ML UPDATE 49 / 2010

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 13, No. 49, 30 NOV – 06 DEC 2010

Bihar 2010

Bihar has delivered a stunning verdict. An outgoing government returning to power with 85% majority is a very rare phenomenon in the history of parliamentary democracy anywhere in the world. That such a thing has happened now in the state of Bihar which has been known for the presence of the widest spectrum of political forces in the legislative arena is indeed quite remarkable.

In a house of 243, the NDA has increased its tally from 143 to 206, with the BJP accounting for nearly 60% of the increase. Consequently, the entire opposition has been virtually driven out of the Assembly. The RJD’s tally has come down from 54 to 22, and its new-found ally LJP which had independently won 9 seats in the last elections, finds itself reduced to just three seats despite the RJD’s backing. The Congress which fought the elections with the call of forming a Congress-led government finished with a tally of only four seats. And for the first time since 1990, the CPI(ML), the consistent Left opposition in Bihar Assembly, would go completely unrepresented.

Evidently, the verdict reveals an overwhelming and overarching social shift in favour of Nitish Kumar’s promise of development. Bihar certainly does not want to go back – neither to Lalu Prasad nor to the Congress. What triggered this huge social shift were signs of restoration of ‘law and order’ and hope of some delivery of change and development in a state which seemed to have come to an absolute standstill. And facilitating this shift was the good old formula of caste engineering that invoked and energised all those social identities that felt excluded or suppressed during Lalu Prasad’s once dominant and protracted reign of ‘social justice’.

The contradictions written into Nitish Kumar’s model of development, and the contrast between the rude reality and the heady rhetoric, are yet to forcefully come to the surface. The CPI(ML) was perhaps the only party to challenge Nitish Kumar on the very question of development. The party’s election campaign focussed boldly on the battle between the two contending concepts and modes of development – the dominant neo-liberal model that reinforces the semi-feudal order and uses ‘development’ only to facilitate and camouflage a relentless exploitation of cheap labour in and away from Bihar versus an alternative democratic model that lends primacy to the basic rights of the toiling people and the agenda of all-round development of productive forces within Bihar. This is surely the emerging battle ahead and the revolutionary Left will have to rebuild itself in the course of this all important battle.

Media analysts are clearly mesmerised by the scale and sweep of the Nitish Kumar phenomenon. The same people who till recently celebrated the Lalu spectacle as the ultimate show of subaltern politics and rubbished communists for not comprehending the reality of ‘caste’ are now busy preaching ‘development’ as the new mantra of politics. Revolutionary communists fought the ‘magic of social justice’ with the logic of class struggle and the banner of social transformation. They will also challenge the euphoria of Nitish Kumar’s ‘politics of development’ by pressing ahead with the arduous course of class struggle and boldly upholding the banner of people’s rights and democracy. The surge of developmental aspirations of the hard working people of Bihar is real and this has now put Nitish on trial.

As far as the CPI(ML)’s poll performance is concerned, in February 2005, the CPI(ML) had polled a little over 600,000 votes and won seven seats, its highest tally till date. In November 2005, the party had lost two seats and some 50,000 votes to finish with a tally of five seats and nearly 560,000 votes. In the 2010 elections, the party has lost all its seats even as it polled more than half a million votes. The rise and growth of the Nitish phenomenon has clearly taken a toll and blunted the winning edge of the party even in its strongholds. The party has of course begun exposing and challenging the new regime right on the issue of development and all its emerging trappings in Bihar including rampant loot, emerging authoritarian rule and utter deprivation of the masses. The party will now have to summon all its courage and determination to take this battle deeper and wider.

In India’s parliamentary history, stunning electoral outcomes and euphoric majorities have often proved to be a prelude to major upsurges of mass struggles. Recall Indira Gandhi’s spectacular rise in 1971, Rajiv Gandhi’s extraordinary majority in 1984, the AIADMK’s clean sweep in Tamil Nadu in 1991 and the sweeping victory of the CPI(M) in West Bengal just the other day in 2006 and we know how quickly majorities can melt into thin air in the heat of mass struggles. The message of the 2010 elections for the revolutionary Left is therefore loud and clear: go deep among the people, resume hard work and prepare for the future. Let us turn the developmental aspirations of the people into a powerful political struggle for real development.

Bihar Assembly Elections 2010:

The Overall Outcome and the CPI(ML)’s Performance

1. The NDA has secured an unprecedented majority winning 206 seats in a house of 243. Within the NDA, the BJP’s success rate (91 out of 101, i.e. 90%) is higher than that of the JD(U) (115 out of 142, i.e., 80.98%). The leading opposition bloc got only 25 seats (RJD 22, LJP 3), while the Congress got 4 seats and the CPI 1. The JMM too got 1 seat while independents (most of them pro-BJP) got six seats.

2. In terms of vote share, the NDA has got a little more than 39% (JDU 22.62%, BJP 16.51%), while the leading opposition RJD-LJP combine got 25.63% (RJD 18.88%, LJP 6.75%), followed by 8.38% of the Congress and 4.19% of the Left (CPI(ML) 1.79%, CPI 1.69% and CPI(M) 0.71%). Parties like the BSP (3.22%), NCP (1.82%), JD(S)(0.79%) and SP (0.55%), though failing to win any seat, accounted for a sizable combined vote share of 6.38%.

3. Compared to November 2005, the NDA’s vote-share improved only by 3% while the RJD’s share dropped by nearly 4.61% . This was however sufficient to trigger a landslide win for the ruling NDA and a drastic decline in opposition seats.

4. The Muslim-majority district of Kishanganj is the only district where the NDA drew a blank. The four seats in the district were claimed by the Congress (2), RJD (1) and LJP (1). Among the remaining 15 victorious Muslim candidates, as many as 8 however belong to the JD(U)-BJP combine. Of the 19 Muslim MLAs, the two leading combines thus account for 8 each (JD(U)-7, BJP-1, RJD-6, LJP-2) while three of the four Congress MLAs are also Muslim.

5. The RJD-LJP combine could open its account in only 15 out of Bihar’s 38 districts, winning 2 or more seats in only 8 districts (Madhubani-3, Patna-3, Darbhanga-2, Samastipur-2, Saran-2, Bhojpur-2, Kaimur-2, Kishanganj-2).

6. The CPI(ML) had fielded a total of 104 candidates. The Party candidates polled a total of 520,352 votes, finishing second in five places, third in 11 and fourth in 12 places. Of the five seats where we finished second, three were in Siwan (Darauli, Ziradei and Raghunathpur), one in Katihar (Balrampur) and only one in south Bihar (Arwal). In all our other prominent constituencies in south Bihar we finished either third or fourth.

7. In terms of votes, three candidates polled between 30,000 and 50,000 votes, while another three polled between 20,000 and 30,000. There were 8 candidates in the 10,000-20,000 bracket and another 8 in the 5-10,000 bracket. Among the remaining 82 candidates, 6 candidates polled between 4,000 and 5,000; 10 between 3,000 and 4,000, and 12 between 2,000 and 3,000.

8. The most recent comparison of our performance can be made with the 2009 LS election votes. 2009 was the first election after delimitation and that was also when the current socio-political trends had begun to manifest themselves quite forcefully. Compared to 2009 LS votes, our total votes increased by 50,000, but compared to October-November 2005 our votes are down by 50,000. Compared to February 2005 when we had won our maximum number of seats (seven), our votes have declined by nearly 90,000. In other words, if between February 2005 and November 2005, the rise of the Nitish Kumar phenomenon had cost us 40,000 votes and two seats, the five years of growth and consolidation of the same phenomenon has now cost us another 50,000 votes and all our five seats in the outgoing Assembly.

9. Among the 22 seats where we have polled 5,000-plus votes, 17 seats have witnessed an increase in votes (91,291) since the 2009 LS election while 5 seats suffered a decline (21,563). Overall, we thus polled 69,728 votes more in these constituencies since May 2009. If we look at 50 key constituencies in terms of our overall practice, votes increased in 33 seats (by a total of 97,871 votes) while declining in the remaining 17 (by 35,943 votes).

10. Delimitation makes comparison with 2005 Assembly elections somewhat difficult in many seats, but if we compare our main areas we get a mixed picture of marked decline in some seats, more or less steady performance in a few and recovery in the rest over the last five years. For example, while votes dropped quite drastically from 45,516 to 32,474 in the main two seats of Rohtas, and from 45,249 to 31,280 in the two main seats of Patna, votes increased marginally from 67,109 to 72,871 in the three main seats of Siwan and from 29,265 to 38,432 in the main three seats of Arwal-Jahanabad belt. In the 5 main seats of Bhojpur, votes fell from 98,049 to 88,388. Among our other main seats, Balrampur witnessed a marginal increase from 39,872 to 45,432, while Obra (Aurangabad) and Bhorey (Gopalganj) saw votes decline from 24,023 to 18,463 and 15,382 to 8,800 respectively.

AICCTU’s Delhi Unit Holds 4th State Conference

The AICCTU held its Fourth Delhi State Conference on 28 November against Privatisation, Contractualisation and the assault on trade union rights, and with a call to intensify the struggle for minimum wages, social security and dignity. The Conference was held at Comrade Ram Naresh Ram Hall (the BSNL Employees Hall at Janpath), and 175 delegates from among building workers, security workers, rickshaw pullers, street vendors and other organised sector workers, DTC transport workers, government hospital workers, and MTNL employees participated in the Conference.

The Conference began with hoisting of the AICCTU flag and two minutes silence for the departed and martyred comrades and workers killed on Delhi construction sites and the Laxminagar building collapse.

Inaugurating the Conference, AICCTU General Secretary Comrade Swapan Mukherjee said the Congress-UPA Government, mired in scams to the tune of thousands of crore, was intensifying the assault of pro-corporate, pro-rich economic policies and unleashing repression on workers. Workers’ resistance too was on the rise as demonstrated by the 7 September All India General Strike. On 23 February in the coming year, workers are once again preparing, on the call of the trade unions, to bring Delhi to a standstill. He called upon to AICCTU to face the challenge of coming to the forefront of the workers’ movement in Delhi.

The delegate session discussed the draft document presented by the outgoing Secretary Comrade Santosh Roy and reflected on various aspects of AICCTU’s work in Delhi. The document, adopted after discussion and debate, stressed the need to develop mass struggles on workers’ issues to bring them to the centre stage of Delhi’s politics; organise the workers of the city’s vast unorganised sector by raising the issues of minimum wages and rights as well as the range of their social-economic issues; increase AICCTU membership with emphasis on the transport sector, construction sector, industrial workers, health workers, domestic workers, women workers, street vendors and rickshaw pullers; and set an example of revolutionary trade union movement, fighting against all trends of formalism and legalism.

The Conference elected a 59-member State Council, a 29-member working committee and a 11-member office bearers’ team with Comrades N M Thomas as Honorary President, V K S Gautam as Working President and Santosh Roy as General Secretary.

The Conference was also addressed by CPI(ML) Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, CPI(ML) CC member Prabhat Kumar, and AISA General Secretary Ravi Rai. The concluding speech was given by CPI(ML) CC member Kavita Krishnan.

In the end, the Conference proposed resolutions on pressing issues of the time which were passed unanimously by the house. The Conference, expressing deep shock and grief at the killing of 70 members of the unorganised workers in Delhi’s Lakshmi Nagar building collapse, resolved to bring to book all the culprits whose omissions and commissions caused the killings; granting of compensations with dignity to the surviving family members of those killed; providing social security, accepting the right of existence, housing and other basic amenities along with secure and dignified living conditions for all the Delhi’s poor and immigrant working class on a priority basis. The Conference also resolved to intensify struggles against– (i) displacement and excessive harassment of workers during the run-up to Commonwealth Games, (ii) the repulsive and cruel act of Allied Nippon’s management in which it opened fire on the workers, (iii) continuing repression of working class in Delhi and NCR, (iv) privatisation, contractor-isation, casualisation, workers’ displacement, insecure livelihood, all round attack on social and civic amenities and blatant violation of the basic human and working rights of migrant labourers in the name of making Delhi a world-class city.

Tirupur: 405 Suicides in Eight Months

In the Garment export centre of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, 405 workers or their relatives committed suicide in the first eight months (January-August) of 2010. Consequently, there have been 879 cases of suicides in this industrial town in twenty months from February 2009 to September 2010. Superficially, one can attribute varying specific reasons to these deaths. However, it is not much difficult to find out the real truth if one digs the surface a little. It is evident that most of them chose this tragic step due to growing oppressive situation at the factories. The owners of these factories, in which the dominant position is of capitalists of developed countries, to corner their profit in this globalised production hierarchy, thrust all sorts of exploitative-repressive terms and conditions on the workers of their factory.

Their miserable situation has become more deplorable post the implementation of Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA) in 2004. Under this agreement, the so-called increased global competition has accelerated the pace of exploitation, whose severest consequences has come crashing on the lowermost section of the working population. Tirupur workers are among that lot of suffering workers who are at the lowermost rung of the ladder. Out of the four lakh (400,000) workers, 80 percent are those who have migrated here in search of livelihood from poverty-stricken regions of the Country. The forces aspiring to corner comparable profits on global level is causing misery and deaths of such huge scale. In the recent years these forces have also compelled huge numbers of Indian peasants and farmers to take their own life. This tells enough about the globalised Indian economy.

(from an email sent by Comrade John Percy in Australia)

Karnataka: BJP Govt. must Resign! Order CBI Enquiry!

Statewide Agitations

Scams after scams under BJP rule in Karnataka have come to light involving important ministers and this time, the Chief Minister Yeddyurappa himself and his family is involved in a land scam. The BJP rule has proved that it is corrupt to the core. The BJP central leadership is condoning the all-corrupt ministry and government in the state and has lost its capacity to discipline the state leaders. The central leadership is kneeling before everybody whether it is Bellary Brothers or the Yeddyurappa. Lokayukta has already issued notice to the CM for an enquiry on land scam. But, the state government has ordered a judicial enquiry to escape the Lokayukta net. The Government has no time to address the issues of toiling masses as it is too occupied with scams, manipulations, looting the public money, and horse-trading on the floor of Vidhana Soudha to retain the Government.

Demonstrations demanding resignation of the Yeddyurappa Government were held all over the State, particularly at Davanagere, Koppal, Mysore and Bangalore on 27th November 2010.

Hundreds of people staged a day-long dharna in front of the DC (District Commissioner) office at Davanagere. Party’s State Secretary E Ramappa called upon the people to continue the agitation until the anti-people and corrupt BJP is removed from power. AISA leader Prasad DM, Parashuram, Taluk President of AIALA, Chowdappa, District Secretary of Bellary addressed the gathering among others.

At Koppal, hundreds of people staged a spirited demonstration in front of the DC office led by the Party State Leading Team member and AIALA State President J Bharadwaj. Rice mill workers and women participated in good numbers that attracted democratic minded people from Koppal town. Com. Vittappa, district president of Koppal Zilla Bachao Andolan, Basavaraj Seelavander, district secretary of AITUC, Maddanaiah Swamy, district president of KRRS and KB Gonal, district president of TUCI also extended solidarity and addressed the gathering. Com. Virupaksha, taluk secretary of AICCTU also participated.

At Mysore, the demonstrators shouted slogans demanding resignation of the BJP government. The delegation led by C Javaraiah, SLTM and the District Secretary submitted a memorandum to the DC to be forwarded to the Governor.

At Bangalore, the demonstration was led by CPI(ML) incharge for Karnataka Comrade V Shankar and workers from RMC, RDC and UNIMIX Readymix companies participated in good numbers. The demonstration also attracted a large crowd of general public and common workers from the surrounding areas. Com. Shankar said that the BJP government in the state does not have any moral right to continue in power any longer. He warned the BJP that they will be thrown out of power by growing people’s struggles if the government failed to resign on its own. He also pointed out that no party is an exception to corruption, be it the BJP-led state government or the Congress-led central government. Gaddappa and Manju of RDC, Anjaneyalu and Sitaram of UNIMIX, Govindaswamy and Mani of RMC and Gandhimathi of AIPWA also addressed the demonstrators among others.

Kolkata: CPI(ML) Protests against the Corrupt UPA Government

A protest march was organised in the college square area in Kolkata, against the corruption of UPA government at the centre, by College square-Boubazar local committee of the Party. After the rally,which was adorned with colorful posters, an effigy of the UPA government was burnt blocking the main thoroughfare. The protesters demanded immediate arrest of D Raja and Suresh Kalmadi and other UPA ministers, bureaucrats and Government officials involved in the corruption.

UN Report: Global Poverty Doubled since 1970s

A news report citing a most recent UN study and published on 26 November in Geneva by Agence France-Presse, says the number of very poor countries has doubled in the last 30 to 40 years, while the number of people living in extreme poverty has also grown two-fold, according to a UN think-tank.

In its annual report on the 49 least developed countries (LDCs) in the world, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that the model of development that has prevailed to date for these countries has failed and should be re-assessed.

"The traditional models that have been applied to LDCs that tend to move the LDCs in the direction of trade-related growth seem not to have done very well," said Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary general of UNCTAD. "What happened is that in the past 30-40 years, the number of LDCs have doubled so it has actually deteriorated, the number of people living under the poverty line has doubled from the 1980s." The report indicated that the situation has sharply deteriorated in the past few years.

Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail: mlupdate, website: www.cpiml.org

MLU-13-49.pdf

MLU-13-49.doc

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s