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13 October 2011

SDPI to contest Manipur Assembly polls; to stage symbolic ‘dharna’ on Oct. 20

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By Pervez Bari

Chennai: The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has decided to contest the Manipur Legislative Assembly elections due early next year.

The decision was taken at the two-day National Working Committee (NWC) meeting of the SDPI at Chennai on October 8 and 9 which was presided over by the national party president E. Aboobacker.

According to A. Sayeed, the national general secretary of SDPI, apart from this the NWC also decided that cadres and members of the SDPI will stage one hour symbolic “dharna” (sit-in) at all the district headquarters all over the country against state terrorism and police atrocities to muzzle the voice of whistle-blowers on October 20.

The proposed “dharna” is to protest the arrest of Sanjeev Bhatt, a senior IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, and high-handed police action in raiding and searching the house of Ms Kavita Srivastava, the National Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, (PUCL), in Jaipur and many other whistle-blowers many of whom have had to pay with their lives, Mr. Sayeed said.

Besides this symbolic “dharna” the cadres and members of the SDPI in Rajasthan would assemble before the house of Ms Kavita Srivastava in Jaipur with banners and placards expressing the party’s solidarity with her in the hour of crisis, he informed.

The NWC meeting observed that BJP and its leaders have no moral right to campaign against corruption since they themselves are fully submerged in scams and humbugs. The party will campaign against the false face of the BJP leaders, he added.

Mr. Sayeed said the meeting expressed anxiety over recurrent petroleum products prices hike and decided to pressurize government to regain control on petroleum pricing.

The party also observed that police firings at Gopalgarh in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan and at Ramanadhapuram in Tamil Nadu were uncalled for and a result of caste and communal prejudice among police and ruling parties. The party expressed solidarity towards the victims of the incidents and decided to provide legal aid to them, he stated.

SDPI president in his presidential remarks said the party is facing big challenges from the communal forces and the government agencies to strengthen and widen its base . However, he said there is no room for despondency and despair and exhorted the members to work together with vigour and vitality for the welfare of the common man and thereby strengthen the party. “The Almighty will grant success to our endeavour”, he added.

Earlier, Mr. Sayeed presented the minutes of the last NWC meeting for approval which was accepted by voice vote. He later read out the secretary’s report. At the outset Prof. Nazni Begum, vice president SDPI, welcomed the members.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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