The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on February 14. It has issued the following statement:
Economic Crisis: Government Should Intervene
The economic situation has deteriorated further due to the continuing impact of the global recession. Every sector of the economy is adversely affected. Industrial production has registered negative growth, export-oriented industries are badly hit and the agrarian crisis is deepening. Lakhs of people have been rendered jobless. According to a study of the Ministry of Labour, five lakh jobs were lost between October and December 2008. This is a gross underestimate. It is estimated that one crore jobs will be lost by March 2009. Yet, the UPA government has not come forward with effective measures to save jobs and livelihood.
The Polit Bureau demands that the government come out with specific packages for the affected industries like textiles, gems and jewellery, leather etc. While extending assistance and subsidies to the industries, the government should ensure that there are no lay offs and retrenchment. Price support has to be given to the cash crops through the commodity boards. The Government should extend the employment guarantee scheme to the urban areas and expand social welfare measures.
Rescind New FDI Guidelines
The Polit Bureau reiterated its opposition to the new FDI guidelines which will lead to undermining the existing FDI sectoral caps and facilitate backdoor entry of FDI. The UPA government has no legitimacy to undertake such a sweeping measure at the end of its tenure and when the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections is hardly three weeks away.
The Polit Bureau appeals to all democratic political parties and organisations to oppose this measure.
Act Against Violence on Women
The deplorable violence in Karnataka particularly in the Mangalore region against young women by the Sri Ram Sene has been made possible because of the patronage extended by the Karnataka BJP Government. The series of incidents including the shameful and cowardly beating up of young women in a restaurant, the abduction, assault and confinement of the daughter of a CPI(M) MLA and her acquaintance a Muslim boy, as punishment for speaking to each other, the suicide of a young woman after she and her friend a Muslim boy were similarly dragged out of a bus, publicly humiliated and taken to a police station are an affront to any civilized democratic and secular society. These groups who take inspiration from the Hindutva ideologies must be acted against under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Scrap Bill Denying SC/ST Reservations
The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008 was introduced on December 22, 2008 in the Rajya Sabha and hurriedly pushed through the following day during disruption of proceedings of the House. Contrary to the established procedure it was not referred to the relevant Standing Committee. The Bill excludes posts of Professors, Associate Professors and Reader grades in institutions of excellence and in IIMs from reservations for SC/STs and is an insult to the Constitutional guarantee for these deprived sections. The CPI(M) condemns this action of the Government reversing earlier guidelines of its own HRD Ministry. It demands that the Bill be scrapped.
Coromandal Express Accident
The Polit Bureau expressed its serious concern at the accident involving the Coromandal Express in Orissa. 15 people have died and many injured in this serious accident.
The Polit Bureau conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives.
Coming on the day the Railway Interim Budget was presented, the accident highlights the deplorable lack of safety in the Indian Railways. For years the government has neglected spending adequate money on safety and signalling equipment and modernization of the tracks.
The Polit Bureau demands that the interim budget be revised to provide funds on a priority basis for strengthening safety in the railways.
The Polit Bureau reiterated its position that the involvement of Com. Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin case is politically motivated. It is unfortunate that the central investigating agency, the CBI, is not immune from political pressure and influence of the ruling party at the Centre.
The decision to go ahead with the SNC Lavalin contract for renovation of three hydroelectric projects was taken up by the LDF government headed by E.K. Nayanar after it was initiated by the earlier Congress-led UDF government. The proposal was discussed by the state secretariat of the Party and Pinarayi Vijayan as the minister for electricity implemented the decision.
The CPI(M) has consistently held that any person holding public office should step down if they face prosecution by the CBI. This does not apply to Com. Vijayan as he is not a minister or holding any public office. The Party will fight the case politically and legally if it comes up in court.
Lok Sabha Elections
The Polit bureau discussed the preparations for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. So far 80 seats have been finalized to be contested by the Party.
Central Committee Meeting
The Central Committee of the Party will meet on March 7 and 8 at New Delhi to finalise the election manifesto and for the final preparations for the Lok Sabha elections.