"Fight for the rights of workers, fight for the rights of all", this call to the youth and workers echoed in the hearts of the workers, women and youth who had gathered in large numbers on the evening of November 1, for the first election meeting organized by the Lok Raj Samiti of Sanjay Colony in Delhi.
The meeting was organized to announce the nomination of the candidate of working class from the Tughlakabad assembly constituency for the Delhi State assembly. At this meeting, activists of Lok Raj Samitis of the assembly Constituency came together to announce their collective decision. Accompanied by prolonged applause, Bijju Nayak was unanimously selected as the candiidate from the constituency by the Lok Raj Samitis of Tughlakabad Assembly Constituency.
Accepting the nomination, Bijju Nayak said that various parties will come and ask people to vote for them on the basis of caste, region and religion, but none of them will ask them to vote as workers who are exploited, irrespective of which political party come to power. These are the political parties of the rich and defend their interests, while claiming to work for poor. He called upon youth to reject these parties, to be the soldiers of the working class and campaign for the agenda and programme of the working class. Recalling vividly his own experience of havng been born and brought up in the working class slum colony called Sanjay Colony, he showed how the conditions of the people have gone from bad to worse. Even today, people here, as in so many other JJ clusters all over Delhi, are forced to live without regular water supply, toilets and sanitation facilities. These conditions, the insecurity of life and livelihood of the workers is due to the fact that political power is not in our hands. We can keep on demanding of the government and the authorities, as we have done so many times, but we do not have the power to change our conditions. Today, as for the last 60 years, the political parties of the rich have dominated the political process, while the people are marginalized. Through facts and figures he brought out the realty behind the slum development policy of successive governments of Delhi, aimed at securing vote banks for the political parties in the election fray, without ensuring any actual rights or better amenities for the working people. Warning the workers of further cutbacks on our rights, further bomb blasts and terrorist strikes organised to spread terror and break our unity, he explained that the rulers of this country and worldwide are in deep crisis and are trying to pass the burden of the crisis on to the poor. Only if we have political power can we change all this and have a brighter future for ourselves and our children, he said and called on the youth join him in the campaign.
The highlight of the nomination process was signing of an undertaking by the candidate, declaring that if elected, he will always be with the people in their struggle and that if he fails to fulfill the commitments made, he can be recalled.
Many activists and supporters of the Lok Raj Samitis from the Constituency expressed their views, shared their experiences and supported the nomination of Bijju Nayak.
Gopal, a young railway worker from the Constituency, who is now working in Gujarat said he would put all his energy and time for the campaign and would take the message of Lok Raj to the place where he works. Ashok Gupta, member of the Lok Raj Samiti said that he was happy that the samiti is fielding candidate in the election as representative of working class. Supporting the nomination Lokesh Kumar, Secretary of the Lok Raj Samiti said that it was Bijju Nayak who had organized the students and youth of the locality through study, street plays, etc. and inspired them to work for the society instead of working for narrow selfish interest. We want to change the very nature of politics in our country, so that working people, women and youth can come to the centre stage, he said.
Gyanti Devi, popularly known as Gyanti aunty, who has been at the forefront of the struggle for getting proper toilet facility for the people, particularly for women, said that she supported the nomination of Bijju Nayak, who has been of the founder of Lok Raj Samiti in this colony and has been leading it. Renu Nayak, a leading activist of Purogami Mahila Sangathan expressed her support to the decision of the Lok Raj Samitis to participate in the election and field Bijju as the candidate of the working class.
Mohd. Jamal Ansari, a resident of Transit Camp, Kalkaji, who had actively participated in the struggle that successfully resisted the demolition of the colony by the DDA two years ago, spoke of how all the political parties woo the working class when they want to win their votes, but conveniently forget about the workers once they are in power, beause they are actually servants of the big capitalists. He called on the workers to reject these established political parties and elect the candidate of the working class in the coming elections.
Shahana, a research student from Lady Shri Ram College, who has been in the forefront of highlighting the absence of toilets and civic facilities in the working class areas of the capital, spoke positively of the work of the Lok Raj Samitis and of Bijju Nayak.
Addressing the gathering Sucharita, member of All India Council of Lok Raj Sangathan, highlighted the significance of this initiative by the Lok Raj Samitis of Tughlakabad Assembly Constituency to put up a workers’ candidate for the Assembly elections. This is an open challenge to the exisitng political process, which is dominated by the political parties of the establishment, those who serve the interests of the rich and make false promises to forever keep the workers in these miserable conditions, she declared. She called on the workers, women and youth gathered there to campaign for Bijju Nayak and his program of Lok Raj.
Expressing the support of the Communist Ghadar Party of India to the nomination of Bijju Nayak Com Prakash Rao, Spokesperson of Communist Ghadar Party of India said that Bijju Nayak has been fighting for the rights of workers and the rights of all throughout his active life. The Communist Ghadar Party of India is of the opinion that the power to select and elect candidates must belong to the people organised in their Samitis in their local areas on a non partisan basis. In the political system and process prevaliing in our country, this power has been usurped by the political parties of the capitalist class, whose high commands decide who should be the candidate of the party, and the people are asked to chose between the candidate of this party and the candidate of that party.
Formation of the Lok Raj Samiti in this locality, as well as other localities, as instrument of struggle of the people, as instruments of peoples rule, is a big achievement, he explained. It is the lok Raj Samitis of the Consituency that must decide who the candidate or candidates must be from the consittuency, and they must chose the best and most active clear sighted fighters for the rights of the working class and people from their midst.
Today the big political parties of the rich like Congress and BJP are very scared that people will not support them because they do not have any answer as to why prices are rising and conditions of people is worsening. The meeting that is taking place here is not an exception, and such initiatives are being taken all across the country, where people are coming forward to put forth their candidates in opposition to the candidates of the big parties. Challenging the candidates of the established political parties to face the public and answer their questions, he expressed confidence that our workers candidate will certainly strike a chord with the people. He said that if we work together we can change the situation in favour of the working class.
The nomination meeting concluded with slogans "shetra ka vidhayak kaisa ho, Bijju Nayak jaisa ho" and "hum hai iske maalik, hum hai hindostan, mazdoor kisan, aurat aur jawaan".