The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met online on January 30 & 31, 2021.  It has issued the following statement:

Kisan Struggle

The Central Committee hailed the continuing massive kisan struggle demanding the repeal of the retrograde farm laws and the legislation of MSP for all crops as the legal right of all farmers in the country. 

The Central Committee extended its full solidarity and support to this struggle.

The mammoth Republic Day tractor parade saw the participation of many lakhs of farmers in over a lakh tractors that peacefully moved on the agreed routes for the parade.  In all states in the country, similar parades and other actions of solidarity took place in a big manner.

The isolated untoward incidents that occurred on the Republic Day cannot detract the focus from the main demand for the repeal of these laws.  These incidents, handiwork of agent provocateurs, some with established links to the BJP, have been denounced by the entire movement and the country.

Repression:  Following the same methodology that the RSS-BJP employed to disrupt massive people’s peaceful movements against the CAA etc., armed goons were sent under the protection of Delhi police to attack the kisans peacefully sitting in protest along Delhi borders.  However, this enraged both the kisans and the general people, who came in larger numbers to join the protests forcing these goons to leave.

As has been the practice of the Delhi police under the Union Home Ministry,  the perpetrators of such violent attacks are not prosecuted while the victims have criminal cases foisted on them.  25 FIRs booking over 30 farmer leaders, who were engaged in talks with the government, on charges of rioting, criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder and robbery have been filed.   The Central Committee denounced this repressive action by the BJP government and Delhi police and demanded that these false cases be withdrawn forthwith.

Targetting Journalists: The BJP through its state governments in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and in Delhi where the police is under the Union Home Ministry, has intensified attacks against those journalists who have been reporting truthfully the events connected with the farmers’ protests.  Such efforts to intimidate and terrorise journalists has been going on for some time  under the BJP administrations in many cases.  But since January 28, FIRs have been filed against nine Indian journalists on charges of sedition and nine other provisions of law, including promoting communal disharmony, insulting religious beliefs, assertions prejudicial to national integration etc etc.  Reputed senior journalists have been slapped with these charges on the basis of their personal tweets on the social media.  This is reprehensible and smacks of efforts to browbeat, intimidate and harass the media.

The Central Committee strongly condemned such actions and demanded that FIRs be withdrawn immediately. 

While condemning this repression, the Central Committee reiterated that these farm laws must be repealed in the current ongoing budget session of the Parliament. Subsequently the government must discuss agrarian reforms with the farmers and all stakeholders and formulate fresh proposals, if any, for the consideration and deliberation of the Parliament through its established structures of parliamentary committees.

The Central Committee directed Party MPs to work towards the repeal of these laws in the ongoing budget session of the Parliament.

Growing People’s Miseries

Galloping Unemployment:  A conservative estimate of CMIE shows the loss of nearly 150 lakh jobs in the organized sector alone. Of these, nearly 100 lakhs are graduates and post-graduates.  This comes on top  of the ruination of the informal sector and the large-scale loss of livelihoods of crores of people.

Crippling Price Rise:  In the midst of the economic recession and galloping unemployment, people’s miseries are mounting by the crippling price rise of all essential commodities, particularly petrol, diesel and cooking gas.  Fuel prices continue to be hiked indiscriminately on a regular basis.  India has the highest rates of taxation on petroleum products in the world. 

The Central Committee calls upon all Party units to organize protests against this.

Economic Survey

The voluminous Economic Survey robs the relevance of this exercise. The stark evidence of the colossal government failure in protecting India from either the pandemic or its devastating economic effects is concealed through statistical trickery. Preposterously, this disastrous handling is hailed as `far sighted’ policy response that has saved both lifes and livelihoods. This is a propaganda and spin exercise obfuscating the destructive impact of government policies on people’s livelihood. 

In a bizarre manner, the worst GDP contraction in the world of minus 23.9 per cent in the first quarter and a minus 7.5 per cent, on top of this, in the second quarter, 2020-21, are shown as evidence of a V-shape recovery!  If there is any recovery at all, it is a K-shaped recovery where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, as revealed by the latest Oxfam Report, “The inequality virus”.  The richest billionaires in India increased their wealth by 35 per cent when millions of the poor lost jobs and are suffering from hunger, malnutrition and depravation during this year.  This is the reality of `reforms’ which is concealed and misrepresented by the Economic Survey.

Forthcoming Budget

It is universally recognised that any recovery would be possible only through massive hikes in governmental expenditures. Any government that is responsive to the need to ensure economic recovery and improve people’s welfare should massively hike public investments to build our much-need infrastructure which will generate huge job opportunities. When these youth start spending their salaries, domestic demand will rise kick-starting the process of a recovery.

That is what the people want but not what this BJP government will do since it is singularly pre-occupied with mercilessly looting India’s national assets and promoting its crony corporates.

23rd Congress of CPI(M)

The Central Committee decided to begin the process of the elaborate inner-Party exercise that begins from Party’s basic unit, the branch, and culminates with the Party Congress.  Branch conferences will begin from the first week of July 2021 after the forthcoming Assembly elections.  The 23rd Party Congress that was scheduled to be held in April 2021 had to be deferred due to the pandemic/lockdowns and the Assembly elections in Kerala, West Bengal, Tamilnadu and Assam.  The Central Committee aims to convene the 23rd Congress in the first quarter of 2022, preferably by the end of February.

Central Committee Call

The Central Committee decided that all units of the Party will observe a fortnight-long campaign all over the country in the second half of February 2021.  This will be on issues that are destroying India’s Constitutional order and economic foundations through the sharpening of communal polarization; the loot of national assets; large-scale privatization; price rise; abolition of labour laws, galloping unemployment etc., while strengthening solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ struggles and exposing the false propaganda of the RSS/BJP.

The Party will mobilise larger sections of the people in struggles and solidarity actions of the working class, the peasantry and all other sections of our people.

The Central Committee decided that the main focus in the coming period would be to defeat the BJP in the forthcoming assembly elections, ensure the return of the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala, work for a Left, secular democratic alternative in West Bengal, defeat the BJP-AIADMK alliance ensuring the victory of the DMK-led front and increase Party’s influence in the Assam assembly.