New Delhi, Feb. 22: Four top CPM leaders will crisscross the country on road telling people about the Left’s “alternative policies and politics”, the first attempt by bigwigs who have so far remained indoors to face the heat and dust to regain support.
Party boss Prakash Karat announced the Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha today against the backdrop of an IT-driven power-point presentation, a method perfected by the corporate sector whose ways the CPM is known to despise. It also marked a softening of resistance to computers, which the party once opposed saying they led to retrenchment of workers.
Karat and politburo colleagues S. Ramachandran Pillai, Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat will start from four corners of the country, culminating in a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on March 19.
Pillai, the oldest at 75, will be the first off the blocks next week and undertake the longest trip, the 2,800km Kanyakumari-Delhi leg. Karat, around 10 years younger to Pillai, will cover Calcutta-Delhi (1,463km) and Yechury Mumbai-Delhi (15,00km). The shortest route, Amritsar to Delhi (470km), has been assigned to Brinda.
He will be accompanied by Bengal secretary Biman Bose. Asked about Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Karat said he would be present at the starting point.
Karat said apart from the main jathas, smaller ones from different states would start and merge with the four at different points, taking the total distance traversed to 10,000km. “We will travel in vehicles like vans. (But) It will not be a rath yatra,” Karat said, alluding to the BJP.
“This is the first time the party is undertaking such an effort. It will project the policies and politics of the party and present an alternative to the disastrous path being followed by the Congress and the BJP,” Karat added.