CPI(ML) Liberation Manifesto for 1995 Bihar Assembly Elections

[Excerpts. From Liberation, March 1995.]

The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has been conducting grassroots struggles in Bihar since 25 years, aimed at a revolutionary transformation of society. In order to reach out to the masses with a revolutionary democratic programme and give new momentum for the struggle for social justice it contested last assembly elections through IPF and is now contesting as a registered political party -- Communist Party of India (ML) Liberation.

For it, any electoral adjustment is subservient to the immediate and basic interests of the common people.

During the Janata Dal regime, it was only this party which played the role of revolutionary opposition and about 500 leaders, activists, and sympathisers have fallen to the bullets of the Laloo regime.

The central slogan of CPI(ML) Liberation for this election is:

Struggle against mafiadom for establishing democracy!

The Party reposes full faith on every peace-loving, honest member of the society who stands for development, above caste and religious barriers.

Our Priority

1. Re-establishing democracy in Bihar

The minority JD government which came to power in 1990 has throttled all democratic norms in order to save Laloo’s throne.

Out of 151 MLAs, about 140 MLAs have been promoted to the status of ministers or the equivalent of ministers. Even the socalled ‘independent’ MLAs with criminal background have been given a free hand.

Even as more and more people come to live below the poverty line, benefits for ministers have cost the state exchequer Rs.25 crores.

Whereas Jai Prakash Narayan had been trying for a change of heart for the dacoits of Chambal, Laloo has collected all the most infamous criminals and history-sheeters at the centre of power in Patna and Ranchi. This is how the socio-economic life of Bihar has been totally captured by the mafiadom. Last year there were 300 cases of kidnapping and almost all believe that they were engineered at the centre of power. During the last five years, elections to panchayats and nagarpalikas have also not been held.

The education system in Bihar has been corrupted by the education-mafia in Laloo’s coterie. In order to stall the upliftment of students, student unions have been banned and students’ movements made to brave the brunt of bullets and lathis.

Several cases of naked parading of women in the streets, repression on women, an incident of rape of a dalit woman by a JD leader or the rape of a minor girl of the minority community by another JD leader have come to light. Yet a state-level women’s commission has not been constituted.

The bill for autonomy of the Jharkhand region was finally passed after a lot of manipulation. Yet when it was passed, it was already too late for implementation.

Though the slogan of social justice was given for the dalits and backwards of Bihar, the government turned the state into a slaughter house for dalits. All previous records were broken so far as the matters of dalits are concerned. On those struggling for minimum wages, land and social dignity, police repression became the norm.

In Narhi, 7 dalits fell to police bullets whereas in Gaya and Matgarha dalit students were killed in fake encounters. The report on the Arwal massacre was suppressed by the government. The government has bargained the corpses of the dead with a meagre compensation only.

Till date the culprits of the riots of Bhagalpur and Sitamarhi go unpunished while some of the rioters and BJP people have been incorporated into the JD. The government is based on corruption, crime, autocracy and falsehood.

The Party is committed towards reviving the spirit of the movement of 1974 for the establishment of democratic norms.

In the years to come we will struggle

a) against booth capturing, electoral malpractices, for the guarantee of the right to vote for the dalit electorate;

b) against special privileges for ex-chief ministers and against the misuse of money from the government coffers;

c) for making the Assembly a meaningful platform for discussion on vital issues, for right to recall (of people’s representatives) and for making the people’s representatives responsible towards the electorate;

d) for timely and regular elections to institutions of people’s representation e.g., corporations, panchayats, unions etc.;

e) for constitution of state women’s commission and for special women’s courts;

f) for forest land and other lands, rights to formulate new laws and for an autonomous council, and finally an autonomous state for the Jharkhandi people;

g) for judicial enquiry into the massacres of dalits in Bihar and the murder of Comrade Virendra Vidrohi (poet) committed by JD and the MCC; and

h) for legal action against the culprits of the Bhagalpur and Sitamarhi riots and for legal action against the rapist of a minor Muslim girl, a JD leader.

2. For the revitalisation of the economic life of Bihar

The rate of development in the last 5 years has dropped down from 3.5% to 1.5%. The per capita income (per annum) of a citizen in Bihar has gone down from 1100 to 1091. There has also been a 30% hike in the unemployment. The non-plan expenditure has gone up and the government is eating up 80% of its present budget. Government employees and teachers go without salary. The state lacks an industrial policy and industry and business has shifted from the state. About 2 lakh posts remain vacant in governmental institutions and corruption is rampant in the system for employment.

The Bihar government has not put up any resistance worth the name against the anti-people policies of the central government that discriminate against Bihar. …

All its promises of land reform remained empty assurances.

We will struggle for revitalisation of the economy.

a) against the new economic policy and industrial policy of the central government and against the step motherly treatment meted out to the state;

b) for a fresh survey of land, for distribution among landless poor of land exceeding the ceiling limit, for recording of sharecroppers, for special land tribunals for disposal of land disputes;

c) for adequate wages for agricultural labourers, for, guarantee of employment all through the year, for availability of all essential commodities at low price;

d) for the modernisation of all old canals, for availability of water. electricity, fertilisers, insecticides at low price;

e) for revitalisation of all cotton mills, Ashok paper mill, Dalmianagar industry, sugar and jute mills that have been shut down;

f) for basic change in the system of sales tax. For protection of entrepreneurs and traders from the criminal nexus operating in this sphere; and

g) for the protection of those engaged in small trades against Rangdari. Against the deprivation of the daily bread of small traders and hawkers in the name of removal of encroachments.

3. Renaissance of socio-cultural life

We demand:

a) reservation be raised up to 60%, out of which 30% would be for women. In the light of the Supreme Court judgment the creamy layer of the backwards be determined and for the determination of reservation quota for extremely backward and backward sections of minorities;

b) that the literacy campaign be carried on as a movement to achieve total literacy in Bihar by the close of the century. To regulate and stop misuse of Charwaha Vidyalayas. To provide budget allocation for all educational institutions to enable them to run and for regularisation of the academic sessions; and

c) for putting an end to all forms of obscenity and feudal-brahminical culture of sycophants and to encourage pro-people cultural values.

The successful implementation of this programme is only possible through the establishment of a left-democratic alternative. It is for this reason that the CPI(ML) has entered the electoral battle.

In order to oust the symbol of mafiadom, the Laloo government, and to stop the Congress, BJP, Bihar Peoples Party, which are the representatives of feudal, casteist and communal forces of Bihar from utilising this opportunity in their favour and for establishing genuine democracy, the CPI(ML) is in the electoral fray with the following objective:

To struggle

* Against mafiadom, for establishment of democracy

* Against the system based on loot, for a comprehensive programme of development

* Against social degeneration, for socio-cultural renaissance.