Saturday, 21 May 2016

Assembly Polls in Five States, Ring the Death Knell for Stalinist Left

- Rajesh Tyagi/ 21.5.2016

The results of the recent 2016 Assembly polls in five states in India, are not beyond speculations. Results are demonstrative of a clear advance of right-wing BJP, a debacle for Congress and continued routing of Stalinists.

BJP has succeeded in sweeping polls in Assam, while Tamilnadu and West Bengal voting in favour of regional parties- the AIADMK led by J. Jayalalitha and TMC led by Mamata Banerjee respectively.

Poll results are clearly indicative of a continuing rightward swing in Indian politics in reversal of the left leaning in 2004 parliamentary elections and a lull in 2009.

While Congress has suffered serious setbacks in all states except Puducherry, Stalinists have lost their citadel, West Bengal, for the second time, after first losing it to Mamata Baneerjee’s TMC in 2011 Assembly polls. CPI (M), the leader of the left front in West Bengal, could not secure even 20% of the total votes polled, after ruling the state for 34 years uninterruptedly.

Stalinists had made electoral alliance with big-business party of the Indian bourgeois, the Congress, in these elections in West Bengal in the hope of better results than before. Stalinists crooned the shameful requiem, “Rahul Gandhi Lal Salam”, while their leaders shared dais with Congress leaders. Walls in Kolkata, were full of the more shameful graffiti, “With the hand (of Congress) holding the hammer and sickle, Trinamool will be ousted from Bengal.”

The maneuver, however, failed with the landslide victory of Trinamool Congress, a breakaway faction from the Congress in 1998.  

Last year, the Stalinist left front, aided by an informal poll understanding with the Congress, has succeeded in municipal and gram panchayat polls in Siliguri district of West Bengal. The left front was in fact duplicating the ‘siliguri model’ in the recent assembly polls.

In Kerala, another state where Stalinists have notable presence, and have regularly alternated the governments with congress led UDF, BJP has succeeded in opening its account for the first time. In Kerala too, despite its victory, the left front could not even touch the mark of 30% of the votes polled.

While the victory of CPM led Left Democratic Front is directly attributable to corrupt misrule of Congress led UDF Government of Ooman Chandy in Kerala, the Trinamool Congress government under Mamata Banerjee has succeeded in defying even the anti-incumbency factor due to complete marginalisation of the left front, Congress combine.

As polls for Assemblies of West Bengal and Kerala went hand in hand together, opportunism of Stalinists was translated in instant dichotomy. In West Bengal, where Congress was traditionally chief electoral opponent, Stalinists stood in alliance with it, against the incumbent TMC. However, in Kerala they were forced to hold in opposition to Congress led UDF, as the whole contest was between the two.  

In the states of Tamilnadu, Assam, and Puducherry, where also the polls were held, Stalinists failed to secure a single seat or even considerable share of votes.  

The CPM, perplexed by the electoral setbacks, called a meeting of its Central Committee, purportedly to consider the poll debacles, but then cancelled it in no time, refusing even to review its deeds and misdeeds.

Stalinists have propped up a series of right-wing governments at the centre and the states, most of them led by Congress, that had driven India to become a haven for foreign and domestic investments and have pushed through liberal reforms. These governments have converted India into a platform of cheap labour and natural resources and drawing it ever closer to Imperialism led by the US.

From time to time, Stalinists have propagated the big business parties, like Congress, alongside other regionalist, caste-ist and reactionary parties, as bulwark of secularism and democracy and have politically subordinated the youth and working class to them.

In 2004, when a clear left swing was there on the political horizon, Stalinists took to the tail of Congress. They told the youth and workers that followed them that the support to Congress is the only way to ward off the saffron BJP.

Stalinists have tied the youth and workers to bourgeois parties creating illusions that these parties can be pursued to lean upon the left and take to pro-people policies.

Through such blatant lies, Stalinists have prevented the working class from advancing its own answer- the socialist revolution- to the crisis of capitalism. The result is the rise of far right-wing BJP!

Beaten badly in 2014 parliamentary elections, the Stalinist CPM, in its 21st Congress had adopted resolution to keep in opposition to both Congress and the BJP, still leaving open the broadway for the Party to maneuver with all other bourgeois parties. Yet in derogation of even the resolution of its own Congress, CPM leaders have entered into formal and informal electoral alliances with Congress Party.

“In West Bengal”, declared the CC of CPM in its resolution on the eve of the recent assembly elections, “the CPM will seek the cooperation of all democratic forces…to defeat the Trinamul Congress and isolate the BJP and their machinations”. ‘All democratic forces’ has been since long a sham for Stalinists to cover up the real plot to set up close alliances with leaders and parties of the bourgeoisie.

The opposition led by Prakash Karat, to the present leadership of the CPM under Sitaram Yechury that had advocated more aggressive turn to the Congress Party, is a phony opposition. Karat was the General Secretary of the Party when it had rendered critical support to UPA under Congress in 2004. Congress has been the traditional party of the big business that had triggered the neo-liberal regime in 1991.

Apart from aiding the bourgeoisie parties and the governments under them, the Stalinists in the states where they headed the governments, have implemented the very same pro-investor policies favourable to big business, that the bourgeois parties have resorted to in other states as well as at the centre.

In its reckless drive to implement the neo-liberal regime in West Bengal by offering cheap labour and natural resources to the investors, the CPM led left-front has unleashed severe repression upon defiant peasants in Nandigram and Singur.

Even in the recent election campaign, the focus of the electoral propaganda of Stalinists was to attract more and more investment and industrialize the state by creating an investor friendly environment.

Stalinists are the left-wing of the bourgeoisie establishment. The political program of Stalinists, that binds them to the sections of the bourgeoisie, is based upon bogus Menshevik notion that sanctions the alliances between workers and capitalist parties. The ‘bloc of four classes’ advocated by Stalin and Mao, as ready recipe of revolution, in turn, is based upon this false formula.

The poll results make the point more clear that none of the parties of the bourgeois or Stalinism pose any real challenge to fascism or capitalism. It is only the working class and its Marxist party- Workers’ Socialist Party- that advances the fighting program oriented to strategic lessons of October revolution and proletarian internationalism. Advanced elements among youth and workers, instead of keeping any illusions and false hopes in these parties, must set out to support the WSP in its fight for a revolutionary program and an all-round organization of Marxist leadership around it. 

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