The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi between October 29 and 31, 2004. It discussed the current national and international situations. It has issued the following statement:
Maharashtra Elections & After
The Maharashtra election results are significant. The Congress-NCP alliance has once again been returned to office. The defeat of the BJP-Shiv Sena combine conforms to the all India pattern witnessed in the Lok Sabha elections which rejects the politics of divisiveness based on a communal platform.
The BJP, faced with successive setbacks keeps harping on Hindutva and tightening further its bonds with the RSS. L.K. Advani, after assuming the Presidentship has made the revealing statement that the Ram temple would have been built if the BJP-led government had returned to office. This remark confirms how the BJP was trying to subvert the law and bypass the judicial process to begin the illegal construction of the temple at the disputed site.
The non-BJP allies have no way to evade the main issue any more. Being allied to the BJP means serving the interests of the RSS and the Hindutva platform. Apart from being an electoral liability, association with the BJP is also damaging their credibility as secular parties.
The Central Committee wishes to alert the people that the present posture of the BJP will be conducive for raking up communal issues and creating discord and divisiveness. The CPI(M) appeals to all the democratic and secular forces to be vigilant against such moves.
Situation in The North East
The bomb blasts and attacks in Dimapur, Nagaland and various part of Assam led to the death of a large number of persons and injuries to many. Both the ULFA and the NDFB were responsible for this violence. The Tarun Gogoi government has been lax in taking firm measures in time to check these violent activities and there are serious allegations about some of the ministers having links with the ULFA.
The Central Committee expressed its strong opposition to the United States Ambassador’s writing to the Chief Ministers of Assam and Nagaland offering the services of the FBI to investigate the blasts. The Central government should convey to the US Ambassador its disapproval of such a step.
The ULFA, NDFB and the Tripura extremist outfits like the NLFT and the ATTF are operating mainly from camps based in Bangladesh. Some of the groups are there in Myanmar also. The Bangladesh government has been consistently denying the existence of the camps and the activities of the leaders of these groups from the territory of Bangladesh. The Central Government must take up the matter with the Bangladesh Government in a manner, which makes it aware that it cannot evade the issue of sanctuary for the terrorist groups any longer.
The Central Committee noted that some talks have begun between the Central Government and the representatives of the popular movement in Manipur. In the light of the experience of the implementation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, some of the draconian powers need to be amended. The Centre should also work on providing a legal basis for keeping the armed forces to perform certain duties in the North East without recourse to such draconian provisions.
Jammu & Kashmir
The Central Committee expressed serious concern at the growing extremist attacks on leaders and cadres of political parties in the valley. The extremist activities are now concentrated in South Kashmir and in particular in Anantnag district. Four CPI(M) workers have been killed in the recent period in attacks. The Mufti Mohd. Government should take more effective steps to tackle the extremist violence.
The Central Committee expects the UPA government to take fresh initiatives to restore the political dialogue, which can help to rally all the democratic and secular forces. The aspirations of the people for maximum autonomy must be kept in mind. The UPA government must announce an economic package of measures for the state, which can boost development activities and employment opportunities.
The Central Committee welcomed the progress made in the talks between India and Pakistan during the foreign ministers meeting in Delhi and later the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf. Recently President Musharraf floated some options to deal with the Kashmir problem. All such proposals should be taken up as part of the composite dialogue, which will be held.
The Central Committee welcomed the repeal of Pota, the disbandment of the enquiry commission on Tehelka tape exposures and handing over the related investigation to the CBI. It also welcomed the setting up of an enquiry commission on the Godhra railway arson case.
The Central Committee appreciated the position of the government to prepare a bill for enacting the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which will provide for a minimum of hundred days work to one adult in every rural household.
The Central Committee however, noted that on economic policies, the UPA government is taking positions which are dictated by the erroneous outlook that unjustifiable concessions to foreign capital have to be given at the expense of domestic industry and the public sector if the country is to attract foreign investment on a large scale.
The Central Committee found the government’s initiative to scrap Press Note 18, which provides protection to domestic industry when entering into joint ventures with foreign companies to be in line with the flawed thinking that this will increase FDI flows.
The Central Committee expressed surprise at the eagerness of the Finance Minister to facilitate the takeover of Indian private banks by foreign banks. The proposal to allow foreign banks to buy ten percent in an Indian private bank every year till it can be converted into a subsidiary of the foreign bank is harmful. There are a number of small private banks, which will be swallowed up by the foreign banks by this scheme. The foreign banks are now allowed to operate in India with their branches and to mobilise resources. It is unfair to allow them to capture the small private banks in the country.
The Central Committee cannot accept the argument that disinvestment upto 49 percent in the profitable public sector units including the navaratnas will have any impact on the character of the public sector. Further, such disinvestment of shares will go towards meeting the budgetary requirements of the government to meet its deficit without in any way strengthening the public sector.
The UPA Government seems to be working on the basis that the core issues of liberalisation and privatisation should be left to the government to pursue, while the Left should confine itself to concerns such as employment generation, food supply, education and health. The CPI(M) cannot accept such an approach. Both the Common Minimum Programme and the basis of the popular verdict in the Lok Sabha elections requires the government not to blindly pursue the course adopted by the previous BJP-led government.
The Central Committee decided that more emphasis will have to be given to the mobilisation and struggles by different sections of the working people in defence of their interests and for change in the government’s policies in this regard. The Party units must take up the issues of food, work and demands of the workers and rural poor by organising movements.
The Central Committee discussed some of the aspects of the foreign policy, which need to be reviewed. Taking into account the pro-American direction to foreign policy given by the BJP-led government, the Common Minimum Programme has set out the need for an independent foreign policy. In this connection, the Central Committee wants the UPA government not to proceed with any association with the American Missile Defence Programme. This controversial programme of President Bush will escalate the arms race internationally and create new tensions in South Asia.
The Central Committee stressed the need for a review of the Indo-Israel relations. The Vajpayee government had established a deep strategic and security collaboration with the Israeli regime. The Israeli government is notorious for its colonial occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people. More than a hundred Palestinians have been killed in the last one-month in Israeli military operations in Gaza. The UPA government must not go by the specious argument based on realpolitik that strategic collaboration with Israel is in our national interest.
The Central Committee adopted a document on the approach to mass organisations, which updates the 1981 resolution on the subject. The document will provide a fresh direction for the Party members work in the mass organisations, to help in developing and expanding their influence.
The Central Committee discussed the preparations for the Party Congress, which is to be held in New Delhi from April 6 to 11, 2005. The Central Committee decided that 700 elected delegates will attend the 18th Congress and finalised the state-wise quota for their election in the state conferences.