Press release: support SPI candidate Rajkumar from Lanji Balaghat constituency

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People should vote for people’s issues, and oust those who abuse power:Rajkumar Nageshwar, Madhya Pradesh assembly election candidate from Lanji Balaghat

Social activist and Socialist Party (India)’s Rajkumar Nageshwar is contesting assembly elections from Lanji Balaghat constituency (no.109) in Madhya Pradesh, India (election symbol is “farmer driving a tractor”). His candidature has received support from Bhartiya Republican Party Bahujan Mahasangh, which was founded by advocate Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Babasaheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

Almost two decades back, Rajkumar Nageshwar became involved with socialist youth movement and since then, has actively contributed to bring in a change on a range of issues. He got involved with people’s struggles related to agriculture and food sovereignty, workers’ dignity and right to work, alcohol and addiction-free Madhya Pradesh campaign, welfare of tribals and other marginalized sections of our society among others.

“Article 47 of the Constitution of India directs the elected government to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, calls upon the government to bring about prohibition of intoxicating drinks like alcohol and drugs which are injurious to health. But government that gets elected by our people indulges in business of earning revenues from alcohol and tobacco” said Rajkumar Nageshwar.

Rajkumar Nageshwar led a people’s movement to make Madhya Pradesh alcohol and addiction free and submitted a memorandum to the President of India, but no action was taken to enforce the Article 47 of India’s constitution. Instead number of alcohol breweries and retail shops in villages has increased in numbers over the years.

Rajkumar Nageshwar has also worked on education of children. “Rashtrapati ho ya sewak kii santaan, sabki shiksha ek samaan” (Children of President or workers, all should get same quality of education together) has been the overarching slogan for his campaign. He voices alarm against heavy involvement of touts and business minded people who have privatised education for minting profits.

His movement has yielded positive results as some eligible farmers could get benefit from crop insurance scheme. Also due to growing pressure from the communities, government has finally included raising of minimum support price of crops in its manifesto. Rajkumar Nageshwar also commits to work on increasing sustainability of sugarcane farming, which is sadly on a decline now.

Rajkumar Nageshwar has also worked with tribal and other traditional forest dweller communities. He said that Forests Rights Act, 2006, recognizes protecting and granting land and forest rights to those forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers on all forest lands, but land and forest rights are yet to become a reality on the ground. These affected communities are still struggling for their right to hold and live in the forest land for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood.

He has been part of Narmada Bachao Andolan struggle in Badwani and also joined forces with local communities protesting against Adani’s plant in Madhya Pradesh.

Rajkumar Nageshwar said that Election Commission of India has set the election spending upper ceiling at Rs 28 lakhs, but candidates of major political parties are known to spend many times more than this amount in elections. Whereas people’s candidates like Rajkumar Nageshwar who contest elections by seeking individual financial contributions from local people are set against (black) money might of candidates of major political parties. Rajkumar Nageshwar calls upon Election Commission of India to strictly ensure no candidate can spend more than the upper ceiling amount in the upcoming polls. He calls upon the voters to exercise their democratic right to oust those who have failed common citizen’s agenda and elect those who have a history of working on peoples agenda with commitment and dedication.

To support Rajkumar Nageshwar’s election, please contribute to:

Name of Account: Socialist Party (India)

Bank: Allahabad Bank

Branch: Hazratganj, Lucknow, U.P.

Account Number: 50084256339

IFSC: ALLA0210062 (there is a zero following second A and two zeros consecutively)

Mobile: 9506533722 (Sharad Patel)

Please confirm all contributions over email to: ashaashram@yahoo.com, bramhepoo@gmail.com

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