Press Communiqué

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on October 2, 2000. It has issued the following statement:

The Central Committee finalised a report on the amendments to the Draft of the Updated Programme, which is to be adopted at the Party Conference later this month. Inner-Party discussions were conducted on the Draft during the last three months. Altogether 5725 amendments and 530 suggestions were received by the Central Committee. This shows the wide participation and interest taken by Party units and members in updating the programme.

The Central Committee accepted 407 amendments and adopted the report unanimously.

The Special Party Conference will be held from October 20 to 23, 2000 at Thiruvananthapuram.

Petroleum Hike

The Central Committee of the CPI(M) strongly condemned the savage hike in the prices of petroleum products. Apart from directly hitting the people and the poorer sections, this hike will have a cascading inflationary impact. The hike in diesel prices is bound to push up the prices of all the essential commodities that need to be transported across the country. The near Rs. 40 hike for a gas cylinder and the almost 50 per cent hike in the price of kerosene will gravely undermine the real earnings of a vast majority of the Indian people.

The CPI(M) had always suggested that instead of hiking the prices and putting unbearable burdens on the people, the government should reduce its duties, both customs and excise, to meet the extra cost caused by a rise in international prices. Instead, this Vajpayee led government chose to reduce the duties to the tune of a mere Rs. 4,000 crores, while the rest of the deficit of Rs. 19,000 crores is sought to be met through price hikes and issue of public bonds. The redemption of the latter will inevitably result in the burden falling on the people once again.

The Central Committee of the CPI(M) decided to organise countrywide protests against this anti-people decision by the Vajpayee government. The Party will also unitedly launch struggles with other like-minded parties.

Local Bodies and Panchayat Elections In Kerala

The Central Committee noted the success of the Left Democratic Front in the panchayat and local bodies elections in Kerala. The people of Kerala have extended support to the CPI(M) and the LDF based on the record of the state government and the major initiative taken for decentralising powers through the people’s planning process.