Mandate against Modi Dictatorship

We the People of India in an exemplary fight restrained Modi’s BJP to 243 seats despite huge money-corporate power, use of state machinery, and hatred and lie filled propaganda by the BJP. The INDIA Alliance has emerged reflecting the indomitable spirit of common people to uphold and defend the country's secular, democratic and inclusive ethos.

The Lok Sabha election results are a mandate against Modi's dictatorship, and a victory for democracy and the Constitution. Commenting on these results CPIML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya has said the performance of the INDIA alliance in Uttar Pradesh has paved way for the success of the alliance in the country, which is a befitting reply to the BJP and a rejection of the regime led by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The livelihood crisis of the people became the major issue in the elections and the mandate is also against the divisive policies adopted by the BJP.

In Bihar, CPI(ML) won in two out of the three constituencies it contested. In Karakat, Comrade Rajaram Singh and in Arrah, Comrade Sudama Prasad have won. Dr. Sandeep Saurav was the runner up in Nalanda LS constituency. CPIML had also contested as part of the INDIA alliance in Kodarma (Jharkhand), where sitting MLA of Bagodar Comrade Vinod Singh was the candidate. It must be noted that after the disqualification of Comrade Manoj Manzil as the MLA from Agiaon in Bihar, due to his conviction in a politically motivated case, Agiaon had bypolls, in which Comrade Shivprakash Ranjan of CPIML has won. CPIML also contested independently in parliamentary elections from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, Koraput in Odisha and Bardhaman Purba in West Bengal. Besides, the party had also fielded candidates in the Assembly elections held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on five seats each in these states. 

In Bhojpur, few incidents of attacks on voters by upper caste feudal elements were witnessed. The feudal goons, seeing imminent defeat of BJP, desperately tried to stop and intimidate voters at many places. In the Barhara Assembly segment on 1 June four people sustained bullet injuries near a polling booth because they voted against the ruling party. The incidents of intimidation were also reported from a few other places.

These elections were also remembered for the campaign conducted by the CPIML candidates by depending only on the funding by the people. On the one hand there was a campaign by the BJP with the money-power backed by thousands of crores of rupees amassed through illegal Electoral Bonds, and on the other hand CPIML banked on the funding through rupees 20 coupons taken by the electorate and small contributions by the party supporters. The money power was countered by the people’s power strengthening the democratic tradition of for the people, by the people and of the people.

Nearly two month long election campaign witnessed hundreds of rallies, road shows and mass meetings throughout Bihar. These were addressed jointly by the INDIA Alliance leaders. One of the last such rallies held in support of Sudama Prasad for Arrah parliamentary constituency and Shiv Prakash Ranjan for Agiaon Legislative Assembly bye-election at Gadhani Mela ground in Bhojpur and addressed by Dipankar Bhattacharya, Tejasvi Yadav and Mukesh Sahni as the main speakers. They also addressed an election rally along with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at Jagadishpur on 27 May in support of Sudama Prasad.

The elections were fought by the opposition on a very uneven field resisting money, muscle and administrative backing of the BJP with the election commission tacitly helping the ruling party by not taking action against blatant violations of the model code of conduct and even depriving the people of their right to have a fully transparent electoral process. The ECI response remained mute or unsatisfactory to the hundreds of complaints and representations submitted by the INDIA Alliance parties. On the last day of elections on June 1 the INDIA alliance parties held a meeting in Delhi to prepare themselves for the counting day, the 4 June. The parties discussed procedures and precautions needed for the counting day and decided to meet the Election Commission the next day. They reiterated the demand of ensuring transparency and fairness in the counting process.

On 1 June, polling day for the final round, the copies of Form 17C were not provided to most of the polling agents which is mandatory even without the agent asking for it. The CPIML candidates were met with wholesale denial by Presiding Officers in booth after booth in Ara, Karakat and Nalanda. Party candidates submitted complaints to concerned Returning Officers and Central Observers but no action was taken by any of the officials.

The party submitted a memorandum to the CEO, Bihar and the Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi regarding non-furnishing of Form 17C to polling agents in Nalanda, Arrah and Karakat LS Constituencies and in Agiaon Legislative Assembly By-Polls. At many booths the polling agents were misbehaved with for seeking Form 17Cs. Under the rule it is required to furnish to every polling agent, who was present at the close of the poll, a true attested copy of the account of votes recorded as prepared in Form 17C. This was a clear violation of the Election Conduct Rules raising suspicion against a free and fair election process. Without the Form 17C, it was impossible to verify the details at the time of counting votes, including ballot unit numbers, control unit numbers, total vote polled and all other details which are necessary for the counting process.

Against this clear-cut violation, the CPIML demanded to immediately provide Form 17Cs for all polling stations. No action in this regard was taken by the election commission. Ironically the EC held a press conference the next day to pat its own back and claim credit for conducting the world's largest electoral exercise!

In reality, this was one of India's most ill-managed elections with dozens of lives - polling officials, security forces, voters and campaigners - lost in the lethal heat wave. There was hardly any logistical arrangement to facilitate voter participation in this gruelling heat. In many cases polling officials violated election conduct rules by refusing to furnish 17C forms to polling agents. And most deplorably the EC disgraced itself and demeaned its own institutional reputation by turning a blind eye to the hate campaign spearheaded directly by the Prime Minister and the brazen violation of the model code of conduct and provisions of the Representation of the People Act by the BJP in all possible manners all through the protracted polling season.

In spite of all odds the elections were fought by the people with great energy and enthusiasm, especially the youth who participated in rallies and daily campaigns in huge numbers. In the constituencies where CPIML was contesting, women’s active participation on a great scale was an achievement. They took part at every level and in Arrah, Karakat, Nalanda and Kodarma, women leaders’ teams independently campaigned in all Assembly segments by mobilising resources and support on their own. They organised village level meetings involving thousands of women voters and communicated party stand on issues ranging from price rise and cooking gas to situation in Manipur and the war on the people of Gaza. These teams also effectively conveyed the nature of anti-people and pro-corporate communal character of the Modi regime through songs and music.  

Ten years of dictatorial and arrogant Modi regime have intensified the yearning for change among the people. People voted to ensure accessible representatives in Parliament and an accountable government at the Centre.

While welcoming the mandate of the people of the country the CPIML shall continue its fight for democracy and the Constitution.