The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met on July 6th and 7th 2002 at New Delhi. It has issued the following statement:
The candidature of Dr. Lakshmi Sahgal for the post of President has been appreciated by a wide section of secular and democratic forces. In the current juncture when the secular and democratic values enshrined in the Constitution requires a firm defender, the role of the President assumes special significance. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) appealed to all the legislators and members of Parliament who comprise the electoral college to keep this vital issue in mind while exercising their vote for the Presidential election to be held on July 15th.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) discussed the forthcoming elections for the Vice-Presidentship. It decided to hold consultations with all the opposition parties, so that a joint candidate can be put up for the post who can give an effective fight to the nominee of the NDA.
The visit of the Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, to Gujarat has resulted in another effort to exonerate Narendra Modi and his government from their culpability in the worst communal pogrom in recent times. Trying to justify Narendra Modi's performance, Mr. Advani stated that "unlike other riots triggered by trivial incidents in the past, the post-Godhra riots were triggered by a `horrendous incident' ". This is nothing but a repetition of the BJP's rationalisation that the widespread violence and killings were results of the Godhra incident. He also sought to defend the `gaurav rath yatra'. The Polit Bureau appreciated the stand taken by the National Human Rights Commission warning against the `rath yatra' proposed to be taken out by the BJP.
The Polit Bureau reiterated that the rehabilitation of the victims of violence should have topmost priority for the state government and the Central government has to take the responsibility to ensure this.
Supreme Court Judgement on Electoral Process
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) discussed the recent order of the Election Commission based on the Supreme Court judgement which requires an affidavit to be filed by all the candidates contesting elections to provide a range of information regarding criminal cases, assets and liabilities and educational qualifications. The nature of the affidavit shows, that it will be virtually impossible for any political activist who will have innumerable cases registered for political activities, to list out such cases. Further, the returning officer is given powers to reject nomination papers on the veracity of the information provided regarding such cases and other information.
The Polit Bureau is of the opinion that this procedure will not help to keep out criminals from the electoral process and will, instead, pose serious obstacles to the normal electoral process. The judgement has inadvertently introduced extraneous issues in the electoral process. It is for Parliament to rectify the matter through appropriate legislation.
FDI in print media
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemned the decision of the Vajpayee government to open the print media to foreign capital, through a Cabinet decision. This decision has been opposed by a wide spectrum of political parties and public opinion. It is essential that all the opposition parties who recognise the danger posed by foreign influence on the print media take up the matter in parliament and ensure that parliament gives its opinion on the matter, so that the decision can be reversed.
National Labour Commission Report
The National Labour Commission appointed by the government has submitted its report on labour laws. The report has not been made public. The Polit Bureau demanded that the report be immediately tabled in Parliament.
Railway zone reorganisation
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) adopted a separate resolution demanding that the decision to set-up seven new railway zones be reviewed. The creation of state-based zones will be detrimental to the efficiency and the integrated character of the railways.
Next Central Committee meeting
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) decided to hold the next meeting of the Central Committee of the Party in New Delhi from 26th to 28th August, 2002.