People's Democracy

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


No. 28

July 10, 2011




CPI(M) Scores Victories in Rural Polls


Ashok Dhawale


IN the elections to several gram panchayats (GPs) held on June 26, 2011 in the Adivasi belt of Nashik, Thane and Nandurbar districts, the CPI(M) won a clear majority in 107 GPs --- 60 in Nashik, 42 in Thane and 5 in Nandurbar. The party not only retained most of the GPs that it had held earlier, but also won more than 30 new ones, wresting them from its opponents like the Congress, NCP, BJP and Shiv Sena, all of whom had ganged up to put up common panels against the CPI(M) in many parts of Nashik and Thane districts. In several other GPs which the party could not win in the above three districts, it nevertheless won a considerable number of GP seats.   


Particularly good results were achieved in Surgana, Kalwan and Tryambakeshwar tehsils of Nashik district, in Dahanu, Talasari, Jawhar, Vikramgad and Wada tehsils of Thane district and in Shahada tehsil of Nandurbar district. In a common feature in both Nashik and Thane districts, disruptive elements that had been expelled from the party recently were completely routed, and the Red Flag was victorious even in the villages of most of their so-called leaders.


The significance of these victories was that they were won in an adverse political situation, in the wake of the defeat of the Left in West Bengal and Kerala a month and a half ago. This defeat was utilised to the fullest not only by the print and electronic media in Maharashtra to berate and slander the Left, but also directly by our opponents in all the above three districts in the election campaign. However, thousands of CPI(M) activists successfully combated this motivated propaganda and worked hard to ensure these victories against all odds. These victories will stand the party in good stead for the statewide Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections due in March 2012.


In Nashik District: In Nashik district, the CPI(M) won 60 GPs and over 500 seats; 15 GPs were wrested from the opposition. In Surgana tehsil, all the 58 GPs went to the polls. The CPI(M) won 36 GPs by a clear majority, bagging 294 of the 532 total GP seats in the tehsil, leaving the combined opposition with only 22 GPs and 238 seats. In Surgana, the party won all the 28 GPs that it had won earlier and wrested 8 new GPs from the combined opposition. In Tryambakeshwar tehsil, the party won 11 GPs, 3 more than last time, and over 100 seats. In Kalwan tehsil it won 10 GPs. It won a couple of GPs in Peth and Dindori tehsils also.  


In Thane District: In Thane district, the CPI(M) won 42 GPs and 431 seats; 19 GPs were wrested from the opposition. Of the 12 GPs that went to the polls In Talasari tehsil, the CPI(M) retained 9 of the 10 GPs held earlier by big majorities. Here the CPI(M) won 107 seats, the BJP won 25 and the NCP just 8. In Dahanu tehsil, the CPI(M) won a total of 105 seats. It retained 4 of the 5 GPs held earlier and wrested 6 new GPs from the NCP. In Jawhar tehsil, it won 60 seats, retained 4 of the 5 GPs held earlier and wrested 3 new ones. In Vikramgad tehsil, it won 64 seats, retained 5 of the 6 GPs held earlier and wrested 4 new GPs. In Wada tehsil, it won 60 seats, retained 1 of the 3 GPs held earlier and wrested 6 new ones. In the weaker Shahapur, Palghar and Mokhada tehsils, the CPI(M) won 35 seats.


In Nandurbar district: In Nandurbar district, the CPI(M) won 5 GPs --- 4 in Shahada tehsil and 1 in Taloda tehsil. It won a number of seats in many GPs in the above two tehsils and also in Akkalkuwa tehsil.


On June 12, in the election to the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) of Surgana tehsil in Nashik district, CPI(M) and AIKS candidates swept the polls by winning 15 out of the 16 seats.


On June 26, in another election to the Hamaal Mapadi (headload workers) constituency in the Parbhani APMC, the CPI(M) scored a significant victory over its opponents and a rebel candidate.