centenary celebrations of the Bihar Assembly

The centenary celebrations of the Bihar Assembly were observed on 7 February where the presence of the CPIML legislative party had a resounding impact and footsteps of imminent changes in the Bihar political scenario were visible. On the one hand the CPIML and Left have an increased presence while on the other hand BJP is bent on dwarfing Nitish Kumar and controlling the Assembly in its own way. The Left and Right are challenging each other not only on the streets, fields and factories but also inside the Assembly. BJP has grabbed the Speaker's post for RSS man Vijay Kumar Sinha who began showing his true colours at once and installed party MLAs in key posts. He made his own wilful decisions in constituting Assembly committees. CPIML has publicly criticized this undemocratic procedure.

But the Speaker did not mend his ways and is still on the path to furthering BJP-RSS interests. Opposition parties were not consulted about the centenary celebration programs and no Opposition MLA other than Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav was included among the speakers at the program. CPIML said the Speaker should work according to democratic norms and not at the behest of any one party. The hijacking of the centenary celebrations by BJP-RSS shows their autocratic character evident in their tyrannical rule from Delhi to Patna.

Criticism by CPIML had an effect and finally the leaders of opposition parties were given slots to speak at the 7 February program. MLA Mahboob Alam spoke on behalf of CPIML and exposed the BJP's intention of hijacking the program and converting it into a victory event for BJP, even to the extent of hoisting BJP flags instead of the national tricolour throughout the outer Vidhan Sabha complex. When Mahboob Alam spoke of this, BJP MLAs created an uproar and the Speaker once again displayed his bias by asking him not to speak of things unrelated to the occasion. But Mahboob Alam continued, saying that the people of Bihar have sent him and other MLAs to the Assembly to question the ruling party and expose the failures of the government. He pointed out the undemocratic policies of the government including the recent draconian directives related to social media posts and bar on government jobs for protest participants.

Mahboob Alam's address was much discussed in the media. CM Nitish Kumar in his address said that “Maley people always manage to put forward their own angle”. But the fact is, that it was Nitish’s ally the BJP which was seeking to put its own angle on to the centenary celebrations.

In the evening of 7 February a meeting of CPIML MLAs was held to decide strategy for the Assembly budget session beginning on 19 February. The meeting was attended by Bihar State Secretary Kunal, Legislative Party in-charge Rajaram Singh, Dhirendra Jha, Mahboob Alam and MLAs Satyadev Ram, Arun Singh, Manoj Manzil, Sandeep Saurabh, Virendra Prasad Gupta, Sudama Prasad, Rambali Singh Yadav, Mahanand Singh, Gopal Ravidas and Ajit Kushwaha.

The meeting passed a resolution for the immediate release of ailing RJD Supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and best medical treatment for him. It was decided to meet with other Mahagathbandhan parties on strategies for exposing the government's failures inside the Assembly. A demand would be made for passing a resolution in the Assembly against the Modi government's 3 black farm laws. A consensus was reached on raising issues of all sections including ASHAs, Rasoiyas and teachers.

All CPIML MLAs are holding Jan Samvads (conversations with people) to identify people's issues to be raised in the Assembly session.

-- Kumar Parvez