The Lok Raj Samiti of Madanpur Khadar Resettlement colony in the Okhla assembly constituency nominated Santosh Kumar as the candidate of working class and youth, at a public meeting on
November 2. Santosh Kumar is the founder member of the samiti and has been active in organizing people against demolition, sealing and eviction, against illegal arrest, detention and deportation of innocent people particularly the youth. He has organised many sports and cultural events as well as street theatre among the youth. The Lok Raj Samiti was formed during the last election for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, when another young girl had been selected by the people of the locality in a public meeting.
Recalling the past experience of fielding a candidate amongst the people, convenor of the meeting Anand Kumar invited prominent members of the samiti to address the meeting. Saidul Khan, popularly known as Khan Bhai in the locality, and a prominent activist proposed the name of Santosh Kumar for the candidature for the State elections. He narrated his experience during the last assembly when they first came in contact with the activists of Lok Raj Sangathan. Khan Bhai and his friends and supporters were very angry with the entire political process and had decided to boycott the elections, since they could not find any candidate amongst the established political parties who would fight for the rights of the people. During that election Lok Raj Sangathan and Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha had fielded Bijju Nayak a young worker from the constituency. After vigorous political discussion Khan Bhai and friends decided to support the people’s candidate. Since then they have been with Lok Raj Sangathan, actively mobilizing and organizing the youth, children, and women and participating in various rallies, demonstrations, discussions and cultural functions organized by Lok Raj Sangathan. KhanBhai has been at the forefront of building the Lok Raj Samiti in the locality.
Biswas, a navy worker, Kundu, Mrs. Rani and many other members of the samiti addressed the meeting and supported the decision of the Lok Raj Samiti to nominate Santosh Kumar. Mohd.Ansari from Transit Camp, Kalkaji hailed the heroic role of Santosh Kumar and his comrades in mobilising the residents of Transit Camp to resist the demolition oftheir homes by the DDA. He shared his experience with various government departments and explained how all this departments do not serve the people. He congratulated the Lok Raj Samiti for organizing such a public selection, which is something new in Indian politics.
Lok Raj Sangathan is fielding candidates from other constituencies as well. The candidate nominated by Sanjay Colony Lok Raj Samiti for the Tughlakabad constituency, Bijju Nayak addressed the meeting. He said that no political party has the courage to field a candidate selected from among the people, because they are afraid that if the working people unite and rise up, then they will all be in trouble since they have been serving the interests of the rich. Santosh Kumar represents all those who are today deprived of every right, be it health care, education, shelter, liveihood or a life of dignity. All the political parties who are representing the rich are out to fool the people and defend the present system of exploitation of the poor. Santosh Kumar has stood up to smash this system and the people of this constituency must support him.
Lokesh Kumar, the youthful secretary of Sanjay Colony Lok Raj Samiti, accused the candidates representing the political parties of the rich of trying to corrupt the poor to buy their votes. How can they ever serve the interest of the poor, he questioned. They are in fact destroying our future. Santosh Kumar is fighting for a better future for the entire working class and youth and it is possible and necessary to build that future, Lokesh asserted.
Thanking the Lok Raj Samiti for reposing confidence in him and selecting him as candidate, Santosh Kumar said that the fact that the poor and working class are facing steep price rise, unemployment and terrorism is because the capitalists and their parties are ruling the country. Whenever the rulers are in crisis, they resort to violence and terror, to divide and disorient the people. The recent incidents of terror attacks in various part of the country must been seen as part of the attempt of the rulers to crush the growing opposition of people to price rise and attacks on our life and livelihood. Referring to the killing of youth by the police in Jamia Nagar, he said that people should not forget their experience, when during the 80s every Sikh was branded as terrorist and were brutally attacked. Who can forget that massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984? Those guilty of such crimes enjoy positions of power, while the victims are still waiting for justice. Today they are targeting the people of Muslim faith and killing their youth in broad day light. We must raise our vioce and put an end to this. He called upon the youth to come forward and campaign for people’s candidate. He read out and signed a declaration that people of this constituency will have right to recall him, if he fails to fulfill his commitment to the people.
Speaking in support of the people’s candidate, Sucharita, Member of All India Council of Lok Raj Sangathan, explained the important of the declaration made by the candidate that the people have the right to recall. Only those who genuinely want to work in the interest of the people can make such a commitment. She congratulated the Lok Raj Samiti for this initiative.
Comrade Praksah Rao, spokesperson of the Communist Ghadar Party of India declared that the party fully supports the candidature of Santosh Kumar, because he is standing in the elections to fight for the interest of the working class. All through his life he has struggled to organize workers, women and youth and has played leading role in establishing the Lok Raj Samiti in the locality. He appreciated the initiative taken by the people of Madanpur Khader resettlement colony for setting up and building the Lok Raj Samiti in their locality. These samiti’s have to be built as organs of people’s power, crucial for defending the interests of the working class and establishing the rule of the workers and peasants, he emphasised.