AIDWA Resistance Rally in Kolkata Slams TMC and BJP, Marks Panchayat Poll Violence
Kolkata: Thousands of women activists of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) on Friday descended in Kolkata and held a rally on the main thoroughfare at Rani Rashmoni Avenue against the Centre’s “Anti-people” policies.
The “resistance rally” of the Left-affiliated women’s organisation took place against the backdrop of this year’s panchayat elections in the state. During the polls in July, AIDWA activists said they faced unimaginable terror. At the rally, several such activists were felicitated.
The panchayat elections were marred by violence that left more than 30 people dead amid allegations of rigging and booth looting.
“Determined AIDWA activists have come from across the state in large numbers, making the resistance rally a historical event, “said the leaders addressing the gathering.
The AIDWA leaders called for massive participation in the October 5 Delhi Rally convened by AIDWA in New Delhi.
AIDWA leader and CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat, AIDWA general Secretary Mariam Dhawale, president PK Shrimati, state secretary Koninika Ghosh spoke in the rally, which was presided over by Jahanara Khan, State president of AIDWA.
Addressing the assembled crowd, Karat congratulated the activists of AIDWA for leading a valiant fight against the Trinamool Congress and BJP in the state. In West Bengal, on one side is Modi’s bulldozer and on the other side is Mamata’s bulldozer, she said, adding that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is running Modi’s bulldozer.
In her speech, PK Shrimati said that after independence, 76 years have passed, and yet, the concept of equal rights for women and men has not been achieved in the country. AIDWA has kept these fights alive throughout the country. She also saluted the fight of women activists of AIDWA during the panchayat elections. She also claimed that Modi’s “Hindu Rashtra” does not entail equal rights but snatches women’s rights. She also said that the BJP government at the Centre and the Trinamool Congress government in the state are not creating avenues for employment but closing the door on new jobs. AIDWA is also fighting against these regimes, she said at the rally.
Speaking at the rally, Mariam Dhawale, General Secretary of the AIDWA, said that regardless of who governs the country, the country is for all of its people. The BJP is selling off the country to vile interests, she alleged. “Against this, on October 5, there will be a deluge of women activists in New Delhi,” Dhawale said, adding, “That rally will remind the Modi government that the country is not for sale.”
Speaking at the September 8 rally, Koninika Ghosh, noted AIDWA leader and state secretary of the organisation, said that during the panchayat elections, many AIDWA activists have been ousted from their homes. However, they remained steadfast in their resolve to fight against the corrupt regime of the Mamata government, she said.
Ghosh also said that the various government projects are run through the taxes imposed by taxing all essential items. “So, being a beneficiary of the government projects are our rights,” she said. She reminded the participants of Arjuna Biwi’s fight in East Medinipur, who had protested against the government corruption in the Awas Yojana. Biwi was taken to jail by the police, manhandled and beaten up. “Fights like these have resonated across the state,” she concluded.
The martyrs' families were invited to participate in the rally, where people saluted their fight. Many women activists also shared how they were tortured during the panchayet elections in the state. Tales of police high-handedness were shared, such as at Barabani and Bhangar of South 24 Parganas, where AIDWA activists were allegedly tortured by the police and sent to jail.
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