MAHARASHTRA: Huge Mobilisations Planned for Aug 9 Jail Bharo Stir & Sept 5 Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally

Ashok Dhawale

THE AIKS and CITU in Maharashtra will mobilise over one lakh peasants and workers in the nationwide jail bharo struggle on August 9; over 3,000 women in the AIDWA central rally in Delhi on September 4 and over 10,000 people in the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally organised jointly by the CITU-AIKS-AIAWU in Delhi on September 5. On September 30, the DYFI and SFI will take the lead to mobilise broad sections of the people to make human chains on the burning issues of employment and education in every district of the state.

These actions will have as their central focus the thoroughly anti-people and pro-corporate policies and communal and casteist conspiracies of the BJP-RSS government led by Narendra Modi at the centre and the BJP-led regime led by Devendra Fadnavis in the state.

The various class and mass fronts will begin a concerted campaign throughout the state, consisting of hundreds of meetings and the distribution of thousands of leaflets. The AIKS has begun the statewide signature campaign on five major demands of the peasantry.

These were the decisions that were taken in the respective class and mass organisations earlier and which were endorsed by the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee meeting held at BTR Bhavan at Belapur in New Mumbai on July 7-8. The meeting was attended by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu.

The state committee meeting began on July 7 with the reporting of the 22nd Party Congress by Sitaram Yechury, followed by questions and answers. The previous evening, Yechury conducted this reporting before a general body meeting of the CPI(M) Mumbai Committee, which over 400 comrades attended. The state committee prepared a time table and delegated responsibilities to conduct the Party Congress reporting in general body meetings of all 29 districts by August-end. A Marathi translation of the PB note ‘Points for Reporting’ was circulated to all.

POLITICAL SITUATION    

A written report on the political situation in Maharashtra was placed by Central Committee member Mahendra Singh. The BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government in the state is facing a rocky road, with a series of agitations being launched by several sections. The remarkable Kisan Long March by the AIKS from March 6-12 had a nationwide impact. On May Day, over 20,000 workers held a joint mass rally in Mumbai around their demands. CITU participation in it was substantial. The latest is the agitation for remunerative prices for milk farmers which has begun on July 16 under the leadership of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana led by Raju Shetty, MP, and is being actively supported by the AIKS and other organisations.

There is no love lost between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, with the latter sniping at the former at every opportunity. Both partners in the government are openly contesting several elections against each other. The attacks on dalits at Bhima Koregaon on New Year’s Day resulted in a massively successful Maharashtra Bandh on January 3 called by the Bharatiya Republican Party (BRP) led by Prakash Ambedkar and the Left parties. But the state government, instead of arresting Manohar Bhide, the RSS ringleader behind the attacks, has arrested five individuals accusing them of being Maoists.  

The Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar (JEJAA) statewide actions that took place on May 23, which mobilised over 20,000 people in around 25 districts, were reviewed. It was decided to take up the next Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha (due in October 2019) elections in the next state committee meeting, after the Central Committee decides the All India election tactics.

The state committee congratulated its college teacher comrades for their victory in the Mumbai University Senate and Academic Council elections and also to their state body.

BY-ELECTION REVIEW

A written review report of the Palghar (ST) Lok Sabha by-election held in May was placed by Central Committee member Mariam Dhawale. Although the BJP managed to retain the seat by a slim margin by fielding a candidate imported from the Congress, its voting percentage slumped from 53.71 percent in 2014 to 31.77 percent – a straight 22 percent drop. However, it was the Shiv Sena, who fought a Lok Sabha seat for the first time against the BJP, which was the main gainer. The Shiv Sena in a coup, fielded the son of the BJP MP who had died. It got 28.33 percent of the vote. The Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), which is mainly based in the two urban segments of Vasai and Nalasopara, went down from 29.59 percent in 2014 to 25.96 percent. The CPI(M) stood fourth and its votes increased marginally from 7.74 percent in 2014 to 8.37 percent. The Congress, which had won this seat several times in earlier years, stood fifth with only 5.59 percent of votes.

The CPI(M) votes in the last three elections assembly constituency-wise were as follows:

Assembly Segment          2014 Lok Sabha       2014 Vidhan Sabha      2018 Lok Sabha

1.Dahanu (ST)                               45995                           28149                            42517

2.Vikramgad (ST)                          15610                           13152                            16109

3.Palghar (ST)                                 7131                             4972                              6591

4.Boisar (ST)                                   5638                             3639                              4960

5.Nalasopara                                  1400                               --                                   786

6.Vasai                                            1114                               --                                   924

Total                                          76810 (7.74%)                  --                               71887 (8.37%)     

 

The state committee drew the following conclusions: 1. The CPI(M) basically succeeded in retaining its mass base. Although its number of votes slightly reduced from the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, they increased in all four tribal segments from the 2014 VS polls. Its voting percentage also increased marginally due to the fall in the overall polling. 2. This happened even when the Party fielded a completely fresh and young candidate, newly elected state committee member and DYFI state vice president Kiran Gahala. This showed once again that for our voters here, it is the Party that is important, not the candidate. 3. The Party had hoped to increase its votes to one lakh due to the spread of our work to newer areas. Although the response to its campaign was good, this did not happen. 4. One of the main reasons for this was the unprecedented money power unleashed by the BJP, Shiv Sena and BVA. For both the BJP and the Shiv Sena, this had become a prestige battle. In contrast, the Party had a serious resource crunch. 5. There were several complaints of EVM malfunctioning and many other irregularities, the most serious of which was that the Election Commission first declared that there had been only a 46 percent turnout; after three days they suddenly increased it to 53 percent. 6. Much more political-organisational strengthening needs to be done in the first four tribal assembly seats by the CPI(M) Thane-Palghar district committee and in the last two urban seats by the CPI(M) Mumbai district committee.

 

ORGANISATIONAL DECISIONS

The state committee finalised the Party membership renewal for 2018. It allotted district quotas for the Central Committee fund call, for which Maharashtra has to fulfill the target of two lakh rupees. Up to this state committee meeting, the Party in Maharashtra has collected Rs 40 lakh for the Whole Timers State Fund, and Rs 30 lakh still remains to come to the state committee. It was decided to speed up this collection.

The new state committee, which had met once before for a day on March 13 to discuss the Draft Political Resolution of the 22nd Party Congress, this time elected its new 16-member state secretariat. Apart from state secretary Narasayya Adam, the other 15 state secretariat members are: Mahendra Singh, J P Gavit, MLA, M H Shaikh, Kisan Gujar, Barkya Mangat, Manohar Muley, Vijay Gabhane, P S Ghadge, Nathu Salve, Dr Uday Narkar, Sunil Malusare, Dr S K Rege, Dr Ajit Nawale, Prof Tapati Mukhopadhyaya and Yashwant Zade. The last six are new entrants to the state secretariat. Ashok Dhawale and Mariam Dhawale were relieved from the state secretariat for discharging their all India responsibilities.          

 

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