People's Democracy

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


No. 18

May 05, 2013




CPI(M) Leaders Campaign across Karnataka


S Prasanna Kumar


WITH the polling for the elections to Karnataka state assembly to be held on May 05, the state witnessed intense campaigning by top leaders of all parties. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, Polit Bureau members Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat and M A Baby addressed public meetings in various districts in favour of CPI(M) candidates.


Campaigning in Gulbarga Rural constituency (SC reserved) from which CPI(M) has fielded Maruti Manpade as its candidate, Prakash Karat said said the Party was attempting to get some legislators elected to the Karnataka assembly to project alternative policies to those of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. He lambasted both BJP and Congress for looting the mineral resources of the state. The BJP government has a shameful record with mineral mafia persons being made ministers in the cabinet, he said.


The next day, on April 30, Prakash Karat campaigned in Kanakagiri constituency in Kotpalla district, again a SC reserved constituency, in favour of CPI(M) candidate, Hulugappa. On May 1, he addressed a meeting in Krishnarajapuram in Bangalore district. Gowramma, the lone CPI(M) woman candidate, is contesting from here.


Earlier Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury addressed a big meeting in Bagepalli constituency in Chikballapur district on April 30. CPI(M) Karnataka state secretary G V Sreerama Reddy is contesting from here. Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat addressed meetings in Anekal constituency (SC reserved) in Bangalore Urban district on April 28. She also addressed a meeting in Malavalli constituency in Mandya district, again a SC reserved constituency, on April 29.


As is known, these elections are being held after 5 years of the first-ever BJP led government in the state of Karnataka. The BJP had claimed when it assumed power in Karnataka that this will be a great opening of capturing power in entire south India. Five years down the line, leave alone entire south India, BJP's dream lies shattered even in Karnataka. The five year rule of BJP was marked by a highly corrupt administration, disruption of the democratic values of polity by indulging in “operation Kamal (Lotus)” through defections from opposition parties and buying the elected representatives for sake of stabilizing their power. In these five years, the BJP has flouted all its promises made in their manifesto. The state had three chief ministers during this five year tenure. One after another minister, including a chief minister, were arrested and jailed  for land grabbing, loot of iron ore etc. BJP's former minister Gali Janardhan Reddy's case has become known across the country and maybe even worldwide. 


Another feature of the BJP’s regime has been the numerous communal attacks organised with the State support in various places. Churches were attacked. Dalits were also targeted. This government has also unleashed attacks on the working class. Many legislations, including amendment to Factories Act, were made hurting the interests of workers. Land Revenue Act has been amended to redefine 'agriculturist' in order to cover the corporates in this definition thus facilitating corporatisation of agriculture. . Both caste and communal polarisation has been deliberately encouraged to keep and strengthen the divisive fabric of the society.


In such a situation, the opposition Congress, instead of effectively intervening against the anti-people policies of the BJP government, has fully cooperated with it in pursuit of neo-liberal reforms. It is now only waiting for its chance of getting into power on the basis of an anti-incumbency factor.


However, during this period, the CPI(M) has conducted several struggles in defense of the workers, peasants, students, youths and women in the state. In the present elections, the Party has fielded candidates in 16 assembly constituencies. Out of these 16 seats, 5 are reserved constituencies for SC-ST. Other Left parties have also joined united efforts and after discussions, it has been decided that the CPI and Forward Block will not field candidates against each other. With this understanding, the CPI is contesting in 8 seats and Forward Block in 3 seats. So, totally the Left parties are contesting in 27 seats in the state. There is a good response from the people for the campaign of Left candidates. Both the BJP and the Congress are using huge money power to influence the voters.