Election Campaign 2004:

A Quick Balance Sheet

In the 14 th Lok Sabha elections, we contested a total of 65 seats spread over 16 states (Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttarnachal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam and Tripura) and two Union Territories (Andaman and Nicobar islands and Pondicherry). The constituencies covered all our major areas of work. Some constituencies were also chosen with a view to expanding the Party’s operational base and intervening in some major points of industrial and agrarian crisis. Every fifth constituency contested by the Party was a reserved seat (8 SC and 6 ST reserved seats in a total of 65 seats).

Most of the candidates – 45 out of 65 – contested a Lok Sabha election for the first time. Among our candidates were senior Party leaders (two members of the Party Polit Bureau as well as seven other members of the Party Central Committee and a member of the Party’s Central Control Commission) and key functionaries of national and state-level mass organisations (especially trade unions, peasant associations and agricultural labour organisations) as well district leaders of the Party. The most glaring weakness or imbalance in our 2004 list of candidates was the extremely low number of women candidates – only four.

In spite of a busy harvesting season and a sweltering summer in most parts of the country, the entire Party ran a highly spirited and vibrant election campaign. Thousands of Party members and supporters worked day and night for weeks together to carry the campaign message among the rural poor and the working class. While most of the ruling parties depended heavily on big money and glamour borrowed from the world of films and entertainment, our election campaign was funded entirely by resources raised from the people and the friends of the Party and the movement, and it was conducted primarily in the form of village and panchayat-level padyatras, door-to-door campaigning, a huge array of local meetings and scores of impressive rallies attended by thousands of people. Special election songs and street plays by local cultural activists as well as mobile cultural troupes formed an important component of the election campaign in many areas.

As we go to press results are available from 63 of the 65 seats we contested (repolling in Siwan and Bettiah constituencies of Bihar is scheduled to take place on 24 May). This time around we have not been able to win any seat. We have finished second in one seat and third in nearly ten constituencies. Total votes polled in 63 constituencies stand at a little above 1.2 million. Half of this vote has come from Bihar while Jharkhand and Assam have contributed nearly a quarter. Significantly enough, for the first time we have polled more than 100,000 votes from Orissa and Rajasthan, with more than 70,000 votes coming from two seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes. While our votes reflect an increasing trend in many new states and new constituencies, we have also witnessed a significant erosion in our votes in certain important constituencies of Bihar. In Andhra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and eastern region of Uttar Pradesh our votes have remained either constant or recorded a marginal decrease here and there.

The most significant increase in our votes was seen in Kodarma in Jharkhand where our candidate polled more than 1,36,000 votes. The highest votes polled in this constituency in previous elections were below 40,000. The increase reflected the steady expansion and intensification of our organisation and political influence in the Giridih-Kodarma region during the last five years. The BJP-led government of Jharkhand unleashed severe police repression on our organisation to arrest the Party’s growth in this region. Senior Party leaders were arrested again and again in false cases and on two occasions four of our comrades fell to police bullets. In fact our candidate, Comrade Rajkumar Yadav, had to fight the election from behind the bars.

The most significant decrease in votes has been reported from the Autonomous District constituency of Assam. The major factors responsible for this erosion are the split in the Autonomous State movement, the rise of militancy in the two hill districts and the recent spate of inter-tribal clashes and massacres. During the last one year, the Party organisation had of course regained considerable initiative in three of the five Assembly segments falling under this Lok Sabha seat. After four successive defeats, the Congress has managed to wrest this seat with a narrow margin. The breakaway ASDC faction finished second while we were relegated to the third position.

In Bihar we have not been able to win any seat since our 1989 victory in Arrah. This time we ran a powerful campaign in Arrah, Aurangabad and Bikramganj cosntituencies. The founding conference of the All India Agricultural Labour Association held in Arrah in November 2003 had provided a strong impetus to the Party organisation. The nomination of Comrade Ram Naresh Ram as the Party’s candidate for Arrah added a historic dimension to the poll battle and enthusiasm ran high in the entire Party organisation. The notoroius Ranvir Sena also put up its infamous chief Brahmeswar Singh and the constituency witnessed a four-cornered contest among the RJD, CPI(ML), JD(U) and Ranvir Sena candidates. The JD(U) lost a good part of its vote to the Ranvir Sena and it finished fourth while the Sena chief came third. We managed to record a small increase in our overall votes and finished a distant second. In Aurangabad, Bikramganj we finished third. In Jahanabad too, we came third but our votes fell drastically to less than 80,000.

In both Bihar and Jharkhand there was a strong anti-NDA wave and riding this wave were two powerful coalitions – RJD-Congress-Lok Janshakti in Bihar and Congress-JMM-RJD-CPI in Jharkhand. This left us with little scope to increase our votes and wherever the campaign was weak or the organisation was in a bad shape we ended up losing votes.

Election campaign 2004 has opened up many new possibilities and thrown up a number of promising activists. While reviewing our performance and plugging the loopholes in our organisation and practice, the biggest emphasis must be laid on nurturing this new crop of activists and entrusting them with the right jobs in right areas. The rout of the NDA signals a strong rejection of the BJP’s agenda and a powerful reassertion of the basic issues confronting the country and the common people. We must immediately begin concerted efforts to utilise the new situation to the best advantage of the revolutionary movement.

Votes Polled by the CPI(ML)-Liberation in the 14th Lok Sabha Elections, 2004


1. Dibrugarh Subhas Sen 9,842 2. Tezpur Rubul Sarmah 24,595 3. Autonomous

District (ST) Dr. Jayanta Rongpi 74,399 Tripura

1. Tripura

East (ST) Churaimani Jamatiya 6,475 West Bengal

1. Jalpaiguri Shankar Das 7,278 2. Raiganj Ajit Das 11,154 3. Krishnanagar Biman Bisws 7509 4. Katwa Salil Dutta 6290 5. Asansol Atanu Chakraborty 4,488 Andaman and Nicobar Islands

1. NKP Nair 1,448 Tamil Nadu

1. Chennai (N) S Kumraswamy 2,071 2. Mayiladuturai N Gunasekaran 2,384

3. Thiruchengodu P Govindaraj 2,431


1. Palakkad M Velayudhan 3,270


1. Bellary I Ramappa 12,413

Andhra Pradesh

1. Kakinada NVVSN Murthy 9,458


1. Koraput (ST) Meghnath Sabaro 48,366 2. Puri Kshitish Biswal 25,419


1. Dumka (ST) Surun Soren 8039

2. Palamu (SC) Ravindra Ram 16,837

3. Chatra Birju Ram 8,631

4. Giridih Ibnul Hasan Basru 6,435

5. Dhanbad Swapan Mukherjee 7,497

6. Koderma Rajkumar Yadav 1,36,554

7. Hazaribagh Heera Gope 14,563

8. Ranchi Khudiram Munda 3,787


1. Bhatinda (SC) Bhagwant Singh 7,505


1. Karnal Mahendra Singh 2,487


1. Jhunjhunu Mahendra Chaudhry 16,806

2. Salumber (ST) Puranmal Mal 22,029

Uttar Pradesh

1. Pilibhit Krishna Adhikari 11,804

2. Kheri Ram Daras 6,739

3. Mishrikh (SC) Suneela 4,051

4. Jalaun (SC) Kanshi Ram 3,728

5. Saidpur Rajendra Vanvasi 3,413

6. Ghazipur Ishwari Pd Kushwaha 2,216

7. Chandauli Tilakdhari Bind 9,826

8. Robertsganj Ashok Kol 11,120

9. Balia Shriram Chaudhry 2,008

10. Salempur Rajesh Sahni 6,040


1. Bagaha(SC) Nandji Ram 23,338

2. Siwan Amarnath Yadav (repolling)

3.Gopalganj Ramnaresh Ram 11,023

4. Samastipur Prof. Surendra Prasad 6,576

5. Purnea Madhavi Sarkar 7,595

6. Aurangabad Rajaram Singh 1,06,888

7. Bikramganj Arun Singh 85,973

8. Sasaram(SC) Dukhi Ram 9,987

9. Barh Mithilesh Yadav 12,940

10. Patna Vidyanand Vikal 12,680

11. Bettiah Virendra Gupta (repelling)

12. Rosera(SC) Lalbahadur Sada 18,829

13. Darbhanga Baijnath Yadav 13,443

14. Muzaffarpur Jitendra Yadav 7,027

15. Katihar Quddus Ali 19,569

16. Gaya(SC) Niranjan Kumar 8,046

17. Nawada(SC) Mewalal Rajbanshi 3,623

18. Nalanda Paramanand Prasad 19,124

19. Buxar Sushila Singh 32,807

20. Jehanabad Mahanand 77,743

21. Arrah Ramnaresh Ram 1,49,679


1. Nainital Bahadur Singh Jangi 2,292

2. Almora Purushottam Sharma 5,820


1. Bastar (ST) Shivram Nagvanshi 5,017


1. S. Balasubramaniam 1,358


1. Gougavathi 754

2. Heggadavevanakote 1569


1. Pipli 4156

2. Satyabadi 801

3. Parlakhemudi 2326

4. Gunupur 8706

5. Bissam Cuttack 3543

6. Rayagada 3229

7. Narla 3300

8. Kesinga 2470

Andhra Pradesh

1. Sompeta 1211

2. Kolavaram 4,013

3. Payakaraopeta 1623

4. Jaggampeta 1816

5. Prathipadu 4545

6. Tuni 2279

7. Sampara 1040

8. Pithapuram 1267

9. Tiruvuru 765

10. Avanigada 937