National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) held its two day National Convening Team (NCT) meeting on January 16-17 at its national office in Delhi to discuss the need and repurcussions of direct intervention in to electoral politics as well the issue of support to Aam Aadmi Party. The meeting was in continuation of the NAPM Western region meeting on January 12 in Mumbai and NAPM Bihar, Kerala, Tamilnadu, West Bengal and other state level meetings.
NCT discussed the issue of 'active support' to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), mechanism to ensure dialogue with the movements by AAP, and social movements intervention in the electoral process by contesting elections.
The members present felt that today the many of the existing political parties have agreement on a common agenda on the anti-people reforms, criminal and corporate loot of natural resources, use of money and muscle power in elections, complete negligence of the people's issues and absence of political propriety and tolerance for divergent views and diversity in life.
People's power is denounced by most of the political parties and politicians in violation of the constitutional rights and privileges. This has resulted in a situation where the space for democratic movements and dissent have been decreasing, State repression has increased leading to victimisation of activists and non-violent democratic movements. Fundamentalism and communalism has also been on the rise leading to rising fear among minorities and secular sections.
This has necessitated a need for those engaged in the 'alternative movement politics' to also now intervene in the electoral processes by contesting elections on the platform of socially conscious and pro-people political parties. This 'alternative electoral politics' is to be seen as a part of our wider movements for social and political transformation. The relationship between the State and its people; the character of the politics need to be changed, making the governance pro-people.
In this scenario AAP have enthused people and shown a ray of hope to many by raising people's issues reflecting values of equity and justice and has attempted developing a new vocabulary of change and politics on the agenda of governance and anti-corruption.
Late in the evening on January 16, Yogendra Yadav and Ajit Jha of Aam Aadmi Party held deliberations with the National Convening Team of NAPM, and Prashant Bhushan earlier, and had extensive dialogue on the different issues arising out of the meeting. NAPM team raised and sought clarification on AAP's position on certain issues related to adivasis, dalits, displaced, urban poor, farmers, women and their livelihood issues. After the meeting it was resolved that :
· Most of the people's movements allied with NAPM believe that and welcome AAP as a process towards an alternative politics. They will extend support to those AAP candidates that concede with the local people's issues and support people's organisations.
· Every people's organisation allied with NAPM has its own individual identity and hence decisions regarding its relationship with electoral processes and intervention will be their own. Those organisations like Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) of Assam, which don't intend to intervene into electoral politics will continue to tread the path of movement.
· Those movements groups who are in support of AAP will actively : to take part in membership drive of AAP; be part of committees at different levels and contribute to the process of manifesto making.
· A certain number of senior activists with strong mass base and experience of constructive work to social action will seek extensive consultation with their movement comrades and wider populace in their area before filing applications for candidature in forthcoming Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections through AAP and will contest if selected through democratic process.
· A collective mechanism with AAP would be evolved in the due course of time where a process of dialogue and negotiations on the key social issues and policies can be held.
NAPM also resolved that an internal monitoring committee will be established for accountability of those members of people's movements who will join the party and contest elections so that they remain true to ideals held by NAPM.
It was also reiterated that National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), a non-party political platform, will continue to retain its independent identity and struggle against injustice, inequity and discrimination and work for peace, justice and freedom as always.