(Excerpts from interviews given by Comrade Dipankar to Indian Express and The Hindu)
[ Even though the NDA has managed to secure a narrow win in Bihar, the Bihar Assembly elections, the first major elections held in the shadow of Covid19 pandemic and the brutal, painful lockdown, have sent out very inspiring messages for all forces fighting for secure livelihood, dignity and rights of the people and the future of India as a secular democratic republic.
The Left is being much talked about after the Bihar Assembly election results. The three Left parties in the Mahagathbandhan have won 16 seats in this election. CPIML contested 19 and won 12 seats; CPI and CPM contested 6 and 4 seats respectively and won 2 each. This the largest tranche of Left representatives to reach the Assembly in the last one and a half decades and that is why the Left, especially CPIML, is now constantly the focus of discussion.
Before the de-limitation exercise in 2010, large parts of what is today the Agiaon Assembly Constituency in Bhojpur were part of Sahar constituency which was represented for three consecutive terms by the legendary leader of Bhojpur, Comrade Ramnaresh Ram. Today, Agiaon is dotted with memorials and plaques marking the martyrdom of comrades in the struggle against feudalism and for social dignity of Dalits and the rural poor.
CPIML candidate Comrade Birendra Gupta won the Sikta seat in West Champaran. It was the only seat the MGB won in West Champaran. The candidate who polled a close second was Dilip Verma, an ‘independent’. Varma actually belongs to the feudal Shikarpur Estate which illegally holds hundreds of acres of land and oppresses the poor, and has in the past been a BJP MLA. The JDU candidate Khurshid Ahmad who was also the sitting MLA polled third. There was also an MIM candidate Rizwan Riyazi who polled some 8000 votes.
[ Many observers of the Bihar elections have commented on the CPIML’s influence in the South Bihar constituencies, accounting for the bulk of CPIML victories as well as helping to win seats for the Mahagathbandhan in these regions. This influence is a result of decades of struggles, many of which are of historic significance. All we can offer here are some snapshots of these struggles.
The Bihar Assembly Elections held in October-November 2020 was one of the first elections for CPIML Liberation where the social media and ground level campaign strategy were used in tandem. Amid the COVID -19 pandemic and BJP-RSS’s fake news industry, the party’s intervention in social media was inevitable and necessary.
The forthcoming elections to the Assembly of Bihar are taking place in the shadow of the Covid-19 epidemic with major restrictions on election campaigning and gatherings of people. Huge parts of Bihar are still reeling under floods. Bihar will be the first state in India to undertake a major electoral exercise amid such restrictions. We had requested the Election Commission of India to schedule the polls keeping this abnormal situation in mind so the participation of the people did not get adversely affected.
(Released by the Grand Alliance Partners at a Press Conference where CPIML was represented by Comrade Shashi Yadav)
We commit to:
Paliganj: Sandeep Saurav, AISA General Secretary and former JNUSU General Secretary, an experienced organiser and leader of struggles for the rights of students, youth, oppressed and backward groups.
Ara: Qayamuddin Ansari, who was an AISA leader in its formative period in the 1990s, and is now the Bihar Secretary of Insaf Manch, the platform campaigning to help innocent persons falsely framed, accused and incarcerated by the police and investigative agencies in terror cases.