GUWAHATI: Apparently, enthused by the success of Janata Dal (United) in Arunachal Pradesh in the recent past, Communist Party of India (CPI) has set its sights on the Himalayan state.
It will formally launch its students’ wing, All India Students’ Federation (AISF), in the BJP-ruled state on January 17. The next step will be to set up the party organisation.
“CPI and AISF have histories of 95 years and 85 years respectively. But Arunachal all along remained outside the ambit of “lal jhanda” (red flag). The lal jhanda will officially make it to the state through the AISF conference,” AISF’s national president Shuvam Banerjee told this newspaper from Kolkata on Sunday.
As a matter of fact, the Left – or for that matter the red flag – has had its presence in the state. One Jomin Nyokir Kara had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Arunachal West seat on the ticket of Forward Bloc.
As per CPI constitution, the party has to have a mass-based organisation in a state before it (party) is launched there. Banerjee said he had worked for long towards launching AISF in Arunachal.
“We have plans to organise a conference of our youth federation in the state within a month of the AISF conference. The CPI national council meeting will be held in Hyderabad from January 29-31. I will brief on the AISF conference there. The issue of party constitution in Arunachal will also be discussed,” Banerjee said.
The AISF unit would be formed with students and others who just passed out. Anyone aged 16-30 years can be a member, he said.
He claimed that Arunachal’s ordinary people were not happy with BJP and other parties as their leadership is based out of the state and this was evident in the recent panchayat elections. Ironically, BJP had won 80% of the seats, a good number of them uncontested.
Arunachal had been under Congress for most part until the emergence of BJP as a powerhouse. JD (U) had sprung a surprise in the 2019 state polls by winning seven of the state’s 60 seats although six of them defected to BJP last month. Even in panchayat elections, it bagged nine of the 20 seats in capital Itanagar. Trinamool Congress also had a good outing in the 2009 state elections winning five seats. But, four of them had defected to the then ruling Congress in 2012. The fifth had merged with People’s Party of Arunachal the next year.