Challenging the status quo

Worker candidates for the Delhi Assembly Election launch their campaigns

Mazdoor Ekta Lehar is proud to report that the campaign of the worker candidates, supported by Lok Raj Sangathan, Communist Ghadar Party, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), All India Workers' Council, Delhi Shramik Sangathan, Committee for Peace and Democracy – Manipur, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Mazdoor Ekta Committee and Hind Naujavan Ekta Sabha for the Delhi Assembly seats of Badarpur, Kalkaji, Okhla, Sangam Vihar and Tughlakabad began on Sunday November 3, as the burst of fire crackers celebrated the morning of Diwali. The purpose of the campaign is to reach out to all sections of the people in these constituencies with the message that the only solution to people's problems is for the people to take the reins of political power in their own hands.

The residents of Sanjay Colony were greeted with the slogan of “There is only one cure for the people's problems, Lok Raj, Lok Raj!” Bijju Nayak, Secretary of the Delhi Lok Raj Sangathan, the candidate for the Tughlakabad constituency, who is one among the workers and toilers of the local community, had kicked off his campaign. His youthful team accompanied him through the gullies, boldly declaring their message over the megaphone and distributing his message through thousands of leaflets.

Residents of the colony came out to welcome their candidate – one who has lived among them since his birth and been a part of their sufferings. They have been witness to his participation in and leadership of many struggles for rights of the working people. They have seen him boldly challenge the “elected representatives” right up to the Chief Minister of Delhi and organize the workers and their families in hundreds, to boldly march up to the Vidhan Sabha demanding basic necessities such as toilets for women. They were elated that one amongst them was carrying forward the battle into the electoral arena and challenging the monopoly of the parties of the rich - the Congress and the BJP.

Birju Nayak was nominated as a candidate from Tughlakabad, for the Delhi Assembly elections, by the members and supporters of the Sanjay Colony Lok Raj Samiti, the organization of the residents that he has been instrumental in building and strengthening, which is spearheading the struggles of the people in that area for their rights.

Bijju Nayak addressed a number of street corner meetings. He explained that he was standing for election in order to challenge the present system. He spoke of the utter disempowerment of all the working people -- factory and office workers, shopkeepers, domestic workers, small businessmen, youth etc. – within the present political system and of the urgent need to take political power in our hands to bring about a fundamental change in the system. He raised the demand for ensuring minimum wage of at least Rs. 15000 for every worker, ending contract labour, ensuring water, electricity and sanitation facilities for every resident, demands which no political party patronized by the big monopoly capitalists will ever seriously implement, even if it promises, as it hurts the interests of the rich. He explained that it is precisely by keeping the workers in such conditions that these parties maintain their control over the poor as their “votebanks”. The people listened to his speeches with great interest and expressed their support for a candidate who has already matched his commitment with his deeds over the past 15 years.

On the morning of 6th November, the campaign took to the streets at the Batla House Chowk near Jamia Milia University. “Congress -BIP ka utaaro Taj, Lao Mazdoor-Kisan ka Raj” (Overthrow Congress-BJP, Bring Workers and Peasants to Power), was the call of Santosh Kumar, who is standing for the Delhi Assembly elections from the Okhla constituency. The call captures the aspirations of the people, who have been hood-winked time and again by these parties of the rich. “Rajkiya Aatankwaad ko Mitana Hai, Lok Raj basana hai” (Defeat State Terrorrism, Establish Lok Raj), “Rajkiya Aatankwaad ka ek ilaaj, Lok Raj, LoK Raj” (There is only one solution to State Terrorism, Lok Raj, Lok Raj) slogans reverberated through the Batla House Area in the constituency.

Santosh Kumar has faced police lathis in demonstrations in defence of the rights of Muslim youth who have been targeted by the police simply on the basis of their religion. He has been in the forefront of the struggle against state organised communal violence and terror and in defence of the rights of the people of the oppressed nationalities. He has been actively organizing workers, women and youth in the industrial areas and residential colonies of the constituency, to fight for their rights – for minimum wages and end to contract labour, for civic amenities, schools and security for women. He was nominated by the residents of Madanpur Khadar resettlement colony as a candidate for these elections.

Here again, leaflets with the manifesto of the candidate were distributed in thousands as people came out of their homes on the streets to catch their buses and autos on way to colleges and work. There were some youth who were interested in knowing what was different about this candidate and this campaign, as they could see that it was a break from the moneyed campaigns of the Congress and BJP. A couple of them wanted to know what was the “qualification” of the candidate. Santosh explained to them that this qualification was as given in his manifesto – unconditional defence of the rights of the workers and toilers, and of every human being without any discrimination on the basis of religion or language or caste or gender.

As we go to print, the campaigns of the 5 worker candidates of Delhi Assembly, supported by the Communist Ghadar Party of India, Lok Raj Sangathan, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), All India Workers' Council, Delhi Shramik Sangathan, Committee for Peace and Democracy – Manipur, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Mazdoor Ekta Committee and Hind Naujavan Ekta Sabha are continuing, in Transit Camp and Govindpuri (Kalkaji), Jasola village and Aligaon (Okhla), Madanpur Khadar Extension (Okhla), at several important points in Sangam Vihar as well as among the factories and residences of workers in Badarpur. In each of these areas, the key message is the same – the cure for oppression and injustice is Lok Raj, Lok Raj! People have to take the reins of power in their hands and bring about a fundamental change in this oppressive system, establish a system which will address the concerns of the majority, the working people, and not the interests of the capitalist exploiters.

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electoral campaigns    Nov 16-30 2013    Struggle for Rights    Popular Movements     Political Process    

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