The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) met in New Delhi on June 5 & 6, 2010. It has issued the following statement:
Lift Blockade of Gaza
The Polit Bureau expressed its strong condemnation and outrage at the attack by Israeli armed forces on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. Nine people were killed and many others injured in this attack on international waters. Israel behaves like a rogue State in enforcing the blockade of Gaza.
It is highly regrettable that the UPA government has not even condemned Israel by name for this attack in the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs and confines itself to regretting the loss of lives and the use of force. The Polit Bureau demands that the Government of India work actively with other countries to get the blockade of Gaza lifted. The Polit Bureau reiterates that India should stop all military and security collaboration with Israel as long as it remains in illegal occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories.
West Bengal Municipal Polls & its Aftermath
The Polit Bureau heard a preliminary report on the elections to 81 municipal bodies in West Bengal in which the CPI(M) and the Left have suffered losses. The West Bengal State Committee will conduct a review of the elections on the basis of which necessary political and organizational steps can be taken to win back the confidence of those sections of the people who have moved away from the Party.
The Polit Bureau strongly condemns the attack launched by the Trinamul Congress and its allies in various parts of West Bengal after the result of the municipal election. So far five activists and supporters of the CPI(M) have been killed in Birbhum, Mushirabad and Bankura districts. There have been attack on the houses of CPI(M) supporters and other places too.
The Polit Bureau appeals to all democratic forces to condemn such violence which is a blatant violation of minimum democratic norms. The Central Government should look into the role of its own Cabinet Minister in inciting such violence.
The Polit Bureau noted that various communal and caste forces are being mobilized against the CPI(M) and the LDF government. These forces are sought to be consolidated behind the Congress-led UDF. The increasing intervention of religious and communal bodies in politics does not augur well for the secular polity in Kerala.
The CPI(M) will conduct a vigorous campaign against the interference of sectarian and communal forces in the political affairs of the state.
Prices of Petroleum Products
There are reports that the government is considering a further increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and other petroleum products. This will be totally unwarranted and impose a crushing burden on the people in view of the continuing increase in food prices and inflation. The Polit Bureau warns the government not to increase the prices of petroleum products.
Food Security Legislation
Despite the declaration of the Prime Minister a few months ago that the “worst of food inflation is over”, the food inflation rate continues to remain extremely high at over 16.5 per cent. This signifies the utter failure of the UPA in checking price rise. The Government is stubbornly refusing to reverse the neoliberal policies causing price rise. Even today, the buffer stocks of over 4 crore tonnes of foodgrains are rotting in Government godowns. Yet these stocks are not being used to restore the huge cut in foodgrains allocations to the States for APL sections who have been wrongly excluded from the public distribution system.
In this context, the CPI(M) opposes the present approach of the UPA Government on the Food Security Bill, which seeks to provide legal sanction to the exclusion of vast sections of the people from the PDS based on the flawed poverty estimates. This will be even worse than the current situation where the States can move towards a universal PDS combining their own schemes with central allocations. The Government is not interested in expanding the right to food for the food insecure population. It is calculating the numbers of poor to restrict the beneficiaries in order to save resources and restrict food subsidy. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) reiterates its demands for a universalized system of PDS with at least 35 kg of foodgrains allocation per family at a maximum rate of two rupees a kilo.
The Left parties are holding a Convention on July 1 in New Delhi to take up this issue.
Ranganath Mishra Commission Report
The Polit Bureau demanded that the UPA government table the Action Taken Report on the recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission. The recommendations pertain to reservation in jobs and education for minorities on the basis of their social and educational backward status. There has been undue delay in acting upon the report and this should be taken up in the monsoon session of Parliament.
The Polit Bureau condemned in the strongest terms the derailment of the Gyaneshwari Express in West Midnapore district of West Bengal which resulted in the deaths of 149 passengers and injuries to many more. The sabotage of a passenger train indulged in by elements of the Maoist-PCAPA combine is a terrorist act directed against innocent people. This exposes the true face of the Maoists. Firm action should be taken against such elements to deter such violent attacks in the future.
The CPI(M) had earlier pointed out the wide ramifications of the IPL affairs which involve large-scale money transactions and illegal activities in the name of a cricket. The manner in which the BCCI and the IPL body have conducted the bids and the franchising have raised a host of issues. The matter cannot be disposed off with some routine enquiries conducted by the agencies under the Finance Ministry. What is required is a full-fledged probe. This should be done by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
Extended Meeting of the CC
The Polit Bureau discussed the outline of a draft document for the extended meeting of the Central Committee to be held in August. The PB will meet again on July 3 and 4 to finalise the draft to be presented to the Central Committee.