Vol. XLIII No. 16 April 21, 2019
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MAHA: CPI(M) Campaign in Dindori Begins with Massive Public Meeting

Vijay Patil

THE election campaign of CPI(M) candidate J P Gavit for the Dindori (ST) Lok Sabha seat in Nashik district took off on April 4, 2019 with a massive 25,000-strong public meeting at Chandwad that was addressed by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Seven time and sitting MLA J P Gavit is a member of the CPI(M) Central Committee and former president of the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha (AIKS). He was one of the outstanding leaders of the historic AIKS-led Kisan Long March from Nashik to Mumbai in March 2018. A similar AIKS-led Kisan Long March began from Nashik in February 2019 but was concluded in two days because the BJP-led state government caved in to the demands.

The voting for the Dindori seat is scheduled on April 29. The CPI(M) here is taking on candidates of both the BJP-Shiv Sena combine and the NCP-Congress alliance. The NCP is fielding a candidate whom it ‘imported’ from the Shiv Sena just two months ago. This resulted in one of the main NCP leaders leaving the party and joining the BJP, which promptly gave her the ticket for contesting the seat after dumping its three-term sitting MP. These developments have created great discontent in both the BJP and the NCP.

The public meeting was held at the market committee ground at Chandwad. The huge pandal erected was overflowing and thousands of people stood outside it in the scorching sun. Apart from the tens of thousands of peasants led by the CPI(M) and AIKS, the meeting was attended by a large number of other people from all walks of life. Chandwad town had turned a sea of thousands of red flags carried by CPI(M) members.  

Sitaram Yechury in his speech flayed the BJP government by first taking up local issues. That water is available in parts of this constituency only once in 27 days is a blot on humanity. This is the time to hold the BJP regime accountable for this, as well as for the grave crisis in agriculture and the grim scourge of unemployment. It is only by throwing this government out of power that some solution to these problems can be found. Dindori has had a BJP MP for the last three terms. Neither he nor his party has done anything for the people.

It is the policy of the BJP to ignore the poor and enrich its favoured corporates like the Ambanis and Adanis. The Modi regime gives false assurances, shows false dreams of development but actually empties the pockets of the people. Modi calls himself the chowkidar of the people, but loots the country through corrupt deals like Rafale. It is time that this chowkidar and all his cronies are booted out to save our country.

Sitaram Yechury said that the BJP government has destroyed our country’s economy with demonetisation. Thousands of factories and businesses were forced to close down and more than one crore people were thrown out of employment, leave alone creating ten crore new jobs as he had promised. Millions of farmers were also badly hit by demonetisation. Farmer suicides due to indebtedness have doubled under the Modi regime. But it has betrayed both its promises of farm loan waiver and remunerative prices. It has kept its lawyer absent during the crucial hearing in the Supreme Court on the Forest Rights Act, this leading to the unfortunate judgement to evict the adivasis from their lands. Due to the uproar by adivasis all over the country led by the CPI(M) and others, the Supreme Court stayed its judgement till July 2019. But what will happen if the same Modi regime comes back? You have yourself been witness to the betrayal of the promises made to you by the BJP-led state government after the first Kisan Long March. The communal and casteist attempts of the Modi regime to divide the people are threatening to destroy our country, our democracy, our secularism and our constitution. We do not want a mere change of leaders; we want a radical change in policies. And for this, the BJP and its allies must be defeated at all costs. In Dindori, this means the victory of the CPI(M) and its popular leader of the peasantry and the people, J P Gavit.

J P Gavit in his speech spoke of the burning issues of the people of this constituency as regards land, water, rations, fair prices for the peasantry and so on. He lashed out at the policies of the BJP governments at the centre and in the state for having aggravated all these issues. He said that the candidates of both the major parties – BJP and NCP – were ‘imported’ candidates having no principles except gaining power and making money. They were least bothered about the people and their problems. As against them, it is the CPI(M) and the AIKS that has been consistently fighting to solve the problems of the people for the last several decades. He concluded by calling for the victory of the CPI(M) in this election.

Among the others who addressed the public meeting were ex-MLA Nitin Bhosale, CITU state president D L Karad, CPI state secretariat member Raju Desle, Prof K N Ahire and Sachin Algat. Shetkari Sanghatana leader Shantaram Bapu Jadhav presided over the meeting which was conducted by CPI(M) Nashik district secretary and state secretariat member Sunil Malusare. CPI(M) district committee member Hemant Waghere made the introductory remarks. Among those on the dais were CPI(M) state secretariat member and AIKS state president Kisan Gujar, CPI(M) state committee members Subhash Choudhari, Irfan Shaikh and Sitaram Thombre, AIKS Nashik district president Savliram Pawar and other leaders of the Party and mass fronts.

The next day on April 5, the nomination form of J P Gavit was submitted at Nashik by a large conglomeration of people. The campaign has now begun in full swing with CPI(M) activists taking large meetings in hundreds of villages and going house to house. Massive public meetings will be held in various areas of the constituency in the coming two weeks and these will be addressed by CPI(M) Central Committee member and AIKS national president Ashok Dhawale, CPI(M) state secretary Narasayya Adam, CPI(M) state secretariat member and AIKS state general secretary Ajit Nawale and others.