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CPI(M) to open office in Jaipur tomorrow

Special Correspondent

Party mobilised funds on its own for the building, with contributions from the middle class

JAIPUR: There is a new landmark for the Communist movement in Rajasthan with the Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s own office here getting ready for inauguration on November 7.

At present, barring the good old Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) no other major political party has its own office premises here.

Even the Bharatiya Janata Party, in power for the third time in the State, functions from a bungalow owned by the State Public Works Department.

The majestic red building, made of Karauli sandstone on the Khatipura Road in the predominantly working class Hassanpura area of the Pink City, is half a century's dream come true for the CPI(M). With just one MLA in the 200-member State Assembly for the past two decades, the party has been managing its own affairs and those of the various front organisations all these days from the B 4 MLA Quarters — the official residence of the party MLA.

The three-storeyed building, with an auditorium, conference halls and two living quarters besides dormitory accommodation for workers coming from various parts, symbolises that the vibrant party, which carried out two successful farmers' agitations — over irrigation water in Sriganganagar and against hike in power rates — in the past one year, has come to stay here.

"The new Assembly building is visible from here. Now our eyes are set on that,'' observes Vasudev, secretary of the State CPI (M) standing on the terrace of the building where workers are busy giving final touches before the inauguration. The foundation for the building, standing on a 600-sq yard plot purchased back in 1995 was laid on November 1, 2000 by the then party general secretary, Harkishen Singh Surjeet.

Within five years — and after many struggles and six dying for its cause in various agitations — the building is ready.

The new general secretary Prakash Karat will inaugurate the building in the presence of Hannan Molla, party in-charge for Rajasthan. In Rajasthan, the CPI (M) has own buildings in Sikar, Churu, Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Udaipur, Kankroli, Kishengarh, Ajmer, Kota and Jhunjhunu.

"The Jaipur building is inspired by Com. Surjeet. Once after seeing the Sikar office, he teased us about not having an office of our own in the State capital. But for his infirmity, he himself would have come to inaugurate it," Prof. Vasudev observed.

The State leadership is proud of the fact that the building — costing half a crore of rupees — had been completed without Central party funds. " We raised our own funds. Contributions ranged from Re.1 to Rs.1 lakh. The middle class, including Rajasthanis in West Bengal and Shekhawati people in Assam, made the project come true.''

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