CPI(ML) Manifesto for Bihar Elections


The February elections showed that the people of Bihar have rejected both the RJD-Congress alliance as well as the JD(U)-BJP alliance. The Supreme Court has said that the dissolution of the Assembly was unconstitutional. Yet the RJD-Congress as well as the JD(U)-BJP combines have betrayed the people's verdict by trying to come to power by hook or by crook - i.e., by horse-trading or through a backdoor entry under the garb of President's rule.

The CPI(ML) increased its tally from 5 to 7 seats and became the largest left party in Bihar , acquiring the status of a recognized party. We achieved a thumping majority in Sahar and in Sandesh we gave a fitting defeat to the criminal candidate of the RJD. In Paliganj we defeated the RJD MLA who had used anarchists to kill our elected panchayat representatives. In Darauli, Siwan, we defeated the Agriculture Minister of the RJD who was enjoying the patronage of the MP-turned-mafia Mohammed Shahabuddin.

President's rule in Bihar has been marked by attacks on dalits, unprecedented drought and starvation deaths etc., but the Governor turned a deaf ear to the pleas of the victims. Moreover, killings and kidnappings continued unabated. Flood-relief scam was unearthed but no action was taken. Officers who were taking action against criminals were transferred proving that the RJD-Congress raj was continuing through the puppet Governor Buta Singh. It is only CPI(ML) that continues its struggle against the anti-people policies of the government. The 24 August Bihar Bandh organized by the Party received widespread support.

That the RJD Government of Bihar, the largest constituent of the UPA in Bihar , was pushing the policies of liberalization and privatization in Bihar became clear within the last 6-7 months. This is why the people had voted it out in the February elections. Instead of guaranteeing employment to the entire rural sector, the food-for-work programme was implemented in only 15 districts of Bihar which excluded those where starvation deaths were taking place due to conditions of extreme drought. Disinvestment in ONGC and BHEL as well as airports, telecommunications, banks, insurance, pension sector and defence production and increase of FDI caps in these strategic sectors etc. showed that IMF-World Bank dictates were being pursued with impunity. Our foreign policy became pro-American, what with India 's vote against Iran in the IAEA. The UPA was proving itself to be a continuation of the NDA rule. The 29 September all-India strike was a manifestation of people's anger against these policies.

Bihar has been facing the worst kind of economic deprivation as well as a collapse of law and order. These has been no land reform or industrial development in the state. Criminal-mafia nexus has crushed the democratic aspirations of the common people in the state and the state government is resorting to repression to contain people's anger. Lalu Raj represented the feudal forces, kulaks and the neo-rich in Bihar . Massacres, scams, corruption and criminalisation have become the order of the day. In the last 15 years things have gone from bad to worse. The World Bank is now spreading its tentacles in Bihar in the name of trying to remove backwardness but it has only got the same agenda of privatization for changing Bihar .


Land reform is an important but neglected question in Bihar for which the CPI(ML) has fought in the 1970s and '80s through struggles against feudals and kulaks. It fought to end bonded labour and challenged the feudal rule by demanding minimum wages and land right. It also fought for social dignity of the most depressed sections of society. The '74 movement, it is true, had organized large sections of masses against autocracy but the failure of the subsequent rulers resulted in the return of the Congress. It was then that the CPI(ML) organized powerful peasant movements against Arwal massacre as well as against Bhagwat Jha Azad's misrule, which led to the fall of the Congress government.

The JD/RJD government that followed struck a compromise with feudal forces and in order to bury the question of land reform, gave the slogan of 'social justice'. In order to quell the movement of those struggling for social tranformation, feudal armies were formed. Instead of developing industries in the state, these forces gave patronage to forces which were involved in scams, corruption and loot as well as criminal activities. When the slogan of social justice failed, RJD formed an alliance with the Congress and forged unity with the forces of Ranbir Sena in order to finish the CPI(ML) which was representing the rural poor of Bihar .

The need for change in Bihar is being felt so deeply, that now no amount of repression is able to contain people's upsurge. It is because of this the feudal powers that be are using criminals. This is the biggest danger for democracy.

In the last (February-March 2005) elections, the people's mandate was against the ruling party. The fascist NDA has also been well understood by the people of Bihar , which was thoroughly neglected during their rule in the Centre. The people of Bihar have paved the way for the coming together of a third force. Despite Lalu's apologies to the people and the 'Nyay Yatra' of Nitish Kumar, it is clear that these are the forces which have been the biggest obstruction to the development of Bihar .

CPI(ML) is the only party which has been consistently fighting on people's issues.

Our charter of demands is as follows:

1) Thoroughgoing land reforms, to fix ceiling on the basis of quality and production of the land (decreasing the limit), gair mazurwa land to be distributed among the landless and extremely poor peasants and to distribute parchas of homestead land allotted to landless-poor people;

2) To restart all industries that have been lying closed on government initiative and to open agro-based industries so that this will pave the way for increased employment and development in the state;

3) To increase government investment in irrigation and all other agriculture-based sectors, to revive all old canals and for their modernization, agricultural implements, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides etc. be given subsidies and the government to take responsibility for sale of agricultural produce at proper rates;

4) To put an end to the scam-raj and to immediately arrest those involved in fodder scam, flood-relief scam, red card scam, food-for-work scam etc., and to ensure that all bureaucrats involved in scams be dismissed and tried;

5) To implement the food-for-work scheme in all districts and in each village and to guarantee that every rural unemployed gets employment in it.To ensure that all corrupt bureaucrats are punished and to cancel contracts of all contractors, to stop use of machines for their work and to guarantee minimum wages;

6) To stop privatization of education, to curb excessive cost of higher education, to fill all vacant posts for government teachers, to guarantee all necessary facilities and adequate number of teachers in primary schools, to give central university status to Patna University, to ensure elections to students' unions in colleges and universities and to guarantee a democratic and healthy atmosphere in these institutions;

7) To put an end to oppression of women and to ensure stringent punishment to those who perpetrate crimes against women, to ensure 33% reservation for women in parliament and assembly, to make the state women's commission truly autonomous and to ensure participation of women's organizations in it and to make its recommendation binding on the government;

8) To stop privatization of healthcare, to revive hospitals in all blocks and primary health centers in each panchayat and to ensure that adequate number of doctors, nurses and compounders are appointed. To ensure that adequate equipment and medicines are readily available. In cities, to ensure appointment of doctors in adequate numbers and to increase the number of beds and to ensure 24-hour electricity supply to hospitals and health centers;

9) To resolve specific problems of minorities on priority basis, e.g. education, saving their traditional crafts and eradication of poverty, to ensure employment and freedom from hunger. To guarantee government jobs for them as well as other opportunities, to protect kabristan, karbala, Idgah land from land mafia and to protect them from all kinds of discrimination; and

10) To end criminalisation of politics by putting an end to the politician-bureaucrat-police-criminal nexus and to end all private armies and criminal gangs; to protect the democratic rights of labourers-peasants-toiling middle class and to fight for their equality.

CPI(ML) has tried to forge a third alternative through asserting the unity and strength of the left so that the Congress-RJD and the BJP-JD(U) alliances can be defeated. Due to pressures of the Congress and ruling classes and the sectarian interests of the LJP and the CPI, which withdrew at the last moment, this effort could not bear fruit. So we are contesting alone. A third alternative can only be forged through a people's agenda for change and through militant mass struggles. We will continue our efforts in this direction.

Due to our commitment to the poor, to the dalits and the oppressed people, we have been at the receiving end of a lot of repression. Our most popular leader and MLA, Comrade Mahendra Singh was killed by the administration, Comrade Manju Devi, member of the District Council (panchayat), Jharo Devi of Patna, and mass leaders of the Party in Paliganj were murdered in cold blood. Mukhia Shah Chand is serving life sentence under TADA. One of the TADA prisoners recently died due to negligence of the jail authorities. Rameshwar Prasad, ex-MP and MLA of Sandesh has been implicated in a false case and has been sent to jail and the name of Mahboob Alam, MLA of Barsoi, has been deleted from the voters' list. Several other leaders are also languishing in jail. Many poor people's names have been deleted from the voters' list in our areas of work. The powers that be are trying their best to stop the march of the CPI(ML). But whatever be the price we are prepared to fight with all our might for the cause of the people. We will fight for the empowerment and betterment of the people of Bihar . We will fight for building a new Bihar . In this struggle, we expect your fullest cooperation and participation.

Increase the assertion of workers and peasants!

Prepare to build a New Bihar !