The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in Hyderabad from June 8 to 10, 2006. It has issued the following statement at the conclusion of the meeting:
Victories in West Bengal and Kerala
The Central Committee extended its warm greetings to the people of West Bengal and Kerala for making the Left Front and the Left and Democratic Front victorious in the Assembly elections. The victory of the Left Front for the seventh successive time with three-fourth majority and the victory of the LDF with two-third majority has enhanced the prestige of the CPI(M) and the intervening capacity of the Left in national politics. The Central Committee congratulated the state committees of West Bengal and Kerala for these successes.
UPA Government’s Policies
The Central Committee expressed concern at the fall in production of foodgrains. The shortfall in production and procurement has led to the government’s decision to import 30 lakh tonnes of wheat after the earlier import of 5 lakh tonnes. There is a projected deficit of 30 lakh tonnes in procurement. With declining procurement, the food security and the public distribution system are bound to be affected.
The Central Committee strongly criticized the government’s approach of reducing food subsidies. The agricultural minister has announced that prices of rice and wheat in the public distribution system will be increased. This is accompanied by the proposal for reduction in the quantum of wheat supply and cuts for APL and BPL card holders. The foodgrain component in wages in the various Central government schemes are also been cut. These steps should not be taken.
The Central Committee demands the strengthening of the public distribution system instead of its curtailment. Wider access to the public distribution system, issuance of BPL cards and adequate supplies of foodgrains must be ensured.
The government has shown no concern for the continuous rise in prices of food items and other commodities like pulses, edible oils, vegetables, sugar and medicines.
It is at such a time that the government has announced a steep increase in the price of petrol and diesel. The Central Committee noted that protest actions against the price increase are taking place all over the country. It called upon all the Party units to make the All India Protest Day on June 13 a big success. It appeal to all sections of the people to join the protest actions.
The Central Committee called upon the Party and various mass organizations to intervene to ensure the full and proper implementation of the Rural Employment Guarantee Act (REGA). There are reports that the scheme is not being properly implemented in many of the 200 districts which have been selected for the programme. The Party and the mass organizations should mobilize the people in these areas to ensure that the scheme is properly implemented so that 100 days minimum work is provided to those who seek the job.
The Central Committee expressed its deep concern at the manner in which the Manmohan Singh government continues to pursue foreign policy and strategic interests by aligning them with the United States. The government has not criticized the United State’s hostile maneouvres against Iran nor has it condemned the Israel-US efforts to punish the Palestinian people for electing the Hamas government by stopping financial grants. The Central Committee noted that the government is not sending a high level representation to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit being held on June 15. The recent decision to join the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline project has also been taken in line with US interests.
The Central Committee decided that the Party will vigorously oppose the India-US military collaboration. The Party will mobilize people to protest against military exercises conducted with the United States.
Jammu & Kashmir situation
The Central Committee noted the efforts being made by the government to have a dialogue with all the political forces in Jammu & Kashmir. It is necessary to conduct a dialogue on two tracks – one with the separatist organizations and the other with the political parties which are willing to work within the framework of the Indian Union. Talks should revolve around a creative solution which can be based on the concept of providing maximum autonomy to Jammu & Kashmir and taking into account the aspirations of the people of different regions for their own autonomous structures.
The Central Committee condemned the stepped up activities of the extremist groups which have massacred more than 30 people in the Doda region and who have begun to target tourists in the Valley. It is necessary for the Central government and the state administration to take affective step to check such terrorist violence while pursuing the political process.
The Central Committee took stock of the overall political situation in the country. The Central Committee endorsed the stand of the Polit Bureau regarding the approach to the UPA government. The Left Parties would be submitting a note to the UPA-Left Coordination Committee about its views on the performance of the government and what needs to be done.
The Central Committee decided that on policy matters and a number of issues concerning the people, the Party should assertively take up these issues in Parliament. It should also conduct campaigns and struggles on the people’s issues. The Party should join hands with other political parties who can come on a joint platform to conduct joint campaigns and movements.
The Central Committee was of the firm view that only by forging such joint platforms and arriving at a common understanding on policies and programmes that a third alternative can be forged.
Forest Tribal Rights Bill
The Central committee decided to observe July 18 as a day to demand the adoption for the Forest Tribal Rights Bill. The Joint Select Committee of Parliament has proposed important amendments to the Bill which will ensure the tribal people’s right to land in the forest areas. The Party wants the Bill with the amendments proposed to be adopted in the monsoon session of Parliament.
Call for National Campaign
The Central Committee decided to conduct a countrywide political campaign in the month of August. The Party’s policies will be taken to the people through this campaign. The campaign will focus on the need to combat communal forces of various hues and the defence of secularism. It will take up what is happening in Gujarat and the BJP-ruled states where the minorities are under attack.
The campaign will propagate the economic policies and measures which the CPI(M) advocates. There has to be policies which meet the people’s basic needs for land, food, employment, for living standards which are not eroded by price rise. The strengthening of the public distribution system and the rights of the farmers and the rural poor are to be ensured.
The right to education, end to caste oppression and provision of one-third reservation for women in Parliament and state legislature will be among the other demands to be highlighted in the campaign.
The All India campaign will take place in the entire month of August. During this period, the Party will conduct local campaigns culminating in public meetings in over 200 centres all over the country. Central leaders of the Party will address these meetings.
The Polit Bureau has been authorized to finalise the charter for the campaign.