The proposed January 7, 2024, rally of CPM youth wing DYFI has run into a hurdle over procedural complications as the army has apparently remained disinclined to give its go-ahead for the use of the Brigade Parade Grounds while the Marxists have refused to accept any change of venue.
Earlier this week, a fresh application was filed for the Brigade venue, of which the army is the custodian. CPM state secretary Md. Salim has said the “mega” rally will take place nowhere else.
He has alleged that permission was being withheld by the army at the Mamata Banerjee government’s behest.
“Permission for a Sangh parivar event at the same venue, on December 24, was readily given. That event is being facilitated, despite knowing fully well that it is being held primarily with the aim of disrupting Christmas Eve festivities here. Because Christmas is one of the many things that the Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan champions cannot stand,” Salim said.
“The army is doing this because of hints from the Trinamul Congress-led state government here,” he added.
While Trinamul state general secretary Kunal Ghosh has rubbished the allegation, saying the army does not report to the state government, Salim and others in the CPM have said a no-objection is required from the police administration for the army to give its nod. That police clearance, Alimuddin Street claims, has been withheld under the instructions of Mamata, who is also the state’s home minister.
Asked what happens if the permission is not granted till the very end, Salim said: “We will go ahead with it anyhow.”
“We are demanding employment opportunities and a secure future for the younger generations of the state and the nation, so there is no question of standing down,” he added.
The Brigade event will be the culmination of an ongoing two-month march of the DYFI across Bengal, which started last month.
The march, called Insaaf Yatra (March for Justice), is being led by DYFI state secretary Minakshi Mukherjee against both the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Trinamul-led state government here.
“There are no jobs for the youth, no money from the 100-day employment guarantee scheme. School dropouts have been on the rise. These are real issues that need to be addressed urgently, but keep getting sidelined,” Mukherjee said.