GVS Might Have Lost the Election, but He Stands Undefeated

The final results for the Karnataka assembly elections are yet to come. The results until now clearly show there is no clear mandate for any one ruling class Party. Even though there is not much difference between the vote shares of Congress and BJP, the later is all set to win disproportionally greater number of seats and emerge as the Party with highest seats. As things stand at the moment Congress and JD(S) are all set to foil BJP’s plan of forming government by proposing a formation with CM from JD (S) and deputy CM from Congress.

However, as far as left and the forces which are committed to creating a political alternative by combining the electoral arena and the extra-parliamentary struggles, the real action was in Bagepalli seat, where Comrade G.V. Sriramreddy (popularly called as GVS), the Karnataka state secretary of CPI (M) was the candidate.

[ Note that CPI (M) had called for voting to such candidates which are in best position to defeat the BJP, in those seats where CPI (M) or the left was not in fray.]

Even though GVS has come second in the seat, no one can take away the fact that 51, 697 people of Bagepalli continue to stand behind the red flag in the face of huge money power used by the bourgeois parties. The interesting aspect is that the Congress candidate S.N. Subbareddy had won the seat in 2013 as an independent candidate and in that election all ruling class parties including Congress, BJP, JD (S) and BJS had transferred their votes in favour of him to ensure that GVS isn’t able to win. GVS had come second then also. There are indications that similar vote transfers have been made in these elections too. We should have no illusions about the fact that defeating the red flag is much more important for the ruling class parties, than settling their own contradictions. After all, in the final analysis, it is the class that decides everything.

bagepalli 2013

( 2013 Assembly Elections, Bagepalli Constituency)

bagepalli 2018

( 2013 Assembly Elections, Bagepalli Constituency)

GVS represented Bagepalli Assembly Constituency twice in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly , in 1994 and in 2000.

As a legislator his performance in the Assembly during the rule by Janata Party Ministry led by J.H. Patel and later during Dharam Singh Ministry was creditable. His was the sole voice in defence of working people and against exploitation in the house when he represented Bagepalli Constituency in Karnataka Assembly, as there was no other MLA from any Left party then. Apart from raising the issues concerned with the life and livelihood of the peasants, workers and other sections of the working people, and working for the all-round development of the constituency he represented in the Assembly, he raised several important issues concerning the whole of the State.

In 1997, he raised the issue of the loot carried out by the Granite lobby in the State Assembly and outside also which saved approximately Rs. 360 crores annually to the exchequer. He also raised the issue of irregular acqui sition of lands of the peasants for the infamous NICE road linking Bangalore with Mysore. Another important intervention by GVS in the Assembly was on the issue of unbridled loot of the iron ores of the State by the Mining mafia which reached its peak during the BJP rule in the State, and which still haunts the State. His pioneering effort in raising the issue of encroachment of government lands in the capital city of the State, led to the appointment of a Joint Legislature Committee under the chairmanship of Shri A T Ramaswamy. As a member of the Committee, he played an eminent role in unearthing 34,000 acres of prime land worth atleast Rs.1, 40,000 crores.
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Chikkaballapur is one of nine districts in Karnataka which is perennially prone to droughts. Groundwater level here has depleted even below thousand feet. Sensing ths damger of this area turning into a desert, GVS took the initiative to start a movement for permanent irrigation project . A ‘Permanent Irrigation Struggle Committee’ was formed which is spearheading a people’s movement mobilizing all sections of people in the district. In 2003 he led a mammoth March to Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore on this demand.

(The section onGVS’s interventions as MLA is based on a note by Pravda Meethal.)

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All this leaves no doubt about the reasons behind the dirty tricks being played in Bagepalli. However, as another CPI (M) candidate in this election, Muneer Katipalla summed up beautifully while explaining the approach of left towards the elections: “We are not running a sprint. We are running a marathon”. And, the marathon of social transition shall continue unabated. Lessons will be drawn definitely; however, the red flag will continue to move forward. Let us reiterate one more time: GVS Might Have Lost the Election, but He Stands Undefeated, and so does the red flag!

 

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