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CENTRAL ORGAN OF CPI(ML)

April 2007, Number 4

YEAR

Assembly Polls: Tables Turned on Congress

- – Lal Bahadur Singh

The crucial UP assembly elections are now in progress. Together with Punjab an Uttarakhand, UP results will provide a crucial index of the political mood in the country. Manmohan Singh has been quick to dismiss the idea that Congress’ defeat in Punjab and then in Uttarakhand is a referendum on his government. Some other political players having a stake in the central UPA government, too, have tried to minimise the importance of the mandate by terming it just as a vote against the Congress state governments. However if Sonia Gandhi accepts that price-rise was one major factor in the defeat, then how can the central government and its policies evade responsibility? Moreover, were state governments (headed by Congress’ favourite CMs) not implementing the very policies of their central counterpart and working under the diktat of the High Command? Were these two elections also not fought in the name of Sonia Gandhi?

In the elections this time around, there complete reversal of roles for the Congress and BJP. The urban middle class and the masses who had voted for Congress in the last election and ensured its rise to power, deserted Congress this time in favour of BJP and deserted it so completely that BJP captured 19 out of the 23 seats it contested in Punjab and this unprecedented rout of Congress in the urban centres to the benefit of BJP, actually ensured the ascendance of the SAD-BJP combine to power

The mandate was a clear rejection of the development model pursued by Congress, as the urban centres were supposed to be the major beneficiaries of ‘fly-over- roads- malls-modernised airports’ brand development model. The indebted peasantry mired in the grave agrarian crisis and fighting against the threat of losing their lands to SEZs, most certainly rejected the Congress. It shows only the acuteness of the agrarian crises that even measures like a huge hike in the procurement prices of wheat prices etc., too, did not cut much ice with the crisis-ridden peasantry. In Doab and Majha, Congress was completely wiped out and if it could maintain a respectable presence in the state, it was because of its good performance in the Malwa region, thanks to its deal with a religious sect called the Dera Sacha Baba, which issued a ‘fatwa’ to its large following in the region for supporting Congress. There are reports that the head of the Dera, facing criminal charges in connection with the murder of a journalist who had exposed the rape cases at the Dera HQs, was manipulated for the deal in return for a favour in the case. The decline of BSP, too, perhaps helped Congress in garnering Dalit votes in some pockets and thus maintain its over-all vote share. BSP, this time, could not get any seats in Punjab, which was once supposed to be its emerging bastion. CPI and CPM, desperate for adjustment with Congress till the last, contested in alliance with Lok Bhalai Party, a break-away group of Akali Dal and supported Congress on the rest of the seats. Securing 0.76% and 0.28% of the votes and failing to win even a single seat in their once-upon a-time stronghold of Punjab, they are now a pale shadow of their past, thanks to their long drawn opportunist line and tailism. In Mansa, CPI(ML) secured more votes than CPI, which was the winner in the last election and also more than BSP. Here, the Party has considerable appeal among left ranks and the poor.

In Uttarakhand, too, the grandiose plans of development with massive investment could not save the day for the Congress as all this ‘development’ with high level political corruption and the army of contractors loyal to Tiwari, never really benefited the common man.

Enthused by its trail of victories in Punjab and Uttarakhand , BJP is now making all out efforts – from fanning communal hysteria to cashing upon the popular disenchantment against Congress and Mulayam to forging alliances – to emerge as a major player in UP. However the stage is all set for battle royale between Mulayam Singh and Mayavati. Targeting Congress as its main enemy, Samajwadi Party has all along maintained tacit relationship with BJP. Mayavati, too, openly boasted after municipal elections that at many places, that she supported BJP candidates to defeat ‘Muslim Fundamentalists’. Even the UPA Railway Minister ensured train tickets at half rates for those who were to participate in VHP Sammelan in Allahabad! So much for the great secular parties in the fray. BSP, collaborating with feudal-brahminical power groups, and shedding all pretence of old Bahujan baggage, is trying to cash in on the popular anti-Mulayam sentiment. After the waning charisma of Sonia Gandhi, as exposed in the Punjab and Uttarakhand elections, Congress is now trying to manage its floundering ship with the help of the Rajiv card displayed by Rahul Gandhi. However despite all these gimmicks, only some miracle can elevate Congress from the poor fourth slot in the state. Jan Morcha, in its desperation and opportunism of joining hands with Congress has damaged the prospects of a third front and the cause of the peasant movement.

CPI(ML), with its commitment to social security, development and democracy as against the regime of starvation, suicides and police-mafia rule, has fielded 35 candidates in its areas of struggle and political influence. The Party has also appealed to people to support the forces of mass movement at other places where it is not contesting.



CPI(ML) Candidates for UP Assembly Elections

S. no.

1 Krishna Adhikary ——————– Puranpur

2 Dinesh Kol ————————– Rajgarh

3 Tilakdhari Bind ——————— Mughalsarai

4 Ishwari Prasad ———————-Jamania

5 Ramkrit Kol ————————- Chakia (SC)

6 Shriram Chaudhary ——————- Sikandarpur

7 Arjunlal —————————- Hargaon (SC)

8 Ramdaras Chauhan ——————– Nighasan

9 Yashwant Singh ———————- Bhatpar Rani

10 Bihari Dharkar ———————- Duddhi (SC)

11 Ramkrit Biyar ———————– Chunar

12 Sunila Rawat ———————— Biswan

13 Premlata Pandey ——————— Deoria Sadar

14 Hansraj Kol ————————- Bara

15 Harish Chandra Jaiswal ————– Siswan

16 Rajesh Sahni ———————— Maniram

17 Ramnawal Singh ———————- Ghosi

18 Jaiprakash Narayan —————— Azamgarh Sadar

19 Ramji Rajbhar ———————– Dildarnagar

20 Rohitash Kumar Rajput ————— Moradabad Rural

21 Balmukund Dhuria ——————– Akbarpur

22 Santosh Katheria ——————– Orai

23 Bhola Kol ————————— Majhwan

24 Nanhulal ————————— Barkhera (SC)

25 Surendra Kumar ——————— Paila (SC)

26 Kamrulhuda Kaish ——————- Padrauna

27 Subedar Yadav ———————- Mirzapur

28 Ramdular Kharwar ——————- Robertsganj (SC)

29 Mahesh Singh ———————– Karnalganj

30 Raghunath Prasad ——————- Mahona

31 Jamal Ansari ———————– Balia

32 Santosh Patel ———————- Sataon

33 Vubhudesh Yadav ——————– Bangarmau

34 Md. Abid ————————– Afjalgarh

35 Babulal Kol ———————– Chhanbe (SC)



CPI(ML) Candidate for By-Election to Robertsganj Parliamentary Constituency

Jitendra Kol ———————-Robertsganj (SC)