Central Committee Communique

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Press Communiqué

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met at Kochi from January 8 to 10, 2009. It has issued the following statement:

Israeli Attack on Gaza

The Central Committee has already adopted a resolution condemning the barbarous attack on Gaza by the Israeli armed forces which has led to the death of 700 persons including a large number of children. The Central Committee demanded that the Manmohan Singh government end its security and military collaboration with Israel and actively work to mobilise international opinion to compel Israel to halt its illegal and inhuman aggression.

Sri Lankan Situation

The Central Committee discussed the situation arising out of the military offensive in the Northern province. The Sri Lankan armed forces have captured the LTTE’s defacto capital Kilinochchi. The Rajapakse government should not use the military reverses of the LTTE as the pretext to delay or deny a political solution to the Tamil problem. The Government of India should step up its diplomatic efforts to see that there is a lasting political solution based on autonomy for the Tamil areas within a united Sri Lanka.

The fighting has led to more civilians being displaced from their homes. More efforts are needed by the United Nations and other international agencies to ensure the safety of the civilians trapped due to the fighting and ensure that there is adequate supply of food, medicines and essential commodities.

Deteriorating Economic Conditions

The Central Committee expressed serious concern at the increasingly adverse impact of the global economic crisis on the Indian economy. Due to the global recession there is a slowdown in industrial production, fall in prices of agricultural commodities and largescale loss of jobs due to closure of export oriented units and other industries. Already ten lakh jobs have been lost and it is estimated that one crore jobs will be lost in the coming period. The Manmohan Singh Government is not willing to shed its neo-liberal polices and adopt effective steps to deal with the crisis. All its efforts have been directed towards ensuring liquidity into the financial system and to dole out concessions to the corporates. No substantial measures have been taken to stimulate domestic production, create demand and jobs for which largescale public investment and public expenditure are required.

The CPI(M) has been demanding a package directed at increasing public expenditure in ways which increase the income and consumption of the people. Increased public investment in agriculture, expansion and proper implementation of the NREGA, extension of employment guarantee shcue to urban areas, higher allocations for health and education, infrastructure like rural roads, housing for the middle and lower income groups and universalisation of the PDS.

There has to be tariff protection for farmers and small industries and a halt to financial liberalisation. There has to be a moratorium on jobs and wage cuts.

The Central Committee called upon all Party units to take up the urgent issues of the different sections of the working people and launch struggles to defend jobs and livelihood.

FDI In Insurance

The Manmohan Singh Government has not learnt any lessons from the financial crisis in the United States and its global impact. The introduction of bills in parliament to increase the FDI in the insurance sector and to facilitate the dilution of the State share in the LIC are against the national interest. This is a government which has surrendered to the interests of international capital and is more interested in fulfilling the decisions of the US-India CEO Forum. This single act confirms the correctness of the decision of the Left parties to withdraw support to such a government.

Price Rice and Food Supply

The UPA government reduced the price of petrol and diesel by only Rs. 5 per litre and Rs 2 per litre respectively. This is totally inadequate given the sharp drop in the international oil prices. The Central Committee demanded further reduction in the prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas.

Though the rate of inflation is going down there is no reduction in prices of food items and other essential commodities. It is in such a situation that the food insecurity has had a devastating impact leading to increased malnutrition and hunger as a direct result of the faulty food policies.

With the increased procurement of foodgrains this year, stocks with the government are 29.8 million tonnes against the minimum buffer norm of 16.2 million tonnes, a 84 per cent surplus over the required buffer. Yet, the Central Government has cut the allocation for APL ration card holders by over 73 per cent. The government refuses to restore the allocation, preferring instead to sell the stocks to traders at subsidised prices.

Kerala which is a food deficit state and has an effective Public Distribution System is suffering because of the drastic cut in allocation of rice. The Central Committee demands that the Central Government immediately increase the allocation of foodgrains for the Public Distribution System to the states.

Communalism and Terrorism

The Central Committee strongly denounced the terrorist outrage in Mumbai in which 164 people including security personnel were killed. In the aftermath of the Mumbai attack, the Central Government has to take immediate measures to revamp the intelligence system and ensure effective coordination between the intelligence and security agencies. In this connection, the Central Committee disapproved of the refusal of the Central Government to associate the state governments in the investigations of terrorist offences to be conducted by the newly set up National Investigation Agency. The Central Government should not use the NIA in a partisan fashion as it tends to do with organisations like the CBI.

The Central Committee also warns against the misuse of the newly introduced provisions in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The CPI(M) and the Left parties had proposed amendments against some of its clauses in parliament. Previous experience shows that such draconian laws are used against the minorities and popular struggles and leaders of the working class movement.

The fight against terrorism should be carried on along with the fight against communalism. Communalism and religious extremism helps create a climate for terrorism. In this connection, the CPI(M) condemned the BJP’s attempts to use the anti-terrorist platform in a communal fashion. The recent investigation into the Malegaon blasts that has revealed the role of some extremist Hindutva elements, shows the utter falsity of the BJP-RSS propaganda identifying terrorism with one community. It is necessary to oppose all forms of terrorism, whatever their source.

The Central Committee decided to continue its campaign against communalism and terrorism in the coming period.

Don’t Rely on USA

The Manmohan Singh Government, which has bound itself to the United States through a strategic alliance is now seeking to further tighten the embrace by relying only on the US to get Pakistan to take steps against terrorist elements operating from its soil. Why is the CIA involved in providing evidence gathered by India to Pakistan? The United States has its own priorities in the region. The policies of US imperialism and Israel are such as to spread terrorism around the world. India should cease allying with the US and Israel which is against the country’s interests.

The Central Committee decried talk of military action against Pakistan which will only convert the serious issue of terrorism into a Indo-Pakistan conflict. The Government should internationalise the Mumbai attack and go to the UN Security Council which can direct Pakistan to take the necessary measures to suppress the terrorist network operating there.

Assembly Elections

The results of the recent assembly elections are not in any way indicative of the trends for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Neither the Congress nor the BJP can take satisfaction from the results. The BJP suffered a greater setback having lost Rajasthan and failing to dislodge the Congress from the government of Delhi. As for the Congress, it could not oust the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh despite the discontent and anti-incumbency in these two states.

The Central Committee congratulated the Rajasthan State Committee for its good performance in the assembly elections.

The Central Committee appreciated the popular participation in the J & K polls which has given credibility to the democratic process.

Lok Sabha Elections

The Central Committee decided to conduct a vigorous political campaign in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress-led government has followed anti-people economic policies and there will be harmful consequences for national sovereignty due to the strategic alliance with the United States.

Therefore the CPI(M) calls for the defeat of the Congress and the rejection of the UPA alliance in the election. The BJP has to be kept out of power due to its communal platform and its reactionary economic policies.

The CPI(M) calls for the defeat of the BJP and the NDA alliance in the elections. The CPI(M) stands for alternative policies to protect the jobs and livelihood of the workers, peasants and all sections of the working people. It stands for defence of national sovereignty and secularism.

The CPI(M) and the CPI have worked out an electoral understanding with parties like the Telugu Desam, the AIADMK and the Janata Dal (S). The Left parties along with the secular parties should work together to make the non-Congress non-BJP alternative realisable. For this, the CPI(M) appeals to all the non-Congress secular parties to come together on a platform of defence of secularism, pro-people economic policies and an independent foreign policy.

The Central Committee finalised the seats to be contested from the various states and gave necessary direction for election preparation in these constituencies.

The Central Committee called upon all state units to devote the whole month of February to the political campaign projecting the Party’s political positions and policies.