Ara: A Fight between Lies and Truth
Jignesh Mevani, MLA from Gujarat and JNUSU President N Sai Balaji visited Ara Lok Sabha constituency on 1 April 2019 and campaigned for Mahagatbandhan-supported CPIML candidate Raju Yadav. Comrades Jignesh Mevani, N Sai Balaji and Raju Yadav addressed public meetings at different places in Ara city including Gola Mohalla, Magahiya Tola, Bahiro, Jawahar Tola, Shri Tola, Dharhara, Abarpur, Maulabagh, Ambedkar Hostel, and Katira and appealed to the people to vote for Raju Yadav. Students, youth, and commo citizens attended the meetings in large numbers.
Prior to the public meetings they addressed a Press conference along with Raju Yadav. Jignesh Mevani said that the CPIML has a long heritage of struggle and martyrdom which the people of Bihar and this country have witnessed. This party has given the country such MPs and MLAs who have not confined themselves to Assemblies or Parliament but have struggled shoulder to shoulder with the oppressed, poor, and marginalized sections. These are people who relate deeply to the woes of farmers, workers, the poor and the deprived, and who have come up through people’s struggles. He said that the CPIML candidate from Ara Raju Yadav is one who is closely bonded to people’s struggles, and has an immaculately honest and clean image. He said that his election in Ara is a fight between lies and truth. On one side is the BJP with their hate-filled ‘Hindu vs Muslim’ campaign and on the other side is Raju Yadav who stands for the struggles of farmers, workers, students, youth, and the poor. Jignesh said that he himself had fought the election with the same sense as that of the CPIML, and the very next day after he won he had informed the District Collector that he would not be abandoning the struggles on the street. He further said that today Bihar and the entire country is going through a very difficult phase. In today’s circumstances all pro-people forces, be they Gandhian, Ambdkarite, Left or any other, must work together with the single-minded aim of ‘Oust BJP, Save the Country’. He said that the BJP government has failed miserably on all fronts during the past 5 years, and wants to divert attention and win votes by hate-mongering in the name of Hindu vs Muslim and Shamsan vs Kabristan. It is important that we keep the people focused on the real issues like employment, education, economy, price rise, health, agrarian crisis, and workers’ issues. He appealed to the people to vote and send Raju Yadav to Parliament as it is only he who will be the voice of the poor, the marginalized, farmers and workers. He refuted the BJP’s false propaganda against him and said that when people from Bihar were being beaten up in Gujarat it was he along with Hardik Patel who had appealed for peace (while Modi, Amit Shah, Vijay Rupani and Giriraj Singh kept silent and made no appeal for peace) and in spite of being an independent MLA he had apologized on behalf of Gujaratis at a CPI-CPIML rally. He said he would send Giriraj Singh a legal notice in this matter.
JNUSU President N Sai Balaji said that the abysmal state of education and unemployment was due to the Modi and Nitish governments. It is a conspiracy to keep the poor and marginalized sections out of higher education and deprive them of jobs. CPIML candidate Raju Yadav said that he is getting full support from the Mahagatbandhan and from the people because of the CPIML led struggles on the issues of education, price rise, crop purchase price, growing crime and other issues. Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad and Manoj Manzil were also present on the occasion.
On 3 April Comrade Kavita addressed a conference for intellectuals at Ara. She said that these elections are not normal elections. She pointed out that Dr Ambedkar had said that the roots of our Constitution are a little weak and they need to be strengthened. But during the past 5 years the Modi government has dangerously weakened the roots of our Constitution, viciously attacking the country’s diversity, unity, composite culture and democratic institutions. The job situation is at its lowest ebb in over the past few decades. Students, youth, farmers, workers, adivasis, minorities, and women are being constantly attacked. A democratically elected government should be afraid of the people, but here the right opposite is the case.
Comrade Kavita said that Ara MP and Union Energy Minister RK Singh had asked no question whatsoever in Parliament on the issues of jobs, oppression of dalits and poor and injustice. The only questions he had asked were on issues of finance aimed to benefit corporate houses. It is clear whose development the BJP is working for and which terrorism it is protecting. We do not talk of Hindu or Muslim terror but the BJP has always supported the most brutal terror on the basis of caste and community. Bhojpur is witness to this. RK Singh himself as Home Secretary had said that there is solid proof against RSS terror, but today he is sitting in the lap of the same RSS for his selfish political ends. Kavita said that the BJP-RSS want to destroy our Constitution and replace it with the Manusmiriti. They are the true nation-breakers, and not leaders of Left, dalit, social justice or women’s movements who fight to save Constitutional values. She pointed out that it was fear of Hindu-Muslim unity which made the British carry out the Jallianwala Bagh massacre 100 years ago, and today it is the BJP and Sanghi forces which go in fear of Hindu-Muslim unity and are desperately trying to polarize the people. Kavita appealed to the people to vote for Raju Yadav so that the voice of the poor, farmers, workers, scheme workers, students, youth and all marginalized sections can be heard inside Parliament.
The conference was also addressed by Janwadi Lekhak Sangh President Prof Neeraj Singh, senior advocate Surendra Rai, JASAM State President Suresh Kantak, RJD leader Shamim Ahmed, Prof Dudhnath Chaudhury, Dr Suniti Prasad, All Bihar Progressive Advocates Association leader Amit Kumar Bunty, and Ashutosh Pandey. They spoke about the present political, social, and economic conditions and said that Raju Yadav was the apt candidate to represent Ara in Parliament.
IN Jharkhand the BJP has taken in RJD leaders on a large scale. After remaining incognito for several days former MLA Annapurna Devi and some other RJD leaders joined the BJP on 24 March 2019. The series of events did not end here. RJD’s tallest leader in Jharkhand Girinath Singh also joined the BJP recently. There are speculations that Annapurna Devi and Girinath Singh could be the BJP candidates from Kodarma and Chatara LS constituencies.
This phenomenon actually also exposes the BJP’s internal troubles. Isolated by growing anti-BJP trend, the BJP is unable to trust even its traditional leaders, and is bent on importing leaders from other parties like the RJD. These leaders from the backward castes who were calling themselves ‘secular’ till yesterday joined the BJP, but will the BJP’s traditional base accept them? This is a moot question. At present the BJP’s backward caste base, deprived of basic rights like regular jobs, proper wages and housing and angry at the attack on their Constitutional rights, are eager to teach a lesson to the BJP. Minorities, dalits and backward castes (who form a large part of farmers and rural poor) who have borne the brunt of mob lynching and communal-casteist violence and long for peace and harmony are fast joining the CPIML.
On 3 April a booth level GB meeting of the CPIML was organized in the Barkatta Assembly segment of the Kodarma LS constituency. PB member Manoj Bhakt, State Committee members Bhuvaneshwar Kewat and Puran Mahto participated in the meeting which was also attended by 60 booth level activists from various villages and Panchayats. During the meeting, about a hundred leaders and activists from the JVM and the BJP along with their supporters joined the CPIML. In the last LS election the CPIML was in a weak position in Block Barkatta. But this time it has expanded its base rapidly in many Panchayats. New Panchayat level and booth level committees are being formed. The Party has made plans to secure four times the number of votes it got from here the last time.
On 1 April, a Barkatta Block level cadre convention was organized at Pipcho (Jai Nagar) in which more than 500 Party activists participated. Comrade Rajkumar Yadav, CC members comrades Vinod Singh and Geeta Mandal, and several other leaders were present at the convention. About 100 activists from weaker regions like Chalkusa, Chandwara and Jai Nagar also attended the convention. More than 100 RJD activists led by senior leader and social activist Ghulam Ghouse joined the CPIML at the convention. More than 100 RJD activists also joined the CPIML in the Kodarma Assembly constituency in the presence of Party General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Party candidate Rajkumar Yadav, and former Bagodar MLA Vinod Singh. They said that they would avenge Annapurna Devi’s treachery and the only alternative is CPIML and Rajkumar Yadav for whom they would campaign and ensure victory with a huge margin.
A few days ago Rajkumar Yadav along with Geeta Mandal and Lalita Devi had carried out an intensive campaign at Bhawra, Kanikend, Bhadali and Pachauri in Satgawa Block, which are villages with an RJD base. Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya and Comrade Vinod Singh also campaigned at villages in the Muslim majority Kazimangha region in Jamua Assembly constituency.
There is widespread anger among the people against the betrayal of the people by the Modi-Raghubar governments during their tenure. Having a strong presence in the Kodarma region, the CPIML is capable of turning this anti-BJP wave in its favour. The influence of parties like RJD, Congress, JVM, and JMM is getting weaker. The red wave surging through Kodarma in favour of the CPIML is an indication of a new popular surge across the State in favour of the Left.
THE election campaign of CPIML candidate for the Nainital Lok Sabha seat in Uttarakhand Kailash Pandey was on his whirlwind campaign along with Party State Secretary Raja Bahuguna, Garhwal Secretary Indresh Maikhuri, comrades Atul Sati, Devendra Rautela, AIKM national secretary Purushottam Sharma and other leaders.
The CPIML leaders campaigned house to house in cities including Lalkuan, Haldwani, Nainital, Rudrapur. The campaign teams appealed to the people to root out and throw out the Modi government which poses a grave danger to democracy and the Constitution, and to vote for the Party of people’s struggles, the CPIML. The campaign in the hilly regions is being led by senior leader and AIPF National convener Girija Pathak. CPI and CPIM campaign teams are also campaigning in different parts of this constituency.