The press release of the all-powerful Central Committee of the Proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has stirred a fresh controversy over the identity of so-called farmer leader Darshan Pal.
According to the press release issued by the Central Committee of the CPI Maoist, the banned outfit expelled Comrade Joseph and Comrade Sanjit Prasad, alias Arjun Prasad Singh, for anti-party work.
“Comrade Joseph and Sanjit have been expelled by the party for their anti-party works and factionalism-related activities; the party has also cancelled their primary membership,” informed the banned outfit in the press release.
According to the details shared by the proscribed outfit in the press release, the said comrade Joseph is none other than the much-celebrated farmer leader Darshan Pal, who was at the forefront of the much-hyped farmer agitation against the government’s move to implement three historic farm bills in the years 2020-21.
The press release of the banned outfit further claims that both Darshan Pal, alias Joseph, and Arjun Prasad Singh, aka Sanjit, joined the CPI (ML) Unity in the 1980s and subsequently joined the CPI (Maoist), when the latter was formed.
Both were having some basic differences with the party line, which later turned out to be their dull behaviour. They also used to have a separate belief in the party’s protracted war line, for which they were asked to take classes and political studies to more align with the party’s ideologies. However, all these efforts turned out to be futile as they continued to work according to their beliefs, read the press release further.
The Maoist outfit has further claimed that when another cadre of the party, comrade Balraj, was released from jail, the trio indulged in anti-party activities and ultimately established an anti-party parallel centre.
Both Darshan Pal and Arjun Prasad continued their alliance with Balraj even after the party general secretery had asked the party cadres of all the northern states to keep a distance from the anti-party activities of Balraj.
A doctor by profession, Darshan Pal reportedly turned towards farming in recent years. He is the President of the Krantikari Kisan Union and was also an active member of the All India Kisan Sanghars Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), an umbrella body of the farm unions that was at the forefront of the protest.
Darshan Pal rose to the limelight during the farmer agitation when he demanded that a special session of the parliament be called to repeal all three farm laws. He further alleged that the government is trying to implant seeds to divide the farmers, but it will not succeed.
Krantikari Kisan Union denies charges
Meanwhile, the Krantikari Kisan Union has categorically denied Darshan’s association with the Maoist group and claimed that its association’s chief, Pal has no affiliations with any political group.
According to a report from the tribune, Gurmeet Singh Mehman, general secretary of the Krantikari Kisan Union, said Dr Darshan Pal, who’s the chief of their association, had no links with the banned outfit, and it was a conspiracy to defame farmers. “Dr Darshan Pal has been protecting the interests of farmers and farm labourers since decades. He has stood against pro-corporate and anti-people policies,” reads the statement of the union further.
Allegations on Darshan pal
It is worth mentioning here that this is not the first time that the much-hyped leader of the farmer protest has come under the scanner over its links with the banned outfit, and earlier too, Pal had been at the centre of such serious allegations from all quarters.
According to a report by Opindia, Darshan Pal was one of the founding members of the People’s Democratic Front of India (PDFI), an outfit considered an offshoot of the CPI Maoist, which has been a part of the Tactical United Front (TUF), a broader alliance of similar outfits to further the work of the banned CPI Maoist across Bharat.
The report indicates that Darshan Pal was the convenor of the 51-member executive committee of PDFI. Apart from Pal, other founder members of PDFI included known anti-establishment names like Varvara Rao, Kalyan Rao, Medha Patkar, Nandita Haksar, SAR Geelani, BD Sarma etc.
Apart from PDFI, other Maoist organisations included in the TUF are Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), the Committee against Violence on Women (CAVOW) which is linked to Arundhati Roy, and the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), etc. The report also mentioned a study prepared by Dr Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute in Hyderabad showing that PDFI was part of a TUF, formed by the Maoists to consolidate and expand its position.
Government position on anti-national involvement in the protest
It is to be noted that a number of union cabinet ministers including Piyush Goyal and the then agriculture minister Narendra Tomar, had also pointed fingers at some of the so-called farmer leaders, alleging their affiliations with the banned Maoist outfit.
Further, senior Bhartaiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sambit Patra had also questioned the presence of Darshan Pal and asserted that Pal who has been acting as a farmer leader, was one of the founder members of the PDFI, which also has people like Varvara Rao as its co-founders.
CPI document for internal distribution
It may also be noted that earlier, a few media reports suggested that documents made for internal distribution among the cadres of the banned outfit disclosed that a significant force of cadres was behind the farmer agitation and Agniveer protests against the government, indicating active involvement of the banned outfit in these protests across Bharat.
The disclosure of the said documents also inspired BJP leaders from Chhattisgarh to write a letter to the union government to conduct a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation into the violence unleashed during the Agniveer protest.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that the involvement of the cadres of the banned Maoist outfit in the subsequent farmer agitation and Agniveer protest is evident, and the press issue of the Maoist outfit is a testimony that a few of the so-called farmer leaders were acting with an ulterior motive to destabilise the government.