People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 25, 2001
Mass Protest In Himachal Pradesh
Tikender Singh Panwa
IN the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh where the incumbent government led by the BJP is facing serious crisis over the corruption charges made by none other than the ministers from the ruling party itself, depth of the corruption at the centre has in fact vindicated the point that the BJP is the most corrupt party of the present era.
Where, on the one hand, the state government led by Prem Kumar Dhumal is facing a crisis, in which seven MLAs of the BJP (including four ministers) have levelled serious allegations against the government of which they themselves were a part, and are boycotting the proceedings of the state assembly, and keeping the ruling party on tenterhooks, on the other hand at the centre, the bigger bombshell has come in the form of startling revelations by the news website Tehelka.com.
It is shameful that the key area of the country like the defence has been thrown to the winds by this corrupt government, dharnas and protest public meetings were held throughout the state on March 15, by the CPI(M) demanding the resignation of the Vajpayee government for its exposure in the tehelka.com scandal,
Public meetings were held at Shimla and Mandi, while hundreds of activists sat on the dharna, led by former MLA from Shimla, and the district secretary Rakesh Singha, outside the Deputy Commissioners office. The activists then marched in procession through Lower Bazaar and culminating in a public meeting at Naaz. The meeting was addressed, amongst others, by O P Chauhan, Jagat Ram and Tikender Singh Panwar all members of the district secretariat of the Party.
The speakers categorically lambasted the BJP government for hoodwinking the people of the nation. In an unambiguous note they stated that nothing better could be expected from such an anti- nationalist force, which had virtually no role in the independence movement.
The meeting demanded the immediate resignation of the indicted ministers and their immediate arrest to prevent tempering with the proof. Further that there should be no double standards. When the high officials of the armed forces have been suspended immediately action should be taken against the tainted ministers. Later the effigy of the prime minister was burnt.
The turnout at the meeting showed that the people had outrightly rejected the lies claimed by the BJP, almost five times the organized strength of the Party. And not even a single listener moved from the public meeting. And people passing the meeting passed several comments against the government. It needs to be stressed from this experience that the atmosphere is absolutely against the BJP for its all- out failure on all counts. Such an atmosphere has never been seen in the past. The Party must gear up for giving a befitting reply to the forces of fascism in the nation.
The dharna and rally held in the district capital of Mandi, where Kushal Bhardwaj, Amar Singh Raghwa and Ashok Vaidya addressed the gathering similarly showed that the response was unprecedented.