On Dismissal of Bihar Government

Harkishan Singh Surjeet, General Secretary of the CPI(M) and A.B. Bardhan, General Secretary of the CPI issued the following joint statement on February 13, 1999:

The CPI and the CPI(M) strongly condemn the resort to the use of Article 356 to dismiss the Rabri Devi government in Bihar. The killing of 12 innocent dalits at the hands of the Ranvir Sena has given the BJP-led central government the much-needed pretext to send back the recommendation to the President, which the President had returned on an earlier occasion.

The Ranvir Sena, is an organisation formed to protect the interests of the landlords, to counter the movement of agricultural labourers for better wages and for land reforms. In its more than two decades long history, the Sena’s depredations have claimed the lives of more than 487 people.

The non-resolution of the land question is the basic cause of the tension in Bihar. Both the Congress party and the BJP, who have always sided with the landed interests, are responsible for this state of affairs. Both these parties have obstructed the passage of the agricultural labour legislation pending in parliament for nearly two decades. Unfortunately, Bihar is a state where neither have land reforms been enacted nor have land records allowed to be corrected.

The internal problems of the Samata Party and the BJP have also influenced the central government to make this recommendation. Taking the plea that the Samata Party has not been able to redeem its promise of dismissing the Rabri Devi government, just a few days back many Samata Party workers had deserted the party and joined the Congress. This also provided encouragement to the Ranvir Sena to mount its criminal activities.

The CPI and the CPI(M) have consistently opposed the misuse of Article 356 to serve the interests of the ruling party at the Centre.

While severely deploring this partisan and authoritarian act of the BJP-led central government, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India calls upon all its units throughout the country to organise protests at state and district headquarters on February 14, 1999.