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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Mayawati will fail in Bihar: Left

PATNA: As far as Bihar Left is concerned, it is not a whit scared of UP CM and BSP leader Mayawati's "sarvjana mantra" — "Haathi Nahin Ganesh Hai, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh Hai..." — that did wonders in her home state and catapulted her to power on her own steam.

However, this might not work in the Left terrain in Bihar. Yet, CPI(ML) and CPI have no imagination and inkling to decipher the murky underground or behind the scene political game that the Maoists allegedly play on the eve of elections. For, for more than past one decade, it has been alleged that the Maoists make hard bargain and "sell" votes in their unassailable base areas for a hefty sum.

By corollary, the Left has no clue if the Maoists would break bread with Mayawati or her party in Bihar. There have been instances of political parties or resourceful contestants, whatever their ideological leanings, purchasing votes from the "Maoist Vote Bank" both in Bihar and Jharkhand, most flagrantly since the 1995 assembly elections.

"Even during the just concluded UP assembly elections, the Maoists bargained with Mayawati's party in parts of Chandoli, Mughalsarai and Mirzapur districts," said Bihar CPI(ML) state secretary Nand Kishore Prasad, whose party had fielded 34 candidates in UP and somehow managed to retain its share of votes. Prasad added that former CPI(Maoist) commander Kameshar Baitha contested the Palamu byelection on the BSP ticket and mustered the support of the Maoists, though to end up only as a loser.

Otherwise, both the CPI(ML) and CPI leadership maintained that Mayawati would not have much impact even on the Dalit voters in their own base areas. They, however, added that a section of the Dalits, specially the Ravidas sections, could veer around her party, which, in fact, has been happening for sometime past. The BSP has significant presence in Kaimur, Bhojpur, Rohtas and Buxar districts, Prasad said.

The CPI(ML) confidence comes from the fact that the party synchronised Dalit vision with peasant struggles from 1983, the immediate result of which was the massacres heaped on Dalit villages, most virulently from the Lahsuna massacre in March 1984 in Patna district itself. The underground armed outfit of the CPI(ML) would, however, always retaliate. "The Dalits in Bihar, specially under the influence of our party, are unlikely to shift to Mayawati," Prasad said.

According to CPI state secretary Badri Narayan Lal, almost all the parties in Bihar have their Dalit leaders. "BSP is a regional party specific to UP. The Bihar situation is different. The CPI has a long phase of struggle against feudal elements. Here, the majority of Left's members are from the Dalit and weaker sections," Lal said.

Yet, the CPI has begun to pull up its socks. It held the two-day state Dalit Adhikar Sammelan (Dalit Rights Conference) at Khagaria, beginning April 22. A rally was also held. "Now we are going to decentralise it. Such conferences will be held in districts, too. We are planning the programme," Lal said. What the CPI(ML) started practising from 1983, CPI has started this year. Mayawati would stand checkmated in the Left terrain, where her "sarvajan mantra" is unlikely to work

The Times of India

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posted by Resistance 5/18/2007 08:40:00 AM,


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