Land Reforms Sangharsh Yatra and Convention

CPI(ML) in Bihar launched a state-wide campaign from 3-8 October to demand implementation of the recommendations of the D. Bandopadhyaya Land Reforms Commission. The Sangharsh Yatra called upon the masses to reject and oust the Nitish Govt. which is so blatantly on the side of landlords and land-grabbers.
On October 3rd, Sangharsh Yatras (struggle marches) were taken out -  from Madhuban village in Patna led by AIALA’s National President  Rameshwar Yadav and Party’s MLA Nand Kumar Nanda; from Arrah in Bhojpur led by  KD Yadav- State President of BPKS, from Karakat in Rohtas led by  Arun Singh; from Biharsharif in Nalanda led by AIPWA State Secretary Shashi Yadav, from Comrade Chandrashekhar’s statue at Siwan led by CPI(ML) MLA Amarnath Yadav, from Hathua in Gopalganj led by CCM Meena Tiwari; from Manjhaulia in West Champaran led by Virendra Gupta; in Muzaffarpur led by  Jitenda Yadav; in Purnea led by  Madhavi Sarkar; in Darbhanga led by  Dhirendra Jha; in Begusarai led by  Chandradeo Ram; in Aurangabad led by  Rajaram Singh; in Patna led by  Saroj Chaubey and in Bhagalpur led by  SK Sharma. Apart from Yatras were also taken out in Chhapra, Vaishali, Araria, Banka, Munger, Lakhisarai, Jamui, Madhubani and Sitamarhi districts. 
During the Sangharsh Yatra in 30 districts of the State more than a thousand public meetings and gatherings were organised and addressed. Foot marches and vehicle campaigns aided the intensive campaign. The Sangharsh Yatra crossed more than five thousand villages in 200 sub-divisions/blocks.
The Yatra culminated in a massive Land Reforms Convention at Patna on 10 October addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. He said that Mandal-ite politicians like Laloo and Nitish had conveniently forgotten that the Mandal Commission too had recommended land reforms as a key component of social justice. Nitish Kumar, he said, had set up Mahadalit Commission, Common School Commission and Land Reforms Commission galore – only to turn and make a mockery of their recommendations.
He said that carnages like Amousi could have been avoided if Nitish Kumar led Govt. had implemented the recommendations of the D. Bandopadhyaya Commission, instead of leaving the landless poor and sharecroppers to the mercy of the prevailing agrarian anarchy. Under pressure from his primary constituency of feudal forces, he is now junking the agenda of Land Reforms.   
The Convention also warned the Nitish Govt. that if no action is taken within a month’s time towards implementing the Land Reform Commission’s recommendations, the movement would be intensified. 
Some of the resolutions passed at the Convention -
(1) This massive Convention of landless-sharecroppers-peasants holds the policy of reluctance and feudal attitude of the Govt. towards land reforms to be responsible for Amousi massacre. The Govt. that swears in the name of Mahadalits is only repressing them and painting them as criminals instead of providing them land, food-grains, dignity and housing. The Convention condemns the large scale repression, implicating in false cases and arresting of Musahar people at Khagaria, Saharsa, Darbhanga, Begusarai and Munger districts after the Amousi massacre, and demands that all the cases be withdrawn and arrested people be released immediately, and all landless families including the Mushahar community be granted 10 decimal housing plot and one acre of farm land,
(2) This convention terms the Rajgir conference of RSS as an exercise in vitalising the feudal-communal forces and calls upon all the poor-secular people to launch resistance against its proposed Gram Raksha Vahinis (village defence squad) aimed at encouraging the aggressiveness of feudal-kulak forces.
(1) In the light of recommendations of the D Bandopadhyaya Commission the State Govt. must urgently enact new laws for ceiling and share-cropping. Bhoodan, ceiling and housing plot parchadharis must be facilitated in gaining possession of the said land. Sharecroppers be safeguarded from eviction and get assured access to all facilities ranging from bank loans to crop-damage compensation and other Government agricultural welfare schemes
(2) The convention strongly condemns the betrayal by past Congress, RJD and current JD(U) governments on the issue of land reforms and calls upon rural poor and peasantry to intensify land struggle. A State-level workshop will be organised at Muzaffarpur on 28-29 October to provide impetus to the struggle for land reforms
(3) A parallel registration campaign will be conducted for share-croppers, landless poor and those without homestead land. The Convention demands that all matters related to land be handed over to panchayats and panchayats be authorised to issue identity cards to share-croppers and landless. This Convention calls upon the Bihar Pradesh Kisan Sabha (BPKS) and AIALA to collect records of feudal forces holding Govt. land and launch struggle against them.  
The Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has finally declared outright that he has no intention of implementing the LRC recommendation to enact a new bataidari law. Instead he has directed SPs to deal with land disputes – confirming that in his govt.’s view, land is viewed as a law and order issue, and in effect issuing a veiled threat to the CPI(ML) (i.e that we will have to contend with the police if we take up land issues).
In response to queries by the press, Nitish has declared that when even West Bengal could not implement ownership rights for the sharecroppers, how can Bihar do it? But the fact is that the LRC headed by D Bandopadhyaya does not at any point recommend ownership rights for sharecroppers! It merely recommends registration of bataidars as the most modest and minimum security of tenure and right to cultivate the land, allowing the sharecroppers to thus access government schemes of agricultural compensation and credit, etc... Nitish is setting up a straw man of ‘ownership rights’ and then knocking it down!
Nitish has also summarily ruled out the LRC recommendation of uniformity of land ceiling, and even the recommendation of 10 decimals of homestead land for rural poor.

The CPI(ML) has launched a widespread awareness campaign regarding ceiling land, homestead land and bataidari rights. Alongside this, the party has also begun initiatives to organise bataidars and create a pressure from below. In 10 panchayats of Patna where the party has a hold, we have begun to extend subsidy to bataidars. In Samastipur, our panchayats have distributed Kisan Credit cards to bataidars in Bhojpur, bataidari registration forms have been filled up as part of a campaign and submitted to the district administration..