The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in Kolkata on 29 April 2008. It has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau noted the failure of the UPA government to take effective steps to check the price-rise of essential commodities. The Wholesale Price Index showed a rise of 7.33% for the week ending April 15. There is no respite for the people due to the steep increase in the prices of food items.
The refusal to put curbs on private companies buying food grains; and prohibiting forward trading in 25 agricultural commodities, reveals the bias of the Union Government in favour of big business and trading companies at the expense of the people’s interest. The targeted public distribution system should be replaced by a universal PDS.
The Polit Bureau warned the Manmohan Singh government that its callous attitude to price-rise would not be tolerated by the people.
The Polit Bureau decided to intensify the struggle against price-rise and for a change in Government policies in this regard.
ANTI-PRICE RISE PICKETING CALL
The Polit Bureau decided to call for a mass picketing campaign in front of the Central Government offices all over the country on May 15 in which a minimum of 10 lakh people will participate except in West Bengal and Karnataka where elections are being held.
The picketing will be organised around the five demands:
*Strengthen the Public Distribution System by universalizing it; restore the cut in food grain allocations to the states under the PDS; include 15 essential commodities including pulses, edible oil, and sugar in the PDS.
*Put curbs on procurement of foodgrains from farmers by private companies and traders.
*Ban futures trading in 25 agricultural commodities as proposed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs, and Public Distribution.
*Cut customs, excise duties on oil, and reduce retail prices of petrol and diesel.
*Take stringent action against hoarding of essential commodities; strengthen the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act to empower state governments to deal with hoarding and black-marketing.
PANCHAYAT ELECTIONS IN WEST BENGAL
The Polit Bureau heard a report on the forthcoming Panchayat elections in West Bengal. All the anti-Marxist forces are combining in a mahajot to fight the Left Front. The Polit Bureau strongly condemns the killings of important CPI (M) cadres, and activists by the so-called Maoists. In this year itself, 13 CPI (M) comrades have been targeted and killed by these disruptive elements. Earlier from March 2006, till 2007, 19 of our comrades were killed by these elements who are acting as the agents of the forces of reaction.
The Polit Bureau appeals to all the Left parties to unitedly rebuff the anti-Left mahajot.
The Polit Bureau finalised the division of work and specific responsibilities of the members of the Polit Bureau It prepared the proposals for the formation of the sub-committees and other organisational measures after the Party Congress. These proposals will be placed before the next meeting of the central committee to be held on 29-30 May 2008.