The series of Jandavedari rallies being organized in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar began on 8 February in Samastipur with the biggest people’s mobilization ever seen at Patel Maidan. Huge rallies also took place on 9 February at Muzaffarpur, 10 February at Narkatiyaganj (Valmikinagar LS constituency), 11 February at Gopalganj, and 12 February at Siwan.
Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya and other senior Party leaders are addressing these rallies with a call to make the issues raised by the people at last month’s Jansamwad Yatra into the agenda for the upcoming elections. At Samastipur, Politburo member Com. Dhirendra Jha, and at the Siwan-Gopalganj and Narkatiyaganj rallies CC member Com. Nand Kishore Prasad were present with Com. Dipankar. AIPWA Gen Secretary Com. Meena Tiwari, Samkaleen Lokyudh editor-in-chief Braj Bihari Pandey also participated in the rallies at Muzaffarpur and Narkatiyaganj.
The participation of the landless poor, workers, women, minorities, and various sections of society at these District level rallies is noteworthy. At some places, forces of movements struggling for local issues joined the rallies and raised their voices in unison with the landless poor and workers. There was a huge mobilization of sugar cane farmers, displaced persons, and youth at Narkatiyaganj. On 9 Feb at Muzaffarpur, the Mukherjee Seminary Maidan saw a huge mobilization of people from the struggling sections of both urban and rural backgrounds, Muslim youth targeted in the name of terrorism, and people struggling against the danger of displacement due to the Bagmati Project. Noting the presence of leaders and activists from the Insaaf Manch and the Bagmati Project Displaced People’s Association, Com. Dipankar said that these are clear indications that the unity of ground level struggling forces is going to pave the way for the formation of a new Front which is welcome. Similarly, on 10 Feb at Narkatiyaganj (West Champaran) a huge rally resolved to take the struggle against the State and Central governments to the highest level for their criminal neglect of the rightful demands of sugar cane farmers. Taking this movement forward, the CPI-ML has called for a Champaran bandh on 20 Feb.
It may be recalled that the Party had organized a Jansamwad Yatra throughout Bihar in January, during which 3000 village sabhas were held and dialogue established with 3 lakh people, and questions and issues of the people were identified. The Party had put out a call to make February a “month of movements” on these issues. The Jansamwad Yatra brought to the fore the anger of the people against the governments in Patna and Delhi and against the local MLAs and MPs. The last 5 years brought many troubles but not once did the people’s representatives come to enquire about their problems. These rallies are being organized to call for a strong agitation on people’s issues and problems at district as well as state level, and to make people’s issues like the BJP’s communal conspiracy, Nitish Kumar’s failures, and the pro-corporate policies of the governments, the central agenda for the LS elections.
Two questions chiefly arising throughout Bihar are the issues of electricity and liquor promotion by the Government. Nitish had promised electricity for every village and every home. However, it has not happened anywhere. On the other hand, people are getting false bills – even where electricity lines have yet to be installed – and consumers are being arrested and jailed. Facilities such as drinking water and toilets have not materialized, but liquor has been arranged and is easily available at shops in every Panchayat. People in large numbers are submitting copies of false bills and petitions for cancelling liquor licences. Their demand is that the privatization of electricity should be revoked and every town, village, and home should get 24 hour electricity at affordable rates. Important issues raised include complete electrification of the “tolas” of the poor, 100 units free electricity for the poor, taking back of false bills, clean drinking water, and toilet arrangements in all homes, and an end to the state’s promotion of liquor.