Red flags, nadaswaram, foreign delegates at Marxist meet

March 29th, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by admin  

Coimbatore, March 29 (IANS) It was a festive mood with an overdose of red and white colours at the SRN auditorium here as the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) began its 19th party congress Saturday. There are plenty of red flags with sickle and hammer painted in white. Volunteers in bright red shirts and khaki caps desperately tried to bring order. The sweet music of ‘nadaswaram’ stole the show in the morning.

Although CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, three chief ministers - Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee (West Bengal), V.S. Achuthanandan (Kerala) and Manik Sarkar (Tripura) - and other party leaders reached the venue early, they waited for processions bearing a red flag and a Martyrs’ Torch to arrive.

When the CPI-M’s senior most leader, N. Shankaraiyya, hoisted the red flag, there was wild sloganeering in Tamil. Volunteers released six white pigeons and red and white colour balloons in the air.

In the background a choir group rendered revolutionary songs.

The inaugural session was held at a makeshift hall outside the SNR auditorium. But the deliberations in the coming days, which are not open to the media, will be held inside the air-conditioned auditorium.


Loudest applause for Cuban, American and Chinese delegates

Among the foreign delegates, those from China, Cuba and the US received the loudest applause from the crowds.

When politburo member Sitaram Yechury introduced the 50 delegates from 26 countries, the Indian comrades did not hide their excitement. Karat seemed thrilled to honour them with a shawl and a cardamom garland.

The Indian delegates also warmly received Imad Ullah Qazi and Shafiq Ahamed of the Communist Party of Pakistan.

Fernando Remirez D. Estenoz and Abelardo Cueto Sosa of Cuba presented a framed copy of Fidel Castro and Che Guavera.

“Long Live Cuba! We wish a long life to Fidel!” an excited Yechury shouted. The crowd roared back.

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