The Central Committee of the CPI(M) met in New Delhi from September 28 to 30, 2003. It has issued the following statement after the meeting:
Reviving Temple Issue: Cynical Move
The Central Committee expressed serious concern at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad call for a renewed agitation on the issue of the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. Both the RSS and the BJP have declared support for this agitation. By supporting this agitation, the BJP has signaled that the BJP-led government at the Centre is not committed to solve the dispute through a judicial verdict. The revival of the temple agitation is a cynical move keeping in view the forthcoming assembly elections in four states in North India.
The Vajpayee government cannot escape responsibility if communal tensions are roused due to the disruptive campaign launched by the VHP. The Central Committee requests the UP state government to take all necessary measures to see that peace and the rule of law prevails in the state.
Babri Masjid Demolition Case
The decision of the Rae Bareli court not to frame charges against Union Home Minister L.K. Advani has come in the background of the continuing efforts to scuttle the case against the BJP leaders involved in the criminal act of the demolition of the mosque. The original chargesheet against L.K. Advani and 48 others had been admitted by the special court at Lucknow in 1997. Since then moves to scuttle the case led to the splitting up of the original case and a fresh case being initiated in the Rae Bareli court against eight top leaders. The diluted chargesheet presented by the CBI deleted the conspiracy charge which was there in the original chargesheet.
The episode of Murli Manohar Joshi's drama of resigning from the Union Cabinet and its rejection only highlights the BJP's amoral stand on the matter. The Central Committee is of the opinion that if those accused in the demolition case are allowed to go scot free, it will be a serious miscarriage of justice. It demands that the original chargesheet in the case be restored. The CBI will have to take necessary legal steps to get a revision of the decision. The UP state government will also have to see what can be done legally to redress the situation.
Uttar Pradesh Events
The Central Committee welcomes the break-up of the BJP-BSP alliance which led to the fall of its coalition government in the state. This was inevitable given the opportunistic and unprincipled nature of the alliance forged by the BJP. It is important that the Mulayam Singh government, which has been formed, take immediate steps to safeguard secular principles while at the same time providing relief to the people who are subject to various forms of deprivation.
Vicious Cycle of Terrorist Violence
The Central Committee expressed its strong condemnation of the twin blasts in Mumbai which led to over 50 persons being killed and scores injured. Such violence perpetrated by extremist elements have to be curbed to prevent further damage to communal harmony and national unity. The persons arrested for the blasts have stated that the motive for the attack was “revenge” for the killings of the minority community in Gujarat. This shows how the vicious cycle of terror gets fuelled by communal poison and violence.
In this connection, the Central Committee noted that the Modi government has been put in the dock by the Supreme Court’s indictment of its handling of the Best Bakery case. The brazen manner in which the Modi government is denying justice and relief and rehabilitation to the victims of communal violence provides fertile grounds for extremist activities. The Central Committee fully supports the stand taken by the National Human Rights Commission that four of the major cases concerning the communal pogroms be handed over to the CBI and trial of these cases be held outside Gujarat.
Struggle Against Privatisation Drive
The Vajpayee government’s illegal step in trying to privatise the HPCL and BPCL has been brought to a halt by the Supreme Court judgement which has confirmed that parliament cannot be bypassed in the matter. Both these companies were set up through specific acts of parliament and the CPI(M) had maintained that only parliament is authorized to amend the concerned laws. Since both these oil companies are in the strategic sector and earn huge revenue for the government, it will be an anti-national act to sell of these companies to foreign and Indian monopolies. The CPI(M) will strongly oppose any move by the government to get the acts concerning these companies amended in parliament.
The Central Committee condemned the decision of the Central government to handover the Mumbai and Delhi airports to the private sector. It commended the public resistance being put in Orissa against the disinvestment of shares in NALCO.
The Central Committee decided to intensify the campaign to oppose the privatisation drive and mobilise wider sections of public opinion against the sale of public assets to finance the budgetary deficit of the government.
Right to Strike
The Central Committee endorsed the decision taken at the national convention of the state and central government employees organisations and the convention of the central trade unions which were held recently on the Supreme Court’s judgement against the right to strike.
The right to strike is a basic democratic right of all citizens and the Supreme Court judgement has contravened the right as it exists through laws of parliament. The Central Committee decided to mobilise all democratic sections of society in defence of the basic right to strike. It will fully support the struggle launched by the trade unions and any strike action conducted, if the government fails to adopt necessary steps to protect the right to strike.
No Concessions to Imperialism
The Central Committee noted that the widespread opposition to the sending of troops to Iraq at the US request, has led the Indian government to not send a contingent of troops. The US is desperately trying to get other countries to send troops to bail itself out from the quagmire it finds itself in Iraq. The Central Committee demands that the US occupation be ended immediately and the administration handed over to the UN and steps be taken for setting up a representative government of the Iraqis.
The Central Committee strongly condemned the pro-Israeli shift which was visible during the Sharon visit to India. The eulogizing of the aggressive and expansionist Israeli regime has led to serious apprehensions and doubts in the Arab world. The same Sharon went back to Israel and immediately took the decision to expel Yasser Arafat from the Palestinian territories – a step which has been condemned universally. This episode shows how it will be counter-productive for India to enter into close strategic and political ties with the Israeli government as long as it is bent upon perpetuating its colonial occupation and denying the Palestinians an independent state.
The Central Committee congratulated the LDF for the victory of its independent candidate from the Ernakulam Lok Sabha seat in the by-elections. The defeat of the UDF reflects the people’s rejection of the Antony government’s policies. It is also an indictment of the Chief Minister’s wooing of caste and communal forces. This election result will heighten the already existing divisions in the Congress party and the UDF.
Call for Action
The Central Committee called upon all its state units to conduct movements against dismantling of the public distribution system; for the provision of cheap food for the rural and poor; against the provisions of the Electricity Act of 2003 which are imposing new burdens of power tariff hikes on the people; support the struggles against the steep fee hikes in higher education; intensify the struggle against privatisation and widen the movement to defend the right to strike.
Finally, the Central Committee called upon its Party units in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Delhi to work for the main aim of defeating the BJP in the forthcoming assembly elections. While doing so, the Party will also expose the anti-people policies of the Congress-run state governments and work to increase the representation of the Left forces.