ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 3; No.9;1-3-2000


The Message from Bihar:
A Hung Society and A Hung Assembly

Results of Assembly elections in the four states of Haryana, Orissa, Manipur and Bihar are now before us. If the outcome has been on expected lines in Haryana, Orissa and Manipur, Bihar has once again befuddled political observers. Defying all opinion polls and exit polls, Bihar has produced a precariously hung Assembly. The NDA has not only failed to win even an approximate majority, its tally even fell short of the RJD's 124.

The hung Assembly in Bihar reflects the delicate political and social balance of forces in the state. Bihar is definitely fed up with the RJD's version of the 'jungle raj', but it is also scary of being used as a laboratory for a saffron-led reign of super jungle. Contrary to Laloo's claim that the results have vindicated his jungle raj, we must look at the outcome as an acute expression of Bihar's predicament. The questions haunting Bihar are still crying out for solutions, and a Left-led alternative is yet to emerge. The upshot is a hung Assembly and a new phase of political instability and uncertainty. The quest for a democratic alternative will be on and the Left will have to take the lead to intensify class struggles in this direction.

While upholding the independent banner of the Left, the CPI(ML) and other Left forces in Bihar will have to play the role of a responsible Left opposition within the Assembly. The delicate balance of forces in Bihar and the prevailing political climate of the country may place certain constraints on our role within the Assembly, but this must not be pitted against our overall political identity. Any specific step we may have to take within the Assembly in response to the concrete situation must be seen in the perspective of and in subordination to the Party's tactical line.

Beyond the Assembly, the Left must learn its lessons from the Bihar poll results. In spite of RJD's backing, the CPI(M) has managed to win only two seats. Its success rate of 10% (2 winners among 21 candidates) stands in miserable contrast against RJD's own success rate of 40% (124 among 300 candidates), thereby exposing the limits to the CPI(M)'s capacity of riding piggyback on the RJD. To the credit of the CPI, the party has succeeded in winning five seats and finishing a close second in a few other constituencies. While its apparent strength thus has gone down alarmingly from 26 to 5, it has nevertheless managed to regain part of its fading identity. With two losses and two gains, our own tally stands stationary at six. While technically this makes us the largest Left party in Bihar, we must not be blind to our own weaknesses which have been exposed quite glaringly.

The media will once again indulge in spinning myths around Laloo's invincible charisma and many a thesis will also be written on the marginalisation of the Left in Bihar. The BSP's spectacular rise will also be used as a counterpoint against the CPI(ML)-led radical struggles of the oppressed rural poor. If anything, the BSP's gains in areas of Bihar where our movement is weak only illustrate the growing degree of dalit disenchantment with the RJD's reign of compromises with feudal forces. For real communists, the time has come when we must ruthlessly diagnose and remove our subjective weaknesses and face the future with renewed hope, courage and determination.

CPI(ML) MP Interrupts Presidential Speech, Places Amendments

CPI(ML)'s Member of Parliament Com. Jayanta Rongpi interrupted the speech being made by President KR Narayanan on behalf of the Government on 23 February at the Central Hall of Parliament and placed an amendment to the Presidential speech. Com. Rongpi took exception to the omission of the Autonomous State issue of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts of Assam in the text of Presidential speech and demanded inclusion of the same. Even as Mr. KR Narayanan was reading from the prepared text, Com. Rongpi stood up and started raising the slogan : "No Autonomous State, No Rest". Com. Rongpi also drew the attention by demanding to implement Art. 244(A) of the Constitution in case of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills. Com. Rongpi placed eight more amendments in the Presidential speech including enactment of radical land reform measures, to make right to work a fundamental right, introduce stringent law to check corruption at high places and find solution to the persistent flood problem in Assam, etc.

CPI(ML) on Role in the Assembly

CPI(ML) General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya, while addressing a press conference at Patna said that the Party will play the role of "responsible opposition". Stating that we don't have the responsibility to form the government, he further said that the election results have proved that Bihar has no room for the Left surviving on the subsidy of power.

Workers' Rally in Ludhiana

Over 1000 workers took part in a colourful rally brought out by CPI(ML) in Ludhiana on 27 February at Sherpur Bazar. It was addressed by Party CC member Com. Swapan Mukherjee, Com. Jitender Pal Singh, Ludhiana district secretary of CITU and Com. Bhagwant Singh of RYA. Com. Ramesh Sharma, district Party secretary conducted the mass meeting. Speakers called upon the workers to participate in large number in the "March to Parliament" on 9 March. Speakers also demanded implementation of the labour laws, distribution of ration cards to the migrant workers and gave a call to get mobilised against the police-goon nexus in this industrial belt.

2nd AICCTU State Conference in Delhi

The 2nd Delhi State Conference of AICCTU was held on 27 Feb. at Labour Hall in Kalkaji. It was participated in by around 150 delegates. Com. Srilata Swaminadhan, vice president of AICCTU hoisted the flag and Com. Kumudini Pati inaugurated the conference after homage was paid to the martyrs. Com. Kumudini outlined the saffron attacks on working class and called upon Delhi workers to play a leading role against it. Delhi Party secretary Com. Rajendra Pratholi, AICGHS president Com. Ramkishan and AIPWA Secy. Com. Jeeta Kaur were present as guests. The conference elected a 28-member council and 14-member executive, with Com. NM Thomas as president and Ranjan Ganguli as secretary.

CPI(ML) Protests UP Govt.'s Draconian Decision

Party's UP State Committee strongly protested the UP Govt.'s decision to step up police repression in the name of curbing Naxalism in the eastern districts of the state. The Party identified it as a move to strangulate the peasant and democratic struggles waged under its leadership against feudal lords and police-mafia nexus in the eastern UP. It is to be noted that in the recent past there have been a number of incidents of firing by mafia elements and police to crush the movement for employment and against harvestors in this region.

Bihar Assembly Elections, 2000: Some Results

Our Party won 6 seats in all, viz., Sahar(SC), Karakat, Mairwan(SC), Bagodar, Obra and Barsoi. In Barsoi, Com. Mahboob Alam in his maiden victory defeated his nearest rival by over 26,000 votes and the Sahar seat was retained by Com. Ram Naresh Ram by over 20,000 votes. In Obra, Rajaram Singh retained his seat, winning it by a margin of over 12,000 votes. In Bagodar, Com. Mahendra Prasad Singh won for the third successive time defeating his nearest rival by over 7,000 votes. Com. Satyadev Ram too retained his seat from Mairwan winning it by a margin of around 6,000. In Karakat, Com. Arun Singh won for the first time defeating his nearest rival by a margin of 8,000 votes.

Party candidates polled second in 5 constituencies, Ghoshi, Arwal, Dhanwar, Darauli and Sikta, among which Dhanwar and Arwal were lost by a narrow margin of around 2000 to 2500. We lost in Darauli by a margin of around 8000, Sikta by 10,000 and Ghoshi by over 25,000 votes. Party candidates came third in 9 seats, Sandesh, Piro, Jagdishpur, Arrah, Barahara, Hilsa, Islampur, Bhore, Masaurhi and Fatuha(SC).

Our votes in these constituencies are as follows:


Constituency   District    Votes 
Sahar(SC)      Bhojpur     43,290 
Karakat        Rohtas      39,000+ 
Mairwan(SC)     Siwan       32,996 
Obra           Aurangabad  37,649 
Barsoi         Katihar     62,644 


Ghoshi         Jahanabad   60,097 
Darauli       Siwan        33,990 
Dhanwar       Giridih      31,304 
Arwal         Jahanabad    27,037
Sikta         W. Champaran 24,300


Sandesh       Bhojpur      28,731
Hilsa         Nalanda      28,227
Islampur       --do--      25,188
Piro          Bhojpur      22,951
Bhore         Gopalganj    20,824
Fatuha(SC)    Patna        20,778
Jagdishpur    Buxar        17,307
Arrah         Bhojpur      10,993

CPI has won 5 seats, namely Matihani, Nala, Barkattha, Ramgarh and Barauni. Following 1995 elections it had 25 MLAs, out of which 6 had deserted it to form the Krantikari Communist Party. Out of them, 2 have won. CPI(M), with RJD backing, could win only 2 seats (Khagaria and Bibhutipur) compared to 6 seats it won in 1995. MCC-Roy retained 1 seat (Nirsa) but lost the other (Sindri), and Umadhar Singh of CPI(ML)-TND made a comeback from Hayaghat.

RYA National Convention To Be Held in Lucknow

Revolutionary Youth Association will organise a national convention "Against saffron offensive and price rise, for employment and national dignity" on March 31--April 1 at Lucknow. This was decided at a meeting of National Executive of RYA held at Patna on Feb.21-22. The meeting decided to organised a "Youth March" on March 31, the day of martyrdom of Com. Chandrashekhar. The RYA has also decided to participate in the "March to Parliament" on 9 March.

The meeting called upon its units all over India to organise protests, torchlight processions and burning of the effigies of Clinton and Vajpayee along with Holika Dahan (Holi), on the eve of Clinton's visit. It will observe March 23, the day of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh as "Clinton bhagao, Azadi bachao" day. On March 1, all-India protest day will be organised against the anti-people budget.

March to Parliament by AISA on 17 April

Students and youth from various states will march to Parliament on 17 April "to oppose saffronisation of education and culture and for national sovereignty and democracy". Dharnas, demonstrations, seminars are being held by AISA units against privatisation and saffronisation of education in various places in the course of preparation of this march.

AISA has already taken initiatives in Delhi against the saffron conspiracies of imposing a ban on shooting of Water in Varanasi, imposition of Vande Mataram in Azamgarh and withdrawal by Indian Council of Historical Research of KN Panikkar and Sumit Sarkar's Towards Freedom. AISA has decided to organise burning of Clinton's effigy at various places on 19 March, along with Holi. It has also decided to organise various programmes observing Bhagat Singh's Martyrdom Day on 23 March and Com. Chandrashekhar's Martyrdom Day on 31 March. AISA will publish a booklet on saffronisation of education, culture and history and the fascist designs of Sangh Parivar.

Spinning Mill Workers' Dharna in Lucknow

Hundreds of workers belonging to spinning mills of Banda, Jhansi, Raebareilly, Sandila (Hardoi), Kashipur (Udham Singh Nagar) brought out a procession under the banner of UP Katai Mill Mazdoor Mahasangh on 26 February in Lucknow. The procession started from Charbagh and went up to GPO crossing and turned into a dharna at GPO Park. A memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister, in which they demanded resumption of the closed spinning mills, and repeal of the order to close down the spinning mill in Banda. The memorandum demanded arrears of wages and bonus be paid and scams involving crores of rupees by the mill managers be probed and culprits punished and wages must be revised through tripartite talks and privatisation of mills must be stopped. If these demands were not met, the Mahasangh leaders warned to the UP State Government, spinning mill workers will gherao Legislative Assembly in its forthcoming budget session. The workers assembled at the dharna were addressed by CPI(ML) leader Com. Ambarish Rai, state AICCTU president Com. RN Upadhyay and Ramesh Singh Sengar, acting president Com. Hari Singh, convenor of Mahasangh Com. Bachcha Singh, convenor of NTC Bachao Morcha Com. Babulal and others. It was conducted by Com. Ramji Lal, leader of Sandila Katai Mill.

Lawyers Against Reforms

Lawyers belonging to Dugdhi Bar Association in Sonebhadra district launched agitation against the proposed amendments in Civil Procedure Code and Advocates Act. Supporting their movement on behalf of the Party and AICCTU, Com. Dinkar Kapoor addressed the agitating lawyers on 25 February at Dugdhi.

March Against Withdrawal of Towards Freedom

Various Left and democratic organisations and intellectuals marched under a common banner from Mandi House to Parliament on 25 February protesting withdrawal of Towards Freedom edited by KN Panikkar and Sumit Sarkar, at the behest of saffron Ministry of Human Resource Development.

MCC Extremists Attack in Barachatti

Extremists belonging to the banned outfit MCC attacked the house of Com. Baleshwar Manjhi, CPI(ML) candidate from Barachatti constituency in Gaya district of Bihar on 21 February. The assailents shot at the son of Com. Manjhi and seriously injured him. They also looted his house. According to the sources, the attack was instigated by the RJD and the police and administration only helped them. It is to be noted that only a couple of weeks ago MCC had abducted 7 ML activists in Manika, killing two of them later.

RJD Goons on Rampage

Soon as the third leg of poll to the Legislative Assembly in Bihar had completed, RJD goons went on rampage in the rural areas of Darbhanga district. On 22 February, RJD supporter criminals attacked Pachhaura, Kamalpur and Chaparar villages and put the houses belonging to Yadavs, Paswans and Tatamas on fire. Their cattle as well as belongings were looted. So much for social justice. The attack was launched under the instigation of one Ramakant Yadav, Chairman of Darbhanga Degional Development Authority. The crime of these backward and dalit people was that they had voted for CPI(ML). Party has condemned the incident and demanded proper compensation to the victims, proper security measures for them as well as their rehabilitation.

His Master's Voice

Mr. George, once a firebrand socialist, rose on his legs on the floor to defend Vajpayee, even as the entire opposition was demanding adjournment motion on the question of Gujarat BJP Govt. lifting the ban on its employees joining the RSS. Of course with a nod from the PM. One wonders how far this defence minister can go in defence of Sangh Parivar.

It's a Danger Signal

The way lathi-wielding police pounded upon the protesting lawyers in Delhi bears evil portents to the right of assembly and right to dissent. Lawyers were protesting the Govt. move to open the courts for foreign lawyers. Time to rise against Govt's barbarity along with its desperate policy of sell out.

Mahangai ki Fascist Sarkar

The BJP-led NDA has already earned the title of "Mahangai ki Sarkar". But now it is behaving like a government without a Parliament. The budget session has already turned into farce when a hike in petroleum prices or doubling the milk price could all be accomplished before the session starts. It is Mahangai ki fascist sarkar(Government of Price Rise).

CPI(ML) Demonstration at Jaipur Assembly

Hundreds of activists belonging to CPI(ML), AIPWA and Rajasthan Construction Workers Union took out a resistance march against police repression and then staged a demonstration before the Assembly in Jaipur on 21 February to protest police havoc in Bhanwra village in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. They demanded immediate arrest and removal of the police personnel who have participated in the brutal assault on the village folk on 10 February, full compensation for the loss of property and crops to the villagers and instituting an independent judicial enquiry into the incident. It was addressed by Com. Harkesh Bugalia, district Party secretary, AIPWA leader Mewa Bharati and Brajmohan Bairwa, president of Rajasthan Construction Workers Union. Earlier, a Party investigation team comprising Comrades Harkesh Bugalia, Mewa Bharati and Mohanlal Parik visited the village Bhanwra and found that a minor incident of clash had taken place between villagers and police on 4 February, the panchayat poll day, because police were involved in booth capturing for the BJP candidate. On 10 Feb., a contingent of 300 policemen ransacked the village, destroyed property and crops and beat old people and brutally molested women, and arrested three above-70-year-old persons and a child.

Seminar by JSM

The rural unit of Jan Samskriti Manch, Utai in Durg district of Madhya Pradesh organised a seminar on 20 February at the local Utai College on "Pain of the departed century and challenges of the 21st Century". It was presided over by Indu Shankar Manu, president of Bhilai unit of JSM. Main speaker was Dr. Sudhir Gangeya. Other speakers at the seminar included Prof. Siyaram Sharma, Vijay Vartman, Vinod Mishra and Brijendra Tiwari. They regarded neocolonialism, communal fascism, poverty and unemployment as the main challenges before us. The seminar was conducted by Chandrika Bhadaria. The seminar also criticised the BJP govt. for creating hurdles in the way of shooting of Water and for withdrawal of Towards Freedom. Participants decided to open a library in the village.

Politics Behind Review of the Constitution

Forum for Democratic Initiatives organised a seminar on "Politics behind review of the Constitution" at Gandhi Peace Foundation in New Delhi on 28 February. It was chaired by Prof. Neera Chandok. Speakers included noted intellectuals Prabhash Joshi, Seema Mustafa, Justice Rajendra Sachar and Brij Bihari Pandey. Speakers said though BJP does not have sufficient majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution, it is however trying to throw up the saffron issue in order to create public opinion in its favour. Prabhash Joshi pointed out that the RSS had neither taken part in freedom struggle nor did it ever accept the Constitution, because it wanted a constitution of Hindu rashtra. BB Pandey underlined the necessity to identify people's issues and mobilise them to fight against this saffron agenda.


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