From (Abhay), Spokesperson, Central Committee, Communist Party India (Maoist)
The so-called largest democratic process in the world, the elections for the sixteenth Loksabha, has been conducted in an unprecedented manner extending over nine phases. For this, 70 lakh election officials and millions of armed forces were deployed. Public funds amounting to tens of thousands of crores of rupees belonging to the people of the country were spent on this exercise. The Election Commission claimed that it was done in order to ensure a “free, fair and impartial” election. There was great anger among the masses against these farcical parliamentary elections. Our party CPI(Maoist) and the national liberation movements of Kashmir and a few forces from North East particularly in Manipur called for a boycott of these farcical elections. It is only to suppress the growing anger of the people against these elections that such a large number of armed forces were deployed during the elections all over the country, and in areas of people’s struggles in particular. Elections were conducted like a war exercise under the supervision and control of the Indian armed forces.
The Election Commission in an unprecedented way have been carrying out many new kinds of maneuvers to entice the people of the country to vote and to increase the total poll percentage since the 15th Loksabha elections of 2009, which was continued in this year’s elections too. Behind the scene, all kinds of help were extended by the imperialist agencies to carry out the process and by taking this help the corporate sector of the country directly entered the electoral fray to drum-up the importance of “right to vote”. By using the corporate media, parliamentary parties as usual made false promises to the people.
A sort of illusion was created about the significance of parliamentary elections and a tempo was created around it. People were pressurized to cast their vote in areas where the masses are more critical of the parliamentary system. It is claimed that the Election Commission has put enormous efforts to conduct the elections successfully and has significantly curbed money and muscle-power. Disproving such claims, all the parties presented scamsters, gangsters and criminals as candidates before the people. Not a single party raised and brought forth the basic problems faced by the vast masses of the people and the country. During election campaigns, competing parties and candidates concentrated more on attacking one another, thereby exposing and unmasking one another’s anti-people character, reactionary and self-seeking activities, scams and corrupt practices.
Black money, muscle-power, religion, caste, regionalism, liquor, drugs and other enticements or coercive measures were used extensively by all parties and candidates. For instance, more than 200 crores of cash and over 2 crore litres of liquor were seized by the police across the country during the elections which were meant to be distributed among the electorate. As can be imagined, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Corporate media itself has revealed that more than 30,000 crore rupees were spent to advertise and promote Narendra Modi alone. Flouting the official limit to election expenditure of 70 lakhs per candidate with impunity, each candidate in the fray spent an average of 8 crore rupees during this election. The farcical nature of the so-called largest parliamentary elections of the world can be perceived from such revealing facts.
The Congress played a most reactionary and anti-people and treacherous role while being in power for the last ten years and aggressively implementing pro-imperialist and pro-ruling classes’ policies in a big way. The Congress committed all kinds of crimes against the country and its people. As a result, its seats got reduced to less than fifty in an unprecedented manner in this election – the worst ever electoral defeat in its entire history. By using the people’s pent-up anger against the Congress, BJP and NDA under the leadership of (Narendra) Modi emerged as the first ever non-Congress party to win a clear majority in the parliament with 282 seats and together with its NDA partners captured 334 seats out of 543. Even before the announcement of the elections, a large number of additional paramilitary forces were deployed and the armed forces intensified cordon-and-search operations in all the revolutionary areas of 14 states, in areas of national liberation struggles in Kashmir and the North East and other regions where people’s resistance movements are going on.
The first countrywide week-long (26 December 2013 to 1 January 2014) suppression campaign was carried out in 9 states with 40 thousand additional paramilitary and state police forces. In the second suppression campaign that lasted from 19 March to 27 March 2014, more than a hundred thousand paramilitary troops and 6000 commandos, four Israeli spy aircrafts, a large number of mine-proof vehicles fitted with radars, etc., were used led by 70 Inspectors General (IG) in six states where the Maoist movement is active. These counter-revolutionary campaigns were aimed at suppressing the movement and create a white terror among the people to conduct their ‘democratic’ elections. In the areas of revolutionary and national liberation movements, tens of political activists, liberation fighters and common people were murdered by these forces.
A large number of people and political activists were captured and tortured. They did not spare even women, children and the aged. Villages were attacked and their residents were collectively punished through merciless beating. Elections were conducted at gunpoint by unleashing widespread state-terror. The statewide bandh in Kashmir called in protest against the detention of Hurriyat Conference leaders who had given a poll boycott call, was successfully observed on 21 April. Kashmir Valley was rife with bandhs and protests against the atrocities and repression by the Indian army and other state forces on the one hand and with state repression accompanied by curfew on the other. Kashmiris fought pitched battles against the gun-wielding army and paramilitary forces with stones by defying curfew and other prohibitory orders.
In spite of using coercion and threat to such a large extent and even after creating an atmosphere of terror, the polling percentage fell far short of the 90 percent target set by the Election Commission. Only 66% percent voters cast their vote as per official reports. The actual voting percentage, however, would be much less if we take into account the percentage of rigged and false votes among them. Money-power, muscle-power, the state machinery and the armed forces were rampantly used for such electoral fraud involving all the major parliamentary parties. Even after deploying innumerable helicopters and aircrafts of Indian Air Force and Indian and foreign private companies to transport election officials and material, many election booths were shifted to police stations and paramilitary camps in areas where revolutionary and national liberation movements are strong with the pretext that conducting polling in those areas would be difficult. Large-scale fake votes were cast in these booths.
Nevertheless, even 5-20 percent polling did not take place in Dandakaranya, Bihar-Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra-Odisha Border and other areas where Revolutionary People’s Committees are present and the Maoist movement is strong,. In Kashmir, even after creating state-terror prior to elections, merely 27% polling took place as per official claims. In the context of elections, the slogan of Azad Kashmir once again reverberated across the valley. The ‘alternative’ of NOTA has been brought forward to deny the people the ‘right to recall’. Due to a lack of alternative and threats from the political parties and armed forces, more than one crore voters pressed NOTA button. This is primarily because those who chose not to vote are often branded as terrorists or Maoists.
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