CPIML Manifesto for the Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 :  CPIML Charter For Change 

cpiml manifesto

The charter presented by CPIML in the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls is in continuity with demands raised in the course of long struggles by the people of Bihar. Our charter reflects Bihar’s aspirations and determination to struggle for change. We hope that a new Government will be elected in the 2020 polls, which will work in the direction of this change. The CPIML is committed to struggling for the implementation of this people’s manifesto for change.

Land And Agrarian Reforms

(i) strict enforcement of ceiling laws so as to redistribute 1 acre cultivable ceiling-surplus land to every landless family

(ii) protection for all poor households from eviction from Bhoodan and other lands on pretext of lack of pattas; immediate regularization of all settlements of the poor and the oppressed

iii) restoration of Bhoodan Committees which the Nitish Government disbanded

(iii) provision of 10 cents of homestead land for all those without shelter

(iv) registration of all tenants/sharecroppers, regulation of rent and protection of the right to cultivate and extension of necessary assistance to tenants/sharecroppers to help them develop their agriculture.

Agricultural Development and Farmers’ Welfare

i. Enact a law through the state legislature to counteract the worst effects of the anti-farmer Farm Laws passed by the Modi regime. State law must mandate government procurement of produce at Minimum Support Price at one and half times the outlay costs in state agricultural markets; and introduce penalties for actions by corporations that hurt farmers’ interests or food security.

ii. Increased public investment in agriculture and allied sectors

iii. Cheap credit

iv. Assured power and water

v. Assured and affordable irrigation facilities

vi. Timely supply of subsidized inputs

vii. Procurement centres at every panchayat

viii. Cold storage facilities

ix. Veterinary hospitals at every block

x. New agricultural universities

Industrial Development

i. A special package to ensure reopening of closed mills and revival of sick units in the public sector

ii. promotion of employment-intensive agro-based and other small- and medium-scale industries

Right To Employment

i. Fill all pending vacancies in government jobs without delay

ii. Improved MNREGA with 200 days of work per person instead of per family, at an assured minimum wage

iii. A Decentralised Urban Employment and Training scheme under which the state government issues 'job stamps' to public institutions which provide work to workers, who can then exchange the stamps for a minimum wage provided by the government.

iv. Urban Employment Guarantee Act providing 300 days of work at a living wage to all adults

Migrant Workers’ Rights

i. Robust arrangements including a permanent helpline on part of the Bihar Government to ensure safety, dignity, care for Bihar’s migrant workers working in other states and countries

ii. Bihar Assembly should pass a resolution demanding a new stringent Central legislation in place of the present toothless Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act.

Employees Rights:

i. Scrap the 2005 New Pension Scheme, restore the Old Pension Scheme

ii. Regularise all scheme workers, contract-honorarium-outsourcing and daily wage employees and teachers, and make permanent appointments on all vacant seats

iii. Permanent appointments and promotions on all long pending seats

iv. Release the dearness allowance and dearness relief amounts that have been stopped in the name of Covid-19

v. Restore payment of bonuses for state government employees

vi. Retirement Benefits & Service Rule: No employee will be retired before his/her scheduled time; order mandating retirement for employees above the age of 50 to be scrapped. All institutions to have service book rules, all retirement benefits to be given on the day of retirement

vii. Welfare boards to be constituted in different industries/occupations to ensure housing, healthcare, education and pension benefits for unorganized workers and their families including domestic workers and agricultural labourers, and adequate compensation for all accident victims.

viii. Enact a Domestic Workers’ Welfare and Social Security Law, fix minimum wages for domestic workers

Right To Equitable And Quality Education For All

i. Complete implementation of the recommendations made by the Muchkund Dubey Commission on Common School System in its report submitted in June 2007 to ensure free and compulsory education for all within the 6-14 years age-group

ii. In keeping with the CSS commission recommendations, ensure 60,000 additional schools in Bihar (26,000 primary schools, 15,500 middle schools and 19,000 senior secondary schools)

iii. Bring the teacher-student ratio to 1 teacher for every 30 students in primary school and 1 teacher for every 35 students in upper primary.

iv. Scrap the contract-honorarium model of teacher recruitment, regularise all teachers, providing job security and adequate training to improve the quality of teaching.

v. Regularization and upgradation of Madarsas and Sanskrit Vidyalayas

vi. Introduce teachers for fine arts, computers, and sports in all schools

vii. Introduce constitutional morality classes at every level in schools, including age-appropriate curriculum teaching students to recognise and resist gender, caste, and communal prejudices and discrimination.

viii. Recognise mid-day meal workers as full-time government employees

ix. Rectify the existing anarchy in Bihar’s higher education: ensure regular sessions, fill vacancies in teaching and staff positions, hold regular students union elections

x. Investigate higher education scams and punish the guilty

xi. Pursue the demand to make Patna University a Central University

Public Health

i. Make the right to healthcare a justiciable right through the enactment of appropriate legislations at the State level for the people of Bihar. Such a legislation should ensure universal and free access to good quality and comprehensive health care including the entire range of primary, secondary and tertiary services for the entire population of Bihar.

ii. Bihar’s current Government Health expenditure per person per year, at a paltry Rs 338, is the lowest of 20 states in the country according to the National Health Accounts Estimate. The Total Health Expenditure per capita in Bihar is Rs 2047, out of which Out of Pocket Expenditure is Rs 1685 – constituting 82% of Total Health Expenditure. Government of Bihar spends only around Rs 14 per person per year on drugs and diagnostics. Ensure free drugs and diagnostics in government health facilities to all people in Bihar by increasing dedicated per person per year expenditure on drugs and diagnostics

iii. Abolish user fees in all government hospitals

iv. There is shortfall of 91% in Community Health Centres (70 out of required 774), 48% in Health Sub Centres (9729 out of required 18637) and 39% in Primary Health Centres (9729 out of required 18637) according to Rural Health Statistics Bulletin of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Develop a time-bound road map to meet the shortfall in physical health infrastructure in Bihar.

v. Equip PHCs to provide experienced emergency care, to prevent maternal and natal/neonatal mortality.

vi. Fill all the vacant posts of medical officers, specialist doctors, nurses, ANMs, pharmacists, radiographers and other frontline health workers at various government hospitals and health programmes within a stipulated time. Make appointments through permanent recruitments, not short-term contractual appointments.

vii. Recognise ASHAs, anganwadi workers as Government employees and regularised.

viii. Institute a protocol and comprehensive measures for ensuring the safety of all health, sanitation and relief workers during Covid-19 and other disasters and epidemics.

ix. A participatory system of community-based monitoring, grievance redressal and planning needs to be implemented to ensure that people in Bihar would be able to access appropriate health services as their right with accountability mechanisms, seek effective action on complaints, and have a strong voice for improved functioning of health services.

x. Open fully staffed and equipped Urban Primary Health Centres at every 30000 population in towns and cities of Bihar. Appoint USHA (Urban Social Health Activists) on the pattern of ASHA in each Urban PHC to ensure effective linkages between the community and the health facility. In addition, set up mohalla clinics  in urban bastis and slums in all towns and cities

xi. Stop all forms of privatization of Public Health Services will be immediately stopped, eliminate Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) which weaken public health services

xii. Universalise ICDS programme and expand it to cover under-3 children through community based management of malnutrition and day-care programmes

xiii. Scrap the unconstitutional requirement for mandatory Aadhaar link to access health or health-related services or schemes

Welfare and Amenities

i) Flood-control, Water Management and Disaster Management:

  • Immediate implementation of short-term and longer-term measures for flood-control, water management and rehabilitation of flood victims.
  • Construction of elevated roads and elevated platforms in flood-prone areas
  • Safe storage of foodgrains
  • Flood-resistant housing models
  • Provision of fire brigades at every block
  • District-level disaster-management planning and availability of trained personnel for prompt execution of such plans
  • Protect Bihar’s water bodies (aahar, pokhar, pyne etc)

ii) Electricity and Internet 

  1. No privatisation of power
  2. Increased production capacity of electricity
  3. Promote decentralized renewable energy
  4. 100 units of electricity free to rural poor households
  5. Subsidised power for irrigation purposes
  6. Free WiFi in all educational institutions including schools, colleges, and hostels, and creation of village libraries with WiFi
  7. Free laptop scheme for students

iii) Roads and public transport 

  • Construction and regular maintenance of rural roads
  • Comprehensive network of all-weather motorable roads throughout the state, with provision for timely and regular maintenance
  • Safe, affordable public transportation systems providing connectivity all over Bihar

iv) Safe Drinking Water, Hygiene and Sanitation

  • Free and universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation
  • End water pollution; free drinking water from dangerous effluents and chemicals
  • Stop coercion and mob violence in the name of Swacch Bharat: instead, adopt a policy of persuading people to give up caste-based prejudices about toilet-use, and on building eco-friendly toilets that people are actually willing to use.
  • End manual scavenging

v) Debt Relief
    • Loan waiver for farm loans
    • Moratorium on entry of MFI agents into villages pending economic revival
    • Relief from paying interests on MFI loans
    • Reduction on interest rates on group loans
    • Regulation of Micro Finance Institutions to prevent extortion and harassment by their agents

vi) Rations and PDS

  • End Aadhaar linkage for rations and any other welfare schemes
  • Ensure 50 kgs of food grains at Rs. 2 per kg and 5 litres of kerosene oil at Rs. 2 per litre to all food-deprived and low-income groups
  • Expand commodity coverage under PDS to include all items of essential consumption including pulses, edible oil, soaps and detergents;
  • Replace the present system of private dealership with a network of government-run ration shops in every panchayat.

Democratising Governance

  • No urban slum demolitions, or demolitions of rural settlements
  • No evictions of urban poor and street vendors;
  • Provide permanent housing and shops/space for handcarts to urban poor and street vendors
  • Ensure independence of bureaucracy: end social discrimination, political victimisation, punishment transfers
  • Janlokpal to end corruption
  • End to extortion and violence against shopkeepers, traders
  • A community based, participatory public health model to tackle alcoholism; freeing all those incarcerated under the draconian prohibition law; provide free de-addiction care for alcoholism and drug addiction; and strict regulation of the production and sale of alcohol
  • A transparent sand policy, cracking down on sand mafia and ending artificial scarcity of sand and other malpractices.
  • Six-monthly social audit of all shelter homes, old age homes, JJ (juvenile justice) homes, protection homes, beggars homes, observation homes, schools and hostels to prevent abuse

Social Protections

Senior Citizens

  • Monthly pension of Rs 1000
  • free healthcare facilities
  • provision of old-age homes and special care centres in every block for all senior citizens from low income and vulnerable communities
  • No Aadhaar requirement for accessing pensions or any other welfare measure 
  • Children:
  • Survey of all child labour and street children in Bihar towards their urgent rehabilitation
  • supplement the income of families of child labourers or street children by at least Rs. 1,000 per month, and ensure their enrolment and retention in schools.

Welfare and Rights of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

i. A robust system of monitoring the implementation of the Prevention of Atrocity Act

ii. Expanded provision of scholarships to SC/ST students

iii. A time-bound white paper on the condition of Kasturba Vidyalayas and SC/ST hostels and schools, towards all-round overhaul of infrastructure and amenities

iv. Protect and fully implement SC/ST/OBC/PH reservations, fill all vacant reserved seats without delay

v. A government-run campaign to counter discrimination and oppressive practices against SC and ST communities

Welfare and Rights of Muslim Community:

i. Effective and time-bound implementation of the recommendations of Sachar Committee and Ranganath Mishra commission

ii. Time-bound execution of the ongoing multi-sector development programmes for minorities with special emphasis on the community’s education, healthcare and employment needs

iii. Senior bureaucracy and police officials will be held accountable for timely action to punish communal hate speech, and prevent violence against minorities

iv. A government-run campaign to counter communal prejudices and promote inter-faith harmony and unity

Rights and Dignity of Women

i. Helplines providing advice and immediate legal help and social support for victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and “honour” crimes respectively

ii. Short stay homes for survivors wanting to escape abuse conditions, and for inter-caste or inter-faith couples facing violence

iii. A campaign building public support for women’s autonomy and rights, and inter-caste, inter-faith marriage

iv. Nutritious meals for pregnant women, health checks for pregnant women, supply of medicines and health care for pregnant women and provisions for safe deliveries

v. Compensation and rehabilitation of victims of sexual violence

Rights and Dignity of Transgender Persons

i. All manner of protections and welfare measures for transgender persons as mandated by the NALSA judgement will be implemented while respecting the right of trans persons to self-determination and self-identification, without having to submit any kind of proof of identity to the District Magistrate

ii. Bihar Assembly will pass a resolution demanding a rollback of the regressive Transgender Persons (Protection Of Rights) Act, 2019

Rights and Dignity of Persons With Disabilities

i. Time-bound plan to make all public places in Bihar accessible to Persons with Disabilities (PwD)

ii. Free of cost aids and appliances, medicine and diagnostic services and corrective surgery to persons with disabilities

iii. 5% reservation in higher education and 4% reservation in jobs for PwDs

Justice and Human Rights

i. Mandate the completion and submission of the Amir Das Commission Report into the political linkages of the feudal terrorist outfit Ranveer Sena

ii. Commitment not to implement the unconstitutional National Population Register NPR (which is nothing but a prelude to the NRC and CAA which threaten the citizenship rights of Indians based on lack of documentation

iii. Bring the perpetrators of massacres of Dalits, oppressed castes and Muslims to justice.

iv. Compensation and rehabilitation of victims of communal and caste violence, as well as disasters

v. Strengthen the scope and powers of the various State Commissions: for women; SC/Sts; minorities and human rights

vi. Implementation of the 11 Supreme Court directives to prevent mob lynchings: including appointing a senior police officer as a nodal officer in each district to take appropriate measures; broadcasting warnings against mob violence; appointing designated courts for lynching cases; preparing a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme.

vii. Police reform to hold the police force accountable to the Constitution; cleansing policing in Bihar of the scourge of custodial torture and arbitrary violence; implementation of Supreme Court directions in the case of every custodial death

viii. Time-bound plan to release under-trial prisoners on bail in as many cases as possible, keeping in mind the Covid-19 pandemic. Even in normal times, ensuring that “bail not jail” remains the norm, and taking measures to prevent needless incarceration of under-trial prisoners. Release of poor and destitute under-trials on Re 1 bail amounts.

ix. Comprehensive prison reform, ensuring basic human rights of prisoners. Ensuring that the detailed observations and recommendations of the “Prisons of Bihar: Status Report-2015” for every prison in the state, are addressed and implemented. Medical facilities for all prisoners. Special emphasis on conditions of women and transgender prisoners, including medical and psychiatric help. Prevention of discrimination and violence inside prison against vulnerable minorities, especially under-trials in terror cases. Free legal aid counsel to under-trials.

Culture, Language, Sports, Tourism

i. Protection and development of Bihar’s languages including Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, Angika and Bajjika. 

ii. Auditoria and cultural centres should be set up in all district headquarters as a tribute to eminent poets and writers like Nagarjun, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Phaniswarnath Renu, Bhikari Thakur, Rahul Sankrityayan, Gorakh Pandey.  

iii. Adoption of a sports policy to encourage rural sports; ensure availability of sports teachers and training facilities at every school and spot and groom budding talents at the grassroots level. A properly built sports stadium in every block and a well-equipped sports complex in every district/subdivision headquarter. 

iv. A comprehensive tourism development plan for Bihar to protect and promote places of historical importance and natural beauty, with due emphasis on development of tourism-related infrastructure for small-budget tourists.