Even though the NDA has managed to secure a narrow win in Bihar, the Bihar Assembly elections, the first major elections held in the shadow of Covid19 pandemic and the brutal, painful lockdown, have sent out very inspiring messages for all forces fighting for secure livelihood, dignity and rights of the people and the future of India as a secular democratic republic.
The Bihar elections became a veritable movement of the people and upsurge of the youth. The mandate clearly reflects Bihar’s strong desire for change of government and even though the final numbers allowed the NDA to scrape through, the rise of a powerful opposition marks a big rebuff to the BJP conspiracy to render Indian democracy free of every opposition (‘opposition-mukt’ Bharat). On several seats which have been decided by very narrow margins, mostly in favour of the ruling NDA, there are valid concerns about irregularities or manipulation by the election authorities, efforts are being made to obtain evidence to mount a challenge as required.
The emergence of the RJD-Left-INC coalition was widely welcomed by the Bihar electorate and the CPI(ML) played a pivotal role in establishing the coalition as a viable alternative. This was vindicated by the electoral performance of our candidates – 12 victories out of 19 seats contested giving the Party the highest strike rate among the alliance constituents and an overall vote share of close to 4%. That this was achieved in the face of a vicious slander campaign against the party by senior BJP leaders is testimony to the growing support and goodwill generated by our struggles for and service to the people.
The thumping victories won by the student-youth leaders in these elections were specially satisfying as were the renewed victories won by our sitting MLAs.
The team of 12 MLAs of CPI(ML) coupled with the four victorious MLAs of the CPI(M) and CPI will serve as a powerful Left contingent within the anti-NDA opposition in Bihar Assembly. The emergence of a popular agenda centring around secure employment and quality education and healthcare for all as well as defence of farmers’ and workers’ rights, justice and rule of law augurs well for India’s democracy, and the CPI(ML) will continue to fight hard for the implementation and advancement of this agenda.
The Bihar election campaign of the Party received valuable moral, political and financial support from comrades and friends across the country. The Central Committee extends warm greetings and heartfelt thanks to all who supported the campaign. The results of Bihar and especially the signs of electoral resurgence of the CPI(ML) and other Left parties have generated a lot of hope and enthusiasm within and beyond Bihar.
While making every effort to fulfil the expectations in Bihar, the CPI(ML) Central Committee appeals to the entire Party, Left ranks and the whole range of pro-democracy forces in the country to intensify the battle against the Modi government’s disastrous pro-corporate anti-people policies and the BJP’s divisive hate-filled politics of communal polarisation and fascist intimidation.