The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi from August 26 to 28, 2002. It has issued the following statement:
The BJP-led government is bogged down in a number of corruption scandals. After the Tehelka exposure, the institutionalised racket in the allotment of petrol pumps, which has benefitted family members of a large number of BJP and RSS leaders, has shocked the country. The whole system of dealership selection boards was subverted and petrol pumps and gas agencies given out on the recommendations of BJP leaders and some of their NDA allies. The BJP has sought to brazen itself out of the shocking nepotism. The Prime Minister announced the cancellation of all allotments since February 2000 though it was well-known that the cancellation of allotments would not stand legal scrutiny. The Supreme Court has now nullified the cancellation. There is no doubt that there was large-scale corruption in the allotments. It is necessary to cancel all such allotments by going through the proper procedures. Further, there should be a high level enquiry into how the allotments were made. It is typical of this government that the Petroleum Minister, Ram Naik, refuses to take responsibility for this scandal. He must resign.
The allotment of prime plots of lands to BJP-RSS leaders and their outfits in Delhi and the BJP President Venkaiah Naidu's acquisition of land meant for the SC/ST through fraudulent means when he was an MLA in Andhra Pradesh show how deep the rot has set in at all levels of the BJP-RSS combine.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) appreciated the decision of the Election Commission not to hold early elections in Gujarat. The Commission has indicated its intention to hold elections early next year, within six months of the dissolution of the state assembly. The Commission has arrived at this decision based on the situation in the state where no free and fair elections are possible at present especially when a substantial section of the minorities are in no position to exercise their franchise. The Central Committee of the CPI(M) noted that the Presidential reference on the Election Commission Order is a further move to undermine the Commission's authority.
In this connection, the Central Committee denounced Narendra Modi's vicious attack on the Chief Election Commissioner questioning his integrity by citing his religious identity. The same Narendra Modi is set to take out a `gaurav rath yatra' which will further aggravate the situation in Gujarat. Even after five months after the violence, a large number of people are unable to return to their homes or resume their normal life. It is essential that Narendra Modi government be dismissed and elections be held under President's Rule.
Counter Communal Forces
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) noted that the BJP's decision to go in for early elections in Gujarat is part of the aggressive push to the communal agenda in the recent period by the BJP-RSS combine. The Cabinet reshuffle, the reorganisation in the BJP leadership and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's going back on its commitment to abide by the court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute are all part of this new thrust stemming from fear of its steadily eroding electoral base. Neither this communal agenda nor its economic policies will be able to restore the credibility of the party or muster it popular support.
The Central Committee felt that the unprecedented communal offensive in Gujarat which spells danger for the country's unity must be firmly countered. In the elections, the BJP must be resoundingly defeated. All secular and democratic forces must unitedly meet this challenge.
Jammu & Kashmir Elections
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) condemned the decision of the BJP-RSS who have raised the demand for the separation of Jammu from the composite state of Jammu & Kashmir. The trifurcation proposed by the RSS conforms to the designs of the United States which wants the partition of Jammu & Kashmir, so that the Kashmir Valley can be detached and given an independent status. The Central Committee urged the people to see through the disruptive stand taken by the RSS and the dubious role of the BJP which is now seeking an electoral understanding with the RSS front advocating a separate state.
The Central Committee stressed the importance of holding the Jammu & Kashmir elections in a peaceful and democratic atmosphere where a maximum number of people can participate. It is incumbent upon the Central government and State machinery to ensure conditions for a free and fair poll and prevent rigging. The game of the Pakistan-based extremists to create violence and disrupt the polls must be firmly checked.
Severe drought situation
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) expressed its deep concern at the severe drought conditions affecting most parts of the country. The scanty or delayed rains have already damaged the kharif crops with bajra, oilseeds, pulses and paddy being badly affected. There is no fodder for cattle and there is an acute shortage of drinking water. Most of the peasants, particularly the poorer sections who are in debt, are facing ruination. The shrinkage of employment opportunities will badly affect agricultural workers and migrant labour who will lose their livelihood.
The Central government's policies, which led to the public distribution system being dismantled and food for work programmes redundant, is making the provision for quick relief to the affected people more difficult. The Central government's response so far has been totally inadequate. It is also incumbent on the state government to organise relief in an effective manner. Direct relief through the provision of free foodgrains in the drought-affected areas, supply of fodder, drinking water, writing off of loans of the small farmers, waiving payment of instalments of interest and massive food for work programmes -- all have to be taken up immediately and in a comprehensive manner. The Central Committee demands that the huge stocks of foodgrains lying in the FCI godowns be immediately put to use for the drought-affected work.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) strongly condemned the heinous attacks by the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and other extremist groups in Tripura. The most serious incident recently was the killing of 20 jawans of Tripura State Rifles in an ambush. The NLFT is making concerted efforts to kill the tribal leaders and members belonging to the CPI(M). This is part of the diabolical plan of the NLFT to vitiate the atmosphere and disturb the forthcoming assembly elections scheduled to be held early next year.
In this connection, the Central Committee expressed its strong opposition to the alliance forged by the Indian National Congress with the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) which is nothing but a front for the banned NLFT. The President of the INPT, Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, has made a speech recently in Geneva virtually endorsing the secessionist stand of the NLFT and justifying its terrorist activities.
The Congress leadership at the national level must realise that such an alliance is detrimental for the people of Tripura where the unity of the tribal and non-tribal people is vital. It is also harmful for national unity. Political opposition to the CPI(M) should not condone such opportunist alliances with dangerous extremist forces. The Central Committee of the CPI(M) resolved that such an opportunist alliance should be resolutely fought and its role exposed before the country.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) noted that certain groups like the People's War Group (PWG) and the Kamtapuri Liberation Organisation (KLO) are conducting activities in West Bengal which cannot, by any definition be called as political activities. They are resorting to individual killings using sophisticated weapons. The prime target being the leading cadres of the CPI(M). The PWG has killed seven CPI(M) members and activists in Midnapore area since the assembly elections. The KLO has recently massacred five CPI(M) cadres including a district committee member of Jalpaiguri after attacking its zonal Party office in Dhupguri. The West Bengal state government has no other way but to take firm administrative and police measures to put down such violent activities.
The CPI(M) will also combat these disruptive activities by politically mobilising the people against them.
US threat of war on Iraq
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) came out strongly against the US plans to wage war against Iraq and topple the government there. The post-September 2001 period has seen the US adopt the dangerous doctrine of using military force wherever it serves its interests. The war on Iraq will be a blatant violation of international laws and the national sovereignty of the country.
Iraq is a friendly country with whom India has close ties. The war in the gulf region will harm India's interests and lead to an exodus of Indians from the region. The foreign policy of the Vajpayee government is completely within the orbit of the US strategic interests. This is clearly illustrated by its low-profile stance on the threat of US aggression on Iraq. The Central Committee demands that the Vajpayee take a categorical position opposing the US plans. The Prime Minister must send a strong message to the Bush administration that India is opposed to any military attack on Iraq.
Call for September Movement
The Central Committee of the CPI(M), taking stock of the overall situation in the country and the policies of the BJP-led government, decided to launch a countrywide campaign and movement on six major issues affecting the people and the country:
1. Investigate corruption cases concerning the BJP-led government and prosecute all those guilty.
2. Immediate relief measures for the drought-affected areas by the Central government.
3. Dismiss Narendra Modi government and put Gujarat under President's rule.
4. Protect Jammu & Kashmir state's composite character and oppose demand for trifurcation by RSS. Hold free and fair elections in the state.
5. Provide adequate security forces to Tripura by the Centre to combat terrorist outfits. Unmask the opportunist alliance of the Congress and the INPT.
6. Oppose the US plans to militarily attack Iraq. The Vajpayee government must come out firmly against the war plans.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) has called upon all Party units to launch a campaign and movement from September 20 to 30 on these issues. On September 20, all over the country, the Party will observe "Drought Relief" day in the form of demonstrations outside Central government offices and FCI godowns. On the last day, September 30, the Party will observe "Tripura solidarity day" through public meetings and demonstrations. During the rest of the period, campaign on the other issues will be conducted through public meetings, marches and other forms of mass campaigns and mobilisation.