People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 16

April 26, 2009


Ujiarpur: Within a striking distance

The CPI(M) candidate from Ujiarpur constituency puts an extremely simple yet disarming argument before his constituents. Hasnít he served them very well for last three decades, especially as their elected representative in state assembly? Ramdev Verma being most effective and most consistent fighter of poor peopleís causes and interests in entire district of Samastipur, reply to the rhetorical question can only be a roaring yes from the crowd. At the same instant comes the disarming query, doesnít he also deserve a promotion i.e. responsibility of doing the same at a higher level, after thirty years of impressive service. Electors readily agree, one promotion (being raised to level of an MP, from level of an MLA) in thirty years of service is a reasonable demand. CPI(M)ís fight in Ujiarpur is really about raising level of the struggles that Party and mass organisations are continuously engaged in this Samastipur district of Maithily speaking Bihar.

The young district secretary of the Party, Ajay Kumar is all full of details of how CPI(M) in this area has fought uncompromisingly twin demons of social oppression and anti-social practices of those belonging to middle class. He also points towards an irony: different from other districts of Maithil Bihar, Samastipur has not seen huge concentration of land in hands of big upper caste landlords. Still it has seen and continues to face most intense and even violent struggles on questions of land and feudal oppression. He doles out figures how since first victory of CPI(M)ís present candidate for Lok Sabha election Ramdev Verma from Vibhutipur assembly constituency, the Party and mass organisations led by it have lost 24 invaluable leaders to attacks of landlord-antisocial forces combine. The long list includes names like Ramnath Mehto, who was state secretary of Bihar state agricultural workers union.

Twenty of these two dozen comrades have courted martyrdom in areas falling under only two assembly constituencies which are now under newly constituted Ujiarpur parliamentary constituency. In all, around two thousand acres of land has been taken from hands of relatively big landlords like Balistar Singh, Jagatanand Singh, Raipur Mahant, Sbujhvati Kumri etc. Naturally these too are considered strongholds of CPI(M), though only Vibhutipur has once again sent CPI(M) representative to Bihar assembly. Through their struggle, all the oppressed in the district know very well that itís only by strengthening CPI(M) and struggles led by it that they have been able to put a check on terror of feudal-antisocial combine.

As already mentioned, Ujiarpur parliamentary seat has been created in the latest round of re-demarcation of constituencies. All assembly constituencies, barring two from erstwhile Samastipur constituency, constitute this new seat, with an addition of Patepur assembly constituency of nearing Vishali district. This assembly constituency is new to CPI(M) organisation also although there CPI(ML) organisation has not very insignificant presence and itís active support is coming handy. Other three assembly segments of Mohaddi Nagar, Sarai Ranjan and Morva, have to different extents seen and participated in CPI(M) led struggles and have organisational presence of Party and mass organisation.

In a three or three and half cornered contest, CPI(M) candidate looks ahead of his JD(U) and RJD rivals. RJD has repeated its sitting MP, Alok Mehata with an eye on large Koiry presence in this constituency. But while a sitting MP, Mehata is told by his own community in some two dozen areas not to venture in their villages. JD(U) also with an eye on same vote, has put up Ashwamegh Devi, also a sitting MLA but from an assembly seat which is not part of Ujiarpur parliamentary seat. Congress has put up a Yadav, Sheel Rai hoping to move ahead on their vote. BSP also put up Vijaywant Chaudhary. As traditional caste consolidations are breaking and RJDís vote is getting significantly split, CPI(M) candidate with its solid support from poor and oppressed of all social sections, including minorities and energetic support of CPI(ML) and CPI, may romp home in April 23 polling.