Patna, Sept 7: Six major Left parties today joined hands to contest the forthcoming Bihar Assembly elections and vowed to fight the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance. Asserting that they were starting an “agitation” for the state, which would “defeat feudal, communal and corporate forces”, the Left parties said they have come together to provide an option to the public to provide “people’s rule” in the true sense.(Read: CPI open to tie-up with other smaller parties for Bihar polls)
The six Left parties which joined hands today include the Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI(M), CPI(ML), Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI)(Communist), All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and were currently in the process of finalising the seat-sharing for the 243-member Assembly.
Top leaders of the six parties shared dais while addressing a meeting of their workers and supporters, which they called “people’s political convention.” Speaking on the occasion, CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said “We have been waiting for this moment for years. We were asked whey can’t the Left parties unite. Today we have come together to make the saffron brigade of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and grand alliance of RJD-JD(U)-Congress bite dust in the Bihar Assembly polls.”
He said 2014 was a year of elections, as well as, ‘jumla’ (rhetoric) and Modi, but 2015 was a year of agitations across the country forcing BJP and RSS on the back foot. Bhattacharya also attacked RJD chief Lalu Prasad accusing him of collaborating with those who massacred the Dalits in the state and hit out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for shielding them by dismantling the Amir Das Commission formed to probe into the outlawed Ranveer Sena (a militia formed by landlords of dominant castes).
Addressing the meeting, senior CPI leader A B Bardhan said “We are starting an agitation for the state and the country. We will awaken the people of Bihar to defeat the feudal, communal, corporate forces led by BJP and the opportunistic alliance of Prasad, Kumar and Congress.”
He said it was imperative for the people of Bihar to ensure victory of the “third or Left alliance” to take the state ahead after realising that the Modi-led central government, as well as, the 25-year rule of Prasad and Kumar have not done anything for them. “They just indulged in tall talk and kept boasting. The people did not get anything. Around 90 per cent population of Bihar is still poor. This is why the third alliance of Left parties is needed here. The fight in the state will decide the future of our country,” Bardhan said.
Speaking on the occasion, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the unity of Left parties in Bihar was “the only option available to the people in the country”. “We are amidst a political triangle with communal forces led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on one corner, who raises slogans of ‘Achche Din’ (good days), but fosters mis-governance. People are unable to get onion and pulses because economic, financial loot is going on across the country,” he said.
“The second corner is occupied by casteist political forces led by RJD and JD(U) who exploit the sentiments of the poor to capture power. The Left parties form the third corner, which offers people’s rule. We will defeat forces of bad governance and come to power,” Yechury added.
He said Modi started his “Ashwamedha Yajna” and was roaming around in arrogance, “but doesn’t know Bihar still has twins in the form of hammer and sickle, the symbols of farmer and labourer. They are ‘Lav and Kush’ (twins of Lord Ram) who will stop the ‘Ashwamedha’ horse of Modi in the state.”
Yechury cautioned people that communal tension could be fanned in the state as polls draw closer and urged them to remain united, not only to save Bihar, but the country. The CPI(M) General Secretary argued there was no dearth of resources and wealth in the country, but they were concentrated in the hands of just a few people, leaving others high and dry.
“There are 100 persons in the country who are billionaires and have wealth over Rs 64,000 crore each. Half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is concentrated in their hands. On the other side are 90 per cent families who earn less than Rs 10,000 per month. Around 40 to 50 per cent people have less than what is needed to survive,” he said.
In such a situation, Yechury said, the Centre provided tax discounts over the last six years to the tune of Rs six lakh crore to industrialists with an excuse that it would lead to industrial development. On the other hand it was trying to cut down subsidies given to the poor even as unemployment increased, factories closed and the rich and poor gap widened, he added.
The Left leaders said they would contest all seats in Bihar and talks for seat sharing were in the last phases and their distribution would be announced after the election dates were declared. “Consensus has been arrived on around 240 seats. Just a few of them remain under discussion. There are no disputes. We will fight together in entire Bihar,” they said.
Bhattacharya on his part said CPI(ML) would contest on around 85-90 seats in comparison to 104 seats it fought during the 2010 Assembly polls and added “we have left a few seats as all the left parties have united.” AIFB General Secretary Debabarata Biswas, RSP General Secretary Abani Roy, SUCI(Communist) central committee member Chhaya Mukherjee and several other leaders from the six parties also spoke on the occasion.