The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met at New Delhi on December 17-18, 2021. It has issued the following statement:
Covid Pandemic: Omicron Cases Rising
With the new variant Omicron infecting more people, new dangers of the pandemic are emerging. Unfortunately, despite declaring the target of vaccinating all adults in the country by the year end, by December 18, only 39 per cent of our population are fully vaccinated with both doses.
The pace of vaccination must be urgently speeded up in order to prevent any onset of a new health emergency in the country.
Increasing Marriageable Age for Women
The CPI(M) does not support the Bill proposed by the BJP government to increase the marriageable age for women from the present 18 years to 21 years. The reasons advanced by the government for such a Bill are not convincing. This draft Bill should be sent to the concerned Standing Committee of Parliament for a deeper scrutiny and consultation with stakeholders.
A woman, at the age of 18, is legally an adult. For the purposes of marriage, to treat her as a juvenile is self-contradictory and violates the right of an adult to make a personal choice of her partner. This proposal deprives a woman to decide the course of her own life.
Even when the minimum age was 18 years, the official data informs that the all-India mean average age of marriage of women in 2017 was 22.1 years. Such a law is, therefore, unnecessary. If the consideration for this Bill is due to health reasons, as the government claims, what is required then is to ensure nourishment and food security to prevent maternal and infant mortality. Increasing marriageable age of women is not the solution.
Lakhimpur Kheri Murders
The Supreme Court-established Special Investigation Team has filed an FIR where it is stated that it was a “pre-planned conspiracy causing death”. Eight people were brutally killed in this incident. The prime accused is the son of the Union Minister of State for Home, Ajay Misra. Despite a public outcry, PM Modi has not dismissed the Minister from the Cabinet.
The Polit Bureau demands that this must be done immediately.
Successful Bank Strike
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) congratulated nearly 10 lakh bank employees and officers for their successful strike on December 16-17. This strike received widespread support from various trade unions and positive response from the people as the bank unions exposed the manner in which the lifelong savings of Indian people held in bank accounts were being handed over for loot by this government’s cronies. During these years of the Modi government, over Rs. 10.7 lakh crores of such loans have been written off and the banks are re-capitalized through public money.
Jeopardizing the public sector banks in this manner, the Modi government uses this as the excuse for privatization of banks. This will be disastrous for the country and the people.
The Polit Bureau demands the immediate rollback of such privatization plans.
The Wholesale Price Index has risen by 14.2 per cent in November, the highest in thirty years. The wholesale fuel and power prices rose by 39.81 per cent; food and fuel prices have reached a twelve-year record. This is compounding people’s miseries.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls upon all Party units to organize protest actions.
In the single month of November 2021, 68 lakh salaried workers have lost their jobs. There is a 17-week high of urban joblessness and a 9-week high of overall unemployment.
Along with galloping inflation, these together are imposing greater miseries on the people and contributing to further contraction of demand in the economy deepening government recession.
Direct cash transfers to people of at least Rs. 7,500 per month to each non-income tax paying family must be given immediately.
Denounce PMO Summoning the ECI
The Election Commission of India is an independent Constitutional authority, the only authority meant to conduct free and fair elections. To discharge this responsibility, the ECI should be totally independent of the Executive (government).
The recent summoning of the Chief Election Commissioner and the other two Election Commissioners by the PMO is violative of the Constitution and a gross breach of law. People’s faith in the impartiality and neutrality of the Election Commission will be eroded by such actions of the Modi government.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly denounces this and demands Modi government to stop interfering in the independence of our Constitutional authorities.
The Polit Bureau discussed and finalized the Draft Political Resolution for the 23rd Congress. This will now be placed before the Central Committee scheduled to meet from January 7 to 9, 2022 at Hyderabad.
(For CPI(M) Central Committee office)