People's Democracy

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


No. 09

February 26, 2012






THE elections to 27 zilla parishads (ZP), 305 panchayat samitis (PS) and 10 municipal corporations (MC) that took place in Maharashtra in February 2012 have resulted in a mixed bag.


In the municipal corporations, in Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur and Ulhasnagar, it is advantage Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance (although the RPI has fared very poorly everywhere); in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Solapur and Amravati, it is advantage NCP and/or INC (although they had fought each other); in Nashik it is advantage Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) (here the SS and BJP had fought each other); and in Akola, it is a toss-up between the two major fronts. In the 27 ZPs, except for 5 where the SS and/or the BJP are in the lead, in 22 others it is the NCP and/or the INC that is ahead.


The total number of seats won by the major bourgeois parties in the 10 MCs is as follows: NCP – 267, INC – 263, SS – 226, BJP – 206, MNS – 112. The total number of seats won by them in the 27 ZPs is as follows: NCP – 525, INC – 459, SS – 255, BJP – 198, MNS – 19.


The NCP has displaced the INC from the first position that it had occupied five years ago. The SS-BJP retained their base in the cities, but continue to lag behind in the countryside. The MNS has scored mainly in Nashik (40), Pune (29) and Mumbai (28) and is negligible in rural areas. It had the covert support of the INC-NCP. Like in the 2009 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls, they wanted to use the MNS to dent the SS-BJP, especially in Mumbai and Thane. But this time they did not succeed.




The CPI(M) has won 29 seats in six districts in these elections, despite the unprecedented money and muscle power employed by all bourgeois parties in this election. All these seats have been won on the basis of the independent strength of the Party. No worthwhile alliance was feasible anywhere.


In Thane district, the Party won 12 seats - 4 ZP and 8 PS – in the three tehsils of Talasari, Dahanu and Jawhar. By winning five of the six seats in the Talasari Tehsil Panchayat Samiti, the Party has maintained its winning streak in this bastion for the last fifty years. The first time that the Party won this Panchayat Samiti was in the first ZP/PS elections after the formation of Maharashtra state in 1962.


In Nashik district, the Party won 11 seats – 3 ZP, 5 PS and 3 MC – in Surgana tehsil and Nashik city. There was an increase of 2 MC seats in Nashik. By winning five of the six seats in the Surgana Tehsil Panchayat Samiti, the Party has maintained its winning streak in this other rural bastion for the last 15 years. In the rural areas of both Nashik and Thane districts, the Party has a strong adivasi base.


In Solapur city, the Party won 3 MC seats, retaining its earlier strength. In the Parbhani and Nanded districts of Marathwada region, and in the Buldana district of Vidarbha region, the Party won 1 PS seat each. In Nanded and Buldana districts, seats were won for the first time. Two years ago, in the ZP/PS elections held in Nandurbar district, the Party had won two seats – 1 ZP and 1 PS.


Thus the break-up of the total ZP/PS/MC seats of the CPI(M) in Maharashtra now is as follows: ZP – 8, PS – 17, MC – 6, Total – 31. 


In this election, there were about a dozen seats in Thane, Solapur, Nanded and Parbhani districts that were lost by the CPI(M) by wafer-thin margins. In several districts of Maharashtra, many of the Party candidates polled a substantial number of votes, wresting second or third place.     




A large Vidarbha-level convention of over 2000 anganwadi workers was organised recently at Chandrapur by the CITU-affiliated Anganwadi Karmachari Sanghatana. Anganwadi women – mostly from the two districts of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, but also from other districts like Wardha, Amravati, Buldana and Nagpur – attended this convention in large numbers.


The chief guest was K Hemlata, all India general secretary of the Anganwadi Federation. It was inaugurated by the chairperson of the women and child welfare committee of the Chandrapur zilla parishad, Dr Asavari Devtale. It was presided over by CITU state secretary Amrut Meshram.


Addressing the convention, K Hemlata said that the struggle of anganwadi workers for their rights and legitimate demands had now acquired a nationwide character. The central government was forced to take note of the fact that over 20,000 anganwadi workers from all over the country recently converged in a massive rally before the parliament. As a consequence, the government had to concede a modest increase in their honorarium. But the main demand for giving them recognition as regular government employees has remained pending for years. The problems of the Asha workers are even more serious. Launching an attack on the anti-working class and anti-people policies of the UPA-2 regime and its massive corruption scandals, she called upon the gathering to put in all efforts to make the February 28 all India strike a great success.


The convention was also addressed by Dr Asavari Devtale, CITU leader Professor Rameshchandra Dahiwade, Dr Shaikh and Amrut Meshram. Anganwadi leader Shobha Bogawar conducted the proceedings and Sharada Lengure proposed the vote of thanks. Leaders and activists from all the above districts of Vidarbha worked to make this convention a big success.

(Rameshchandra Dahiwade)





The SFI last month won the student union elections in the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University at Aurangabad for the seventh time. Prashant Lande, an SFI activist from the Psychology department was elected the student union secretary.


The SFI this year won against two panels. One was the thoroughly opportunist alliance between the Rashtrawadi Vidyarthi Congress (NCP student wing) and the ABVP (BJP student wing). The other was the Samyak Vidyarthi Andolan (Prakash Ambedkar’s BRP student wing). From amongst the electoral college of 43 class representatives, 31 voted. The SFI won 18 first preference votes; the RVC-ABVP alliance got only 9 votes; and the SVA got just 4 votes.


The victory procession was addressed by SFI state president Bhausaheb Zirpe, Aurangabad district president Sunil Rathod, Shaikh Farook and Atul Badve. This victory was the result of the good work put in by the earlier SFI-led University student councils, the agitations on student issues led by the SFI and the collective efforts put in for the election campaign by all SFI activists in Aurangabad.


On earlier occasions when the SFI had won, the student council had been inaugurated in jam-packed functions attended by hundreds of students and teachers by former SFI leaders Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Nilotpal Basu, Rakesh Singha, R Arun Kumar, Dr Ashok Dhawale and Dr Vitthal More. This year on February 27, the martyrdom day of Chandrashekhar Azad, the student council will be inaugurated by SFI all India general secretary Ritabrata Banerjee.

(Bhausaheb Zirpe)