Press Communiqué

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on October 2 and 3, 2001. It has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau took stock of the situation arising out of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11 and its consequences for India and the South Asian region. The terroristic attack in the United States has led to the loss of nearly six thousand lives and it has been widely condemned by all sections. The United States has utilised this attack to declare a unilateral war against "global terrorism". It has bypassed the United Nations and other international forums to prepare for an attack on Afghanistan. The proper course of action would have been to make investigations, gather evidence, and seek the cooperation of all concerned to apprehend those responsible.

The pronouncements of the Bush administration show that the United States has arrogated to itself the right to decide what is terrorism and how it can be dealt with. This has led to justified fears that the United States will seek to utilise the September 11 attacks to extend its hegemonic interests. The Vajpayee government disregarding all these factors rushed into declaring unilateral support for America’s war and to offer logistical facilities for their military operation.

The United States instead approached Pakistan for military cooperation, thus exposing the misconceived approach of the BJP-led government. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) wishes to warn the country that such unilateral American action will create more tensions and complications in our region.

The Left Parties have already decided to campaign against the war moves of the United States and the Polit Bureau appeals to all democratic sections to demand that the steps to curb terrorism be taken through the United Nations and other legitimate forums.

Jammu & Kashmir Violence

The Polit Bureau denounced the brutal attack on the Jammu & Kashmir assembly complex which has led to the death of over 40 people including civilians and security personnel. The Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for this attack. It is a grim reminder of how terrorist violence continues unabated in the state. President Musharraf has refused to acknowledge this terroristic activities which are sponsored by fundamentalist organisations based in Pakistan. The Central government gave the impression that extremists are being diverted to Afghanistan following America’s move against it. There can be no room for complacency. The Vajpayee government should also realise that apart from stepping up security measures political steps are required to tackle the problem in Jammu & Kashmir so that the people can be rallied to isolate the extremist forces.

The Vajpayee government’s approach in this matter is also flawed. The Prime Minister’s letter to President Bush is an appeal for American intervention in such a manner, which will allow the United States to intervene in the Kashmir problem. It is one thing to mobilise international support including American opinion against the violence being sponsored in Jammu & Kashmir but it will be detrimental to India’s interests to seek any American intervention in the name of fighting terrorism.

Worsening Economic Situation

The Polit Bureau noted that the Vajpayee government is seeking an alibi for its miserable performance on the economic front by citing the worsening international economic environment since the September 11 attacks in the US. The Prime Minister in his broadcast to the country had warned that more burdens will have to be imposed on the people in the fight against global terrorism and in the light of the world economic situation. This is nothing but a pretext for covering up the wrong economic policies and to make the common people the scapegoat.

The manner in which 13 public sector units have been lined up for privatisation shows that the government has not learnt any lesson from the dubious manner in which the BALCO sale took place and the fiasco over the Air India disinvestment. The Prime Minister has made unconscionable comments in a public speech about people who have died of hunger in Orissa. In callous disregard of the acute human suffering, the Prime Minister has maintained that foodgrains were available in the homes of those who died. The Vajpayee government presides over the burgeoning foodgrain stock of six million tonnes, which it refuses to distribute to people in the drought-hit areas or initiate meaningful food for work programmes.

The Polit Bureau noted that the campaign and the three day picketting programme in September all over the country has taken the message to wide sections of the people that the wrong policies of the Vajpayee government are responsible for the people’s plight and they should be scrapped.

It will be necessary in the coming days to resist the new onslaught being planned on the people’s livelihood by the BJP-led government at the Centre. Similarly, some of the Congress state governments are also adopting policies, which are in line with the Centre’s approach such as the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala.

The Polit Bureau called upon all trade unions, mass organisations and democratic forces to see that the people are not made victims of the growing economic difficulties due to the government’s wrong policies.

Party Congress

The Polit Bureau decided to hold the 17th Congress of the Party at Hyderabad from 19 to 24 March, 2002. The Polit Bureau decided to present before the Central Committee on 28th and 29th October some of the preparatory work for the Congress.