In next few days new governments will take oath in the states of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamilnadu and West Bengal and there will be discussions on the impact of these results on the national politics given the shift in regional power dynamics. The results in these states are a combination of different set of factors, and even though we might not agree with all of it but we welcome the results. We would also like to mention the positive role played by Election Commission in these elections as well.
The defeat of Left Front in West Bengal and Kerala is certainly going to have a long term impact on the political scene. If in West Bengal people’s movement in Singur, Nandigram and their support by Trinamool Congress has played a role then there is a lesson for Left and as some of their leaders have accepted. It will hopefully help them come out of this crisis as a better party and serve as a better opposition. Overall, we hope while in opposition the lost ground with the social movements will be regained in times to come. It is an opportunity for them to take up the issues of people on the street and rebuild a genuine Left party. However, Trinamool will have to fulfil the promises it made to people and their movement for livelihood and dignity in times to come with actual work to meet aspirations of millions of people. The vision of Trinamool must include cooperation with social movements and taking forward their agenda and establishing a truly democratic governance in the State. We also hope the violence in the state will also subsume and both the major parties will work within the parliamentary framework. TMC true to its promise must work towards bringing a progressive legislation which will protect land rights and not enhance land acquisitions in the state or across the country. It is the victory of the people’s aspirations for real change !
In Kerala, the win of UDF is certainly a boost to the Congress but at the same time it is going to be tough for them to hold on to the power with ease, with CPI(M) as emerging as the single largest party and a very thin margin in the Assembly. We do hope CPI (M) as an effective opposition will take up the causes of the people’s movements in true Left tradition.
The win of AIADMK in Tamilnadu is a vote against the corrupt regime of DMK and with that also a lack of trust in the UPA government’s abilities to provide an honest governance. Involvement of some of the key figures of the DMK in corrupt practices have had its toll on its performance. Their populism failed to pay back this time but we do hope that AIADMK will not continue to resort to populism as in past. There is a wider expectation from the people of Tamilnadu that the destruction caused by the DMK government in the name of development will be corrected and the new government will create a space for dialogue with the movements, like those protesting against the SIPCOT land acquisition in Therevoy and slum evictions due to elevated express-way and other infrastructure projects in Chennai and other cities.
Lastly, the winning of Congress in Assam for the third time in a row inspite of deep corruption as exposed by people’s movements from time to time is only due to failure of an effective and viable opposition. It needs to be noted that opposition AGP and their defeat also is a recognition of their alliance with the right wing agenda of the Bharatiya Janta Party and sign of maturity of the Assamese people. It is a victory of the people’s movements led by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and others that they continue to bring pressure on the government by exposing them time and again inspite of all the odds. We are aware that the victory of the same government means difficult times ahead for people’s movements but we will continue to challenge the ineptness and corruption in the governance and fight for communities control of natural resources and their means of livelihood. We do hope the new dispensation will use this opportunity to put its house in order and effectively work on the issues raised by the movements for true development of people of Assam.
We hope with the election of new government’s in these states the space for dissent will be respected and demands of people’s movements will be addressed in an effective manner on various.
Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey, Gabriele Dietrich, Geeta Ramakrishnan (Tamilnadu), Akhil Gogoi (Assam), Geo Josh, Hussain Master (Kerala), Murad Hussain (West Bengal), Arundhati Dhuru, Rajendra Ravi, Bhupendera Singh Rawat, Madhuresh Kumar
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
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