May 12, 2024
Maha: CPI(M) Campaigns for Defeat of BJP-NDA and Victory of MVA-INDIA

Ashok Dhawale

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THREE of the five rounds of the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra will be completed by the time this report is published. Overall, it is clear that so far it is advantage Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA), so far as Maharashtra is concerned. The three major constituents of the MVA are the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray group), the Congress, and the NCP (Sharad Pawar group). The smaller constituents of the MVA include Left and secular parties. Massive rallies of the MVA are being held across the state in all the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies. This is the second largest number of Lok Sabha seats in the country after Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP-NDA, which is led by the BJP, and comprises the two discredited splitters – the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde group) andthe NCP (Ajit Pawar group), plus the turncoat Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (led by Raj Thackeray), is currently on the defensive. Exactly like what it did in the 2019 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA led by Prakash Ambedkar), despite all its anti-BJP talk, is actually helping the BJP-NDA by putting up several candidates and splitting the secular vote. The reason is known to all in the state.

We shall take a glimpse of the political situation in Maharashtra in these columns next week.

The CPI(M) tried its best to ensure that the MVA conceded the Dindori (ST) seat in Nashik district to it. The CPI(M) and its candidate, seven-time MLA J P Gavit, had got over 1,09,000 votes there in 2019, fighting on its own independent strength against the BJP-Shiv Sena combine, the Congress-NCP alliance, and also the VBA-AIMIM combine. However, this time the MVA decided to allot this seat to the NCP (Sharad Pawar group), which in turn refused to concede it to the CPI(M) despite intense persuasion. To cut a long story short, eventually, to prevent the victory of the BJP sitting MP and union minister of state in this constituency, and also in view of the Vidhan Sabha elections that will be held within six months in October 2024, the CPI(M) finally decided not to contest the Dindori (ST) seat.

As per the CPI(M) Central Committee decision that all major states must fight at least one Lok Sabha seat each, the Party fought the Hingoli Lok Sabha seat which comprises parts of three districts – Nanded and Hingoli in the Marathwada region, and Yavatmal in the Vidarbha region. The Party had fought this seat once earlier in 2014. CPI(M) state secretariat member Vijay Gabhane was the candidate, and the Party ran a spirited campaign, which has been briefly reported in these columns earlier. The voting here was in the second phase on April 26.

In all other 47 seats in Maharashtra, the CPI(M) has been strongly working for the defeat of the BJP-NDA combine and for the victory of the MVA-INDIA bloc.The CPI(M) has its units in nearly 30 districts of Maharashtra. The independent and united election campaign of the CPI(M) for MVA candidates is being well run in districts like Mumbai, Thane-Palghar, Nashik, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Raigad, Nagpur, Wardha, Chandrapur, Amravati, Yavatmal, Buldana, Nandurbar, Beed, Nanded, Aurangabad, Jalna, and Parbhani.

We will take a brief stock of some recent election-related programmes in Maharashtra.


The CPI(M) in the Thane-Palghar districts of Maharashtra began the campaign for MVA-INDIA candidates with a bang by a large 20,000-strong public meeting at Boisar in the Palghar (ST) Lok Sabha seat. Over 10,000 of this mass was mobilised by the CPI(M).They came with hundreds of red flags, and they packed the front half of the large maidan. All MVA leaders had to acknowledge the massive red flag presence in their speeches. 

The public meeting was addressed by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Ashok Dhawale, CPI(M) state secretariat member and MLA Vinod Nikole, NCP MLA Sunil Bhusara, Congress district president Praful Patil, Kashtakari Sanghatana leader Brian Lobo, Anti-Vadhwan Port Action Committee chairman Narayan Patil, and Shiv Sena candidate Bharati Kamdi. 

The other MVA candidate from the Bhiwandi Lok Sabha seat, which has parts of both Palghar and Thane districts, is Suresh Mhatre of the NCP. The CPI(M) organised a good public meeting of his at Wada, which was addressed by the candidate, CPI(M) state secretariat member and district secretary Kiran Gahala, state committee member Chandrakant Dhangda, and others.

On May 2, CPI(M) activists were present in strength at both Palghar and Bhiwandi in the large MVA processions to fill the nomination forms of the SS and NCP candidates respectively.


A large joint public meeting was held in Mumbai on April 30, 2024 by the MVA-INDIA and various social organisations. They all vowed to defeat the Modi-led BJP-RSS regime and defend India's Constitution, come what may. 

This public meeting was held in the hall of the Shiv Sena Bhawan, its headquarters near Shivaji Park. This place had been anathema to all democrats, communists, republicans, dalits, and minorities for over five decades during the earlier Shiv Sena dispensation, and for good reason. Many of the speakers from the above organisations openly said that it was the first time in their lives that they were attending a programme here.

But it was a measure of the sea change that has occurred in national and state politics – the all-round attacks by the BJP-RSS regime, the widespread opposition to them, and the big changes in the Shiv Sena itself – that a programme of this nature was taking place here.

Among the main speakers in the public meeting were Shiv Sena's former state minister Subhash Desai, former Congress MP Husain Dalwai, former NCP MLC Vidya Chavan, CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member Ashok Dhawale, CPI state secretary Adv Subhash Lande, Republican leaders Arjun Dangle and Shyam Gaikwad, bank employees leader Vishwas Utagi, Muslim women represented by Sabah, and others. Four MP candidates of the MVA in Mumbai – Arvind Sawant, Anil Desai, Amol Kirtikar, and Sanjay Patil, greeted the gathering. Madhu Mohite proposed the vote of thanks. 

All the speakers attacked the bankruptcy and danger of the Modi regime on all fronts, called for its defeat and for the victory of the INDIA bloc, and swore to defend the constitution. 

Among those on the dais were former Congress MP Dr Bhalchandra Munagekar, CPI(M) state secretary and Central Committee member Uday Narkar, and others. CPI(M) state committee members Vivek Monteiro, Shailendra Kamble, Adv Armaity Irani and many other activists attended.


On April 28-29, 2024, the CPI(M) held a Thane-Palghar district workshop at Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar Bhawan at Talasari to prepare for the Lok Sabha elections, the voting for which is on May 20. Over 200 leading Party activists from 10 tehsils attended it. 

It was inaugurated by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Ashok Dhawale, addressed by state secretariat members Vinod Nikole MLA, Kiran Gahala and Kisan Gujar, and it was concluded by Central Committee member Mariam Dhawale. 

The workshop finalised the political-organisational campaign plan of the Party to defeat the BJP and ensure the victory of the MVA in both districts. It also decided to work with strength in this Lok Sabha election, in such a way as to also ensure the victory of the CPI(M) candidates in the Vidhan Sabha election due soon in October 2024, and the zilla parishad, panchayat samiti, and nagar palika elections due in January 2025. 

It may be recalled here that the CPI(M) has won the MLA seat of Dahanu (formerly Jawhar) in Palghar district in 9 out of 10 Vidhan Sabha elections since 1978, with the solitary exception of 2014. It has won the Talasari tehsil panchayat samiti in all the elections held in the last 62 years, right since the beginning of panchayati raj elections in Maharashtra in 1962. The Party has also won several other zilla parishad, panchayat samiti, and nagar panchayat seats, and also many gram panchayats in various tehsils of Thane and Palghar districts. The workshop planned Party work so that this performance could be further improved. 


On April 27, 2024, the CPI(M) Thane-Palghar district committee organised a Party class in Talasari of all teachers and employees of Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Comrade Shamrao Parulekar Junior College, other two junior colleges, and schools and hostel-schools run in Talasari and Dahanu tehsils by the Adivasi Pragati Mandal, which was founded in 1962, and has been greatly expanded by Lahanu Kom, ex-MP and ex-MLA of the CPI(M). Around 125 teachers and employees attended the class. 

Subjects like our stand and tasks in the crucial Lok Sabha elections; what is a communist activist; responsibilities of teacher comrades, etc were taken by Ashok Dhawale, Mariam Dhawale, Vinod Nikole, MLA, and Kiran Gahala. 

The class was well-organised by principal B A Rajput, Rupesh Rane, Nitin Vedga, Sandip Vavre, and the Party's Talasari Tehsil Secretary Lakshman Dombre.

In the above programmes, over Rs 52,000 worth of the Lok Sabha special issue of the Party’s state weekly Jeewan Marg, along with other progressive literature, was sold very well.



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