ways with great enthusiasm. District conferences of AIPWA were organised in Siliguri (Darjeeling district; along with a procession) and Kolkata, Howrah; while in Asansol procession was followed by an activists' meet. Processions were also held in Krishnanagar (Nadia district) and Naihati (North 24 Parganas) while a mass meeting was organised in Goswami-Malipara in Hoogli District. An activists' meet was also organised in Buz Buz (South 24 Parganas). Most of these events saw a good mobilisation of working women. In view of the approaching Lok Sabha elections, most of these were held at central places in the constituencies where the party has put up candidates. Together with the demands like equal pay for equal work, proper and expanded implementation of NREGA and the like, the people were called upon to vote for revolutionary left candidates.

At Patna, AIPWA held a March asserting women’s agenda in the forthcoming Parliamentary polls, as well as Block-level marches all over Bihar. At Siwan, AIPWA held a protest March and road blockade against an incident of rape and murder.

In UP, too, AIPWA commemorated 8 March in many districts.

In Jharkhand, AIPWA’s Campaign for Women’s Right to Employment culminated on 8 March, with district-level programmes all over the state, in which women unorganised workers, para-health workers, construction workers, Anganbadi workers, mid-day meal workers etc, participated in large numbers.

In Andhra Pradesh, AIPWA held its Krishna district Conference at Nuziveedu with 150 delegates, and also held rallies at 3 places in East Godavari district.

On 7 and 8 March, AIPWA held district conferences at Madurai and Namakkal in TN respectively. At Madurai, where more than 150 delegates took part, Com.Saroja was elected President and Com. Divya as Secretary, while at Namakkal, 40 delegates took part and Com. Thenmozhi was elected President and Com. Saraswati as Secretary.

In Assam, AIPWA rallies were held at Tinsukia, Jorhat, Nagaon, and Sonitpur, and a seminar at Dibrugarh, on the theme of Women’s marginalisation in Parliament and the betrayal of 33% reservation for women. At all these programmes, between 200-300 women took part, and at Guwahati and Tezpur, AIPWA observed Women’s Day along with AIDWA and NFIW.

In Karbi Anglong, a Rally asserting women’s agenda in Parliamentary polls was held at Diphu on 8 March, addressed by AIPWA National Secretary Kanaklata Datta and CPI(ML) CCM Dr. Jayanta Rongpi. On the same evening, the Karbi Toiling Women’s Association held its Conference, electing Kaleng Inglengpi as President and Leena Hansepi as Secretary. On 9 March, KNCA held its State Conference, re-electing Kajek Thatipi as President and Pratima Engheepi as Secretary.

At Punjab, Women’s day was celebrated with mass meetings at villages in Mansa and Ludhiana districts. At Chhattisgarh, a large gathering of workers at Ravanbhata, Supela – including some 250 women safai (sanitation) workers – celebrated women’s day under the banner of AIPWA. They were joined by 200 men workers. Many women workers – Rekha Banjare and Savitri Devi spoke at the meeting, as did Bhagwantin Kune of the CMM, and Samkiksha Nair, Prof. Lakshmi Krishnan, Prof. Sheela Sharma, and writer Mita Das. The meeting was conducted by Poonam Sahu. At the end, workers took membership of the AICCTU Safai Karmi Union.

Condemn the Arrest of CPI(ML) Candidate from Karakat

CPI(ML) candidate from Karakat, Bihar, was arrested on 23 March, immediately after filing his nominations. A CPI(ML) Central Committee member, All India Kisan Sangharsh Samiti Convenor, and former MLA, Comrade Rajaram Singh was addressing a mass meeting at Dehri-on-Sone on 23 March, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh-Rajguru-Sukhdev, when police officials arrived and attempted to climb on to the dais to arrest him. Angry protests from the gathered people prevented them from doing so, though Comrade Rajaram Singh was then arrested after the meeting. The arrest was regarding his role in leading a road blockade during the Bihar Bandh of February 4. Among the major issues raised through the Bandh were those of procurement centres for small and medium farmers and the demands of the Bihar Employees who were then on a prolonged strike.

That elections are an unequal battleground is underlined again and again. A popular democratic leader of people's struggles on issues of the peasantry and Bihar's employees is arrested - strategically immediately after his nominations are filed - but Varun Gandhi and his ilk who spew communal venom go scot free! The so-called 'neutral' police machinery acts like a political tool: attempting to make a dramatic arrest by climbing on a public dais. Never have any of the notorious criminals who have been fielded by ruling class parties as candidates ever be arrested boldly by police as they openly go about their job of political intimidation and outright murder.

Support CPI(ML)'s Election Campaign, Send the Voice of People's Resistance into Parliament!

We appeal to Liberation readers for their active support to CPI(ML)'s election campaign, which, unlike the ruling class parties' corporate-funded campaign, relies on the contributions of our members, supporters, and democratic individuals. Please make your contributions through cheque/Bank Draft payable at Delhi to 'CPI(ML)', send to CPI(ML) Central Office, U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92, ph: 011-22521067

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