(Towards the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, CPI(ML) conducted a Jansamvad Yatra from 10-25 January, interacting with people to seek out their concerns and their agenda. A report.)
CPI (ML)’s Jansamvad Yatra to decide important issues for the 2014 polls was started from Ekwari (Ara) in Bihar on 10 January. Ekwari and Bhojpur are the land of Jagdish Master, Rameshwar Ahir and Ramnaresh Ram who dedicated their lives to people’s struggles. In the 1967 election, Jagdish Master had wished to field Ramnaresh Ram for MLA from here so that the people from the poor, working class and all democratic sections could elect an honest and pro-people representative, but he was thwarted by a mortal attack on his life by the forces of social injustice and repression. Jagdish Master and Rameshwar Ahir were martyred in the cause of the struggle for a truly democratic society and a system which ensured development for all. Ramnaresh Ram carried forward this struggle throughout his life, and 28 years later, when he was elected as the MLA of the same constituency, his integrity, sacrifice, and dedication to the people’s interests made him an inspiration for revolutionary people’s representatives for time to come.
The Jansamvad Yatra also took off in 18 Lok Sabha constituencies including Patliputra, Ara, Jehanabad, Siwan, Karakat, and Darbhanga, with senior as well as young leaders of the Party forming more than 100 teams. Each Lok Sabha constituency has teams on 2 levels, one at the LS level and the others at the Vidhan Sabha level, to find out which issues the people consider important for the 2014 elections. Many such issues have emerged, including the need to reverse corrupt and anti-people policies, to make the elections a forum of struggle for pro-people policies, to fight communalism and to strengthen people’s unity.
During the Yatra, widespread resentment was evident against the Central and State governments as well as sitting local MPs. People in several villages raised the issues of electricity, education, health, irrigation, and other basic questions. Even today most villages are bereft of electricity in spite of Nitish Kumar’s tall promises. Government schools and health centres are in a pathetic condition, with education and health becoming dependent on private institutions. Honorarium-based teachers have not been paid for several months. Irrigation facilities have completely broken down. People also want answers to questions regarding roads, problems of alcoholism, sanitation, drainage and roads, Indira Awas, homestead land, ration-kerosene, and rising prices. In several places, the people revealed that during the past 5 years their MP had not bothered to come in their midst even once and never enquired about their problems.
In Ara LS constituency, apart from Ekwari, the Yatra was started at Sahar and Kolodehri on 10 January, at Khutha, Kapurdihra, Piro (Tarari) on 11 January, and at Baraon, Agiaon, Keswan, Kakila, Ayar, Utardaha (Jagdishpur) on 12 January. RYA President Raju Yadav, Party District Committee member Com. Qayamuddin, AISA leader Sabir Kumar, AIPWA leader Indu Devi, District Secretary Jawahar Lal Singh, AIALA District Secretary Kamta Prasad Singh, kisan leader Krishna Prasad Gupta, Block Secretary Rameshji, Block Committee member Ramdutt Ram, and Rajbalam Yadav interacted with the people. Earlier, Politburo member Com. Swadesh Bhattacharya flagged off the Jansamvad Yatra from the Party District Headquarters. Senior CPI (ML) leader Krishnadev Yadav also joined the Yatra.