Tuesday, March 13, 2012

UP Elections: Lessons.

The present Samajvadi Party has gone far away from even the ‘Lohia socialism’ of yesteryears. As proved in its earlier stint, it is one of the most ardent supporters of the imperialist globalization/ neo-liberal policies. It had ordered the first police firing in the country for enforcing the privatization of a cement factory, killing ten workers. The ruling class and the corporate/ MNC lobby have seen that the regional parties like DMK and AIADMK in Tamilnadu, TDP in AP, BJD in Odisha, TMC in Bengal, JD(U) in Bihar, Akali Dal in Punjab, Shivsena in Maharashtra and BSP and SP in UP are more ‘efficient’ sometimes in pursuing the neo-liberal policies and opening the country to neo-colonization, and so have started supporting them enthusiastically. In UP, as BSP got discredited they soon shifted their preference to SP providing all support which also played an important role in its victory along with other factors like caste and communal equations. This trend may influence even the all India political scene in coming days. So the victory of SP is essentially a victory of the corporate/ MNC lobby, which changes its preference according to conditions in each state to advance its interests. The corporate/ MNC lobby is so happy that whoever wins among the different ruling/ regional parties or alliances, all of them basically follow the neo-liberal policies very loyally.
It is in this situation the performance of the ‘left’ parties of various hues in UP elections should be seen. As SP rejected to accommodate them, the CPI(M) led Left Front parties fielded about 120 candidates. Though CPI(ML) Liberation started talks for joining it, due to differences on seat allocation, it declared its own 42 candidates. All these parties focused only on the number of seats to be contested, but their manifestos did not categorically reject the neo-liberal policies or put forward any alternative to the ruling class/ regional parties. So CPI and CPI(M) which had good representation in the vidhan sabha till recently were wiped out and their voting percentage also went down drastically. CPI which contested 55 seats could get only 99,000 votes, a far cry from the period when it had more than 10 MLAs. Out of this, they got 41,000 votes from Chitrakut seat alone, getting average 1000 votes each from other seats. CPI(M) contested 18 seats and could get only 54,000 votes, a steep downfall from its past gains. Out of this, it received 36,000 votes from Kuraha seat in Allahabad district alone, thus getting only 1000 votes each from other seats. The performance of Forward Bloc and RSP which contested nearly 20 seats each is not worth mentioning. Liberation which ultimately fielded 34 candidates could get only 33, 374 votes. The maximum they got was 5637 votes in one seat. Compared to 2007 elections, their vote share went down sharply. Akhilendra Pratap Singh, who was Liberation’s state secretary in 2007 and who left it and formed Jan Sangharsh Morcha (JSM), fielded 27 candidates and got only 19200 votes. Though all of these are projected as ‘left’ forces by their followers and corporate media, none of them had put forward a manifesto basically different from that of the ruling class/ regional parties and in effect had reduced themselves to pseudo left forces.
Contrary to this, the CPI(ML) had fielded ten candidates and supported five based on an election  manifesto which projected a revolutionary alternative before the people. It had started its functioning in an organized manner only recently. It collected the fund from the local people and organized campaign propagating its line through its Election Manifesto, handbills and a CD explaining Party line on elections. In spite of all these technical and financial problems and limitations, an effective campaign for a revolutionary alternative could be organized through the active participation of all party and class/ mass organization members and the 15 candidates together obtained 33,541 votes (average 2250 votes per candidate), with com. Mukesh from Bahreich (Barabanki dt) getting 6066 votes. It shows that if the revolutionary left can wage a political campaign utilizing the available strength of the organization based on a revolutionary manifesto, uncompromisingly fighting the ruling class agenda, it can win the support of ever larger number of toiling people and in the future develop in to a determining force. The election campaign and the votes received by the Part/ Party supported candidates are indications of the emergence of the revolutionary left in the state putting forward an alternative before the people.

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