A meeting of members of the Socialist Party held in Patna on 10-11 March 2013 to form the Bihar unit of the Socialist Party. After due deliberations, Dr. Sushil Kumar was nominated as the president, Ranjeet Mandal as the senior vice president, Dr. Bhanu Udayan as the general secretary and Ashok Kumar Thakur as the media in charge of Bihar state. Ms. Ayasha Khan, Ms. Jyoti Singh, Ms. Stela Lotika, Prabhakar, Dr. Uma Shankar Bharti, Ganesh Gutt Singh, Jeevan Chaudhary, Yogendra Sharma, Dr. Subodh Kumar, Devanand and Dr. Manikant Singh were nominated as the members of the state executive committee. The team will be extended further in the next 6 months. Before, a 24 member Bihar State Committee used to carry the party work in the state.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Prem Singh, national general secretary, as chief guest and chaired by national executive member Ranjeet Mandal. Gautam Pritam, president, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha (SYS), Bihar, Rakesh Kumar Dubey, convener, SYS Delhi University were also present.
Dr. Prem Singh and newly elected leaders addressed a press conference on 11 March and apprised the media about the new team and policies of the party. Dr. Prem Singh put forth Socialist Party’s assessment on the claims made by the present JD(U)-BJP coalition government about the development and the good governance (sushasan) in Bihar. He said that there is an unprecedented boom in the real state and liquor business in Bihar under the rule of the present government. The Nitish Kumar government preaches this boom as the development of Bihar. But the Socialist Party calls it the source of sub-culture and corruption spreading all over Bihar. Dr. Singh apprised the press persons that ‘sushasan’ of Nitish Kumar has left far behind the ‘jungle raj’ of Lalu Prasad Yadav. People are not safe in Bihar. There are cases of gang rape, murder and day-light dacoity almost every day.
Dr. Singh said that Nitish Kumar will be remembered as a leader who facilitated the communal forces to make their deep roots in the secular and socialist soil of Bihar. His opposition to Narendra Modi is merely a political gimmick while he enjoys the power with the BJP. In fact, Nitish and Modi are two faces of a same coin - Modi openly threats muslims; Nitish openly deceives them.
His policies are no different from the neo-liberal policies of the Congress and the BJP which make rich richer and exclude the hard working toiling masses. The labour strength of Bihar has changed the economic fate of several states in India over the years. But Nitish Kumar is busy playing the ‘special status’ card. He needs more money from the centre to spend that on the bureaucracy, on which he depends; on his image building, party setup and elections; and to help the builders, who reciprocate his generosity. He is not at all worried about the people of Bihar who migrate in search of ‘roji-roti’ and education as it was in the earlier regime.
Dr. Singh emphasized that the path of development of Bihar goes through its enormous work force, fertile land and agro based and other small scale industries. He made an unrest appeal to all genuine socialists of Bihar to join the Socialist Party who take inspiration from the thoughts of JP, Lohia, Archarya Narendra Dev, Yusuf Meharally, Achyut Patwardhan, Madhu Limye, Kishan Patnaik and other socialist stalwarts.
Dr. Sushil Kumar expressed full support to the agitation and demands of the contractual teachers and condemned the high handedness of the government. He made it clear that the Socialist Party is opposed to the contractual system in the appointments of teachers and privatization of education in any form. The party stands for ‘free, equal and quality education for all from KG to PG’. He made the demand for immediate implementation of the report on Common School System prepared by Prof. Anil Sadgopal and Prof. Muchkund Dubey.
Dr. Bhanu Udayan raised the issues about health services which are in a bad shape, particularly in rural and sub-urban Bihar. It is the duty of an elected government to provide proper health facilities to its citizens. He alleged that poor people are bound to die due to lack of minimum health facilities. He said that sail of spurious drugs and black marketing of medicines is prevalent on a large scale in Bihar. This makes the patients more vulnerable.
Ranjeet Mandal spoke about the vulnerable condition of farmers and agriculture in the state. The contribution of agriculture in the economy has been reduced due to negative growth rate. Even basic needs of farmers are not met and they are forced to abandon the occupation. He demanded that proper arrangements should be made for irrigation, seeds, manure, electricity etc. and special thrust and encouragement should be given to the agro-based industries to make agriculture a viable occupation. He further suggested that a public facility map should be prepared by the village panchayats so that no encroachment would be made on public utility lands like streets, roads, ponds, grazing grounds, schools, health centers etc.
Gautam Pritam, announced that the SYS will open its students’ wings in all Bihar colleges and universities very soon. SYS will fight decisively the neo-liberal onslaught on the education system. Ashok Kumar Thakur expressed thanks to the media persons came to cover the press conference.