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DYFI run posters minus pictures

Durgapur, Jan. 23: The DYFI has brought out posters on a run without the pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose and other freedom fighters after an earlier banner with the photographs was criticised by party veterans for giving prominence to individuals instead of the party symbol.

DYFI leaders in Durgapur, where the run will be held, have also tweaked the slogan on the new poster to “Run for Job for All and Corruption Free India” as CPM state committee leaders in Burdwan felt the earlier one — “Run for Corruption Free India” — was “very similar” to the Aam Aadmi Party’s anti-corruption campaign.

There had been differences between leaders of the youth wing and the CPM state committee leaders after a poster with the pictures of Gandhi, Netaji, Bhagat Singh and Lakshmi Sehgal were uploaded on Facebook by some leaders of the DYFI’s Durgapur II (east) committee.

While the senior leaders said the party never used pictures of individuals on posters and banners, DYFI members had said Gandhi “could not be ignored in the fight against corruption”. A section in the CPM had also pointed to the “differences in opinion” the communists had with Gandhi and Netaji.

Members of the CPM state committee yesterday discussed the poster with DYFI leaders at a five-hour meeting.

“We have brought out new posters that do not have pictures of any individual. We have also scrapped the plan of participants running with the pictures of the freedom fighters in their hands,” a DYFI leader said.

He added that the DYFI would stick to its decision of hoisting the national flag on Republic Day, another deviation from the CPM practice of raising the party flag.

At the meeting yesterday, CPM state committee members Rathin Roy and Amal Haldar were divided over the use of pictures of Gandhi and the others on the poster, sources said.

While Roy favoured the use of the pictures, Haldar, also the district CPM secretary, said a picture of Gandhi would be “irrelevant”.

“Our party has decided to observe Gandhiji’s death anniversary on January 30 as ‘communal harmony day’. We believe he was a true secular and non-communal leader. Why can’t our youth wing use his picture on the posters?” Roy was quoted as saying in the meeting.

Haldar criticised the DYFI move, saying Gandhi was not directly linked to any anti-corruption campaign.

“We are not questioning Gandhi’s stand on communal harmony. But I oppose using his picture on the poster for the anti-corruption run because he was not directly linked to any anti-corruption drive. Using his picture would be irrelevant,” the CPM district secretary said.

Haldar, the sources said, repeatedly underlined the CPM practice of not using pictures of individuals on posters and banners related to political activities.

The DYFI leaders decided to bring out the new poster after the “majority” of the leaders favoured sticking to the party’s principle, the sources said.

Asked about the decision to change the poster, a DYFI leader said: “Ultimately, we decided to stick to the party principle. But we should have used the pictures of the freedom fighters as people would have identified them with anti-corruption, which is our theme.”