The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Big Three bond to break out of rally rein

Caught on the wrong foot after launching a tirade against Justice Amitava Lala’s directive restricting rallies in the city on weekdays, the CPM has, for the first time, decided to share a platform with the Trinamul Congress and the state Congress.

At an all-party convention at Hazra Park on Sunday, the leaders will deliberate on a one-point agenda: how to evolve a consensus for taking out rallies in the city in the wake of the high court order.

The convention, being organised under the aegis of the South Calcutta district Youth Congress, will be attended by Sudhanshu Sil, former mayor-in-council member of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and secretariat member of the CPM’s Calcutta District Committee, Atish Sinha, leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), and Sougata Roy, Trinamul Congress MLA from Dhakuria.

“We may have ideological differences with the Congress and the Trinamul Congress, but a consensus has to be evolved among all political parties on the rally issue. That is why the leadership has okayed my participation in tomorrow’s convention,” Sil said on Saturday.

CPM state secretary and politburo member Anil Biswas, who has already stressed the need for a consensus among political parties on the high court order, said on Saturday night that they would welcome such all-party meetings to discuss a strategy vis-à-vis Justice Lala’s directive.

Stating that political parties could not forego their right to organise rallies to highlight people’s causes, Trinamul Congress MLA Roy said: “Leaders of all political parties should have an united approach on the rally issue. I feel there is no harm in joining the CPM on this score.”

CLP leader Sinha, too, echoed the view that political parties would lose much of their relevance if they were stopped from taking out processions.

“We must not give up our right to demonstrate on the streets to highlight our grievances. But there has to be some sort of discipline in bringing out rallies and processions. We should not inconvenience commuters in the process,” Sinha said.

Leaders from Left Front constituents like RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI have also been invited to speak at Sunday’s convention. “We want to reach a consensus on our future course of agitation in the city at tomorrow’s convention,” said a senior RSP leader.

The All India Minority Forum has also planned a seminar on the issue on Monday at Nizam Palace.

Former chief justice and governor of West Bengal Shyamal Sen, former justice Dilip Kumar Basu and several political leaders will address the meet.

“The seminar will focus on the future course of political movements in the city,” said Idris Ali, president of the forum.

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