People's Democracy

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


No. 42

October 17, 2010


Left will have Greater Presence

in the Next Bihar Assembly: Karat


THE strength of the Left parties in Bihar state assembly is set to increase after the present elections, asserted CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on October 11, 2010 while addressing his first election campaign meeting in the present elections in Darbhanga district. He said this would open the way for greater struggles to ensure implementation of land reforms in the state and remove the backwardness of Bihar.


Karat addressed an election meeting in Gorhela village in favour of CPI(M) candidate in Bahadurpur constituency, Shyam Bharathi. A significant feature of this constituency is the fact that the CPI(M) candidate is a dalit and he is fighting from a general constituency. Forty five year old Bharathi is an active fighter for people's cause in these areas for the last many years and this is his first electoral battle.


Prakash Karat attacked the Nitish Kumar government for pursuing similar neo-liberal economic policies as the UPA government at the centre. He was particularly critical about non-implementation of land reforms and neglect of agriculture in a state where there are maximum number of landless people and more than 60 per cent survive on agriculture. Darbhanga and surrounding districts are prone to floods and drought alternatively but the people are left to fend for themselves with no help from the centre or the state government. The agrarian crisis is intensifying to an unprecedented level with market economic policies driving the governments who are cutting subsidies and increasing the input costs. In such a situation, Karat stressed that the ongoing land struggle in Bihar for distribution of land to the landless assumes great importance. He called upon the toiling masses to further intensify this struggle and elect Left MLAs in order to force the new assembly to implement the land reforms. It is only the Left parties that are offering a genuine alternative to the caste and communal politics of the bourgeois parties in the state. He cited the glorious record of Bengal, Kerala and Tripura governments of the Left in implementation of land reforms.


Karat lampooned the prime minister and Congress leaders talk of robust economic growth in the country by saying that this has only resulted in the growth of dollar billionaires in the country (worth more than Rs 5000 crore) from 52 in 2009 to 69 in 2010. Of them, one person alone has assets worth Rs 1,69,000 crore while some have assets worth more than Rs 50,000 crore. This contrasts with a situation where lakhs of farmers have been committing suicide as farming is becoming increasingly unviable.


Karat criticised the Nitish government for not implementing MNREGA properly in the state and asked the people to question the government. This Act was brought into existence with the tremendous pressure brought upon the UPA government by the Left parties. The Congress and the government were not at all in favour of bringing this Act and are now trying to dilute it through tardy implementation, he charged.


Mentioning the ongoing discussions on the proposed Food Security Act, Karat asserted that the CPI(M) would continue to mount pressure on the government for incorporating the universalisation of PDS in the Act. “The government wants to continue the division of the poor into BPL and APL. This is not acceptable. It is also trying to limit the implementation of the Act to just 150 districts out of the 600 districts in the country. We have to keep up the struggle to force the government to accept universalisation of PDS”, he said amidst applause from the audience.


Referring to the aaya ram and gaya ram culture of bourgeois parties MLAs, Karat told the people that there is no guarantee that the MLAs they voted for under one symbol would tomorrow remain with that party because they are being bought over by money power. Most of these MLAs are contesting in order to increase their assets. He contrasted this with the Left MLAs who are in politics in order to serve the people. They forego their salaries and pensions to the Party and live on the allowance given by the Party. They do not defect to other parties. The people of  Bihar, who have a glorious legacy of fighting the British, must uphold that tradition and send more Left MLAs in these elections, he appealed.


Later, over the next two days Prakash Karat addressed election meetings in Madhubani and Samasthipur districts, including a massive meeting in Narhan in favour of sitting CPI(M) MLA and state secretariat member Ramdev Verma who is seeking re-election from Vibhutipur constituency.


Earlier, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and incharge of Bihar, S Ramchandran Pillai campaigned for the Party in Saran and Champaran districts during October 8 – 10.


(N S Arjun from Darbhanga)