AMIDST heating up state politics ahead of the 2019 general elections, the CPI(M) state committee has met on July 5-6 in Patna to formulate the Party’s further course of action with an aim of pooling the anti-BJP votes. Prior to this, three major Left parties, CPI(M), CPI and CPI (ML) met on July 2 and announced that they would work to defeat the BJP.
The CPI(M) is firm on taking a final call in accordance with its 22nd Congress’ political line and has resolved to chalk out a detailed programme to unleash a powerful peasant movement in Bihar. The Party has decided to contest such seats where it has wider influence over the people and is in the forefront in defending the interests of the common people of the area. The Party state conference has discussed and analysed the political scenario in the state, to formulate its plan of action.
It is evident that the public outrage has increased with the growing number of crimes against children, women, and dalits in the state. Beti Padao and Beti Bachao slogan has become a joke in the midst of growing sexual attacks against women of all ages. Sexual abuse of minor girls in the government children’s home in Muzaffarpur and the gut-wrenching incident of rape of a girl student in Saran district by the school principal, teachers and some students for seven months, speak volumes about women’s safety in the state.
The ghastly murder of a poor peasant of Nalanda district by the sand mafia and the razing to the ground an entire hamlet of dalits in Moglaha village of Madhubani district are the two instances of the explicit caste discrimination practiced with the help of government administration in the state.
The dalits of Moglaha village have been living on government land for the last 50-60 years and they have relevant papers of possession and homes under “Indira Awas Yojana”. However, they have been driven out of their lands. It is only the determined struggles launched by the victims under the banner of CPI(M) that has forced the authorities to provide relief materials and to give in writing that the land will be allotted to them. Apart from that, every family shall be allotted a home under the government scheme and other facilities will also be provided. The incident has brought the issue of eviction of poor people to the fore in Bihar, and the Party will have to continue the struggle in both rural and urban areas.
The growing resentment among the various segments of the working population is reflected in daily dharnas, demonstrations, and scuffles with the law enforcing agencies in and around Patna and at district and block headquarters. Teachers, students, contract workers, working in government and private institutions, workers working under various central and state-sponsored schemes are struggling for equal wage for equal work, for regularisation and even for recognition as workers.
Bihar’s political alliances seem to be fast changing. As the discontent among the public over the four-year BJP rule has been growing, Nitish Kumar, the chief minister, has stated that nobody could sideline the Janata Dal (United), even as they ally with the BJP. Those who try to sideline JDU will themselves be sidelined, he said, after the national executive meeting of his party. The BJP parting ways with the Telugu Desam Party and other allies in the country has become an added advantage for Nitish Kumar to bargain for more seats.
On the other hand, it is known that Nitish Kumar has opened his communication channels with the Congress and is trying to create a rift between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress over shutting of doors for JD(U), to enter into Mahagathbandhan.
Nitish Kumar ditching the Mahagathbandhan and joining hands with the BJP has proved to be costly for him. By raising the issue of special status for Bihar and condemning incidents of communal violence and corruption, Nitish Kumar has been trying to safeguard the political space before it slipped from under his feet.
The recent by-election results have also added to the woes of the JD(U). The BJP has announced that it will fight the elections with Modi as its mascot. What transpires between the much talked about meeting between Nitish and Amit Shah, will either escalate the divisions or cement the fissures among the NDA allies. Mohan Bhagwat, RSS head, on the other hand, has visited Nawada and addressed the RSS cadres. Nawada in the recent past has witnessed many local communal tensions abetted by notorious Giriraj Singh, local MP.
In the meanwhile, the RJD has consolidated its position as the main opposition party and has a major role to play in pooling the anti-BJP votes.
Given this background, the CPI(M) has given a call to make Jail Bharo programme on August 9 a grand success and also exhorted the working people of Bihar to participate in thousands in the Chalo Delhi programme on September 5. It has also given a call to collect Rs 10 lakh fund as per the call of the Central Committee.
The Party has reviewed the June campaign which was by and large successful in highlighting issues related to the everyday lives of the working class. Dharnas and demonstrations were organised at 200 blocks of the state in which thousands of men and women from the working class and the peasantry have participated.