2019 fever in Bihar set to pick up with tomorrow’s ‘Bhajpa Hatao, Desh Bachao’ Rally in Patna
The poll fever in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is set to pick up with tomorrow’s ‘Bhajpa Hatao, Desh Bachao’ Rally in Patna. This rally is being organized by the Bihar State Council of the CPI and apart from the general secretaries of the 3 major communist parties, many of the opposition leaders too are expected to address it. Bihar, which sends 40 members to the lower house of the Parliament is going to be politically very important in deciding the eventual outcome of the next Lok Sabha elections ; and this rally is of paramount importance in shaping the evolving political dynamics in the state.
In 2014, the RJD won four, Congress two and NCP one while JD(U), which was not an ally of any alliance, won two seats. The BJP had won 22, LJP six and RLSP three seats. However, the 2015 assembly elections showed a completely differently picture, with the mahagatbandhan triumphing and BJP losing a significant chunk of its votes. RJD and its supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav had emerged as the commander of this political battle; and the vindictive actions against him at the behest of RSS-BJP are only a pointer of this aspect.
There are reports that in NDA the BJP would contest 20 seats and give the remaining 20 seats to its allies, reports come from maha gathbandhan or grand alliance side, again unconfirmed, that the RJD would keep 20 seats and adjust its alliances in the remaining 20 seats.
Apart from RJD, the allies of maha gathbandhan are most likely to include Congress, Lok Tantrik Janata Dal of Sharad Yadav, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of Jitan Ram Manjhi, CPI, CPM, CPI(ML), Samajwadi Party and BSP. While one seat could be spared for Katihar MP Tariq Anwar who recently resigned from the NCP, the RJD is waiting for Kuswaha’s RLSP ( who is miffed with BJP’s attitude).
The inner tussle between both the alliances will escalate in the coming days and a final picture will take time become clear.
The communist parties in the state have been contesting as a separate political block since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections (though the CPI’s aberrations from time to time is obvious). In the 2015 Assembly election too left contested as a single block. CPI (M)’s Central Committee member (he was not in CC in 2015) in an article summarizes the role of left in these elections :
” The Left played a big role in creating a political atmosphere against BJP and its anti-people, pro-corporate policies and communal ideology. From the very beginning, the Left gave a call to defeat BJP and reject the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ by putting before the people, an alternative trajectory of development. It was the Left block consisting of CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), SUCI(C), RSP, Forward Bloc that stood the ground and got three seats defeating both the combinations. The CPI(M) candidate came second in Bibhutipur with increased votes. The Left block constituents came third in more than 50 seats and got around 14 lakh votes that add up to four per cent of popular votes. In no constituency, the Left’s presence gave advantage to BJP and its combination.”
The left parties in the state are unanimous in the prime objective of decimating the BJP and also the need of left remaining as one united block. Left is of clear view that any broad-based alliance against the NDA will need the Left’s powerful ideological force as an anchor to stick on the path of secularism, democracy and pluralism. This is not only essential to any effective broad alliance or adjustment to defeat the BJP and its allies; but will also strengthen the fighting capacity of such an alliance/adjustment. Left shall derive this ideological energy from the continuous mobilization of the people on the basic livelihood issues such as the condition of farmers, unemployment, landlessness and lack of housing to counter the BJP’s attack on democracy, rule of law and the Constitution of India.
25th October’s rally in Patna has to be seen in this framework and not as some exercise of projection of wannabe poster boys- poster boys/ girls have never worked in the left and they never will! Masses have always given the gloss, the shine for left’s posters and they will do it this time too!