The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi from November 22 to 24, 2002. It has issued the following statement:
No War on Iraq
The Central Committee strongly condemned the continuing efforts of the United States to launch a military attack and occupy Iraq. The United Nations Security Council adopted an unanimous resolution on the basis of which inspectors are back in Iraq to check whether it has any weapons of mass destruction. Most of the members of the Security Council expect a peaceful resolution of the problem through the implementation of the resolution. However, the United States is bent upon finding some pretext to blame Iraq and launch a military attack. The Bush administration is going ahead with its military mobilisation for this purpose.
All over the world, a strong protest movement is developing against this latest instance of US aggression. The Central Committee appealed to all democratic sections in India to build up a united movement against the threat of war on Iraq. For this purpose, the Central Committee requested all its state units to take the initiative to form broad based committees to oppose the US moves for war.
The Central Committee discussed the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat. The recent events in Gujarat have illustrated graphically the danger to the country when Hindutva is implemented as state policy. It reiterated its stand that the widest unity of all the secular forces must be forged to ensure the defeat of the BJP. The election campaign should be so conducted so as to mobilise the people in every constituency to support the strongest secular candidate to defeat the BJP.
The Central Committee noted that the recent by election to the Legislative Council seat has confirmed the fact that the BSP-BJP government is in a minority with the candidate of the ruling coalition polling only 194 votes. Despite this, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh has been adamantly refusing to convene the assembly to test the strength of the ruling coalition. The BJP-led government at the Centre is conniving in this attack on democracy. This conduct of the governor is partisan and undemocratic. The Central Committee demanded the immediate convening of the legislative assembly to determine whether the government enjoys the confidence of the house.
Jammu & Kashmir Situation
The results of the Jammu & Kashmir elections have heightened the expectations of the people that significant steps can be taken for restoring peace. The Central Committee appreciated the performance of its J&K unit in the assembly elections. With the installation of the new government, the people expect it to implement the policies announced in the common minimum programme. The Central Committee decided that to facilitate the implementation of the common minimum programme, the Party should be represented in the coordination committee to be set up.
With the resignation of Justice Venkataswami from the commission enquiring into the Tehelka case, the government has effectively scuttled the enquiry. The government cannot escape its responsibility in clearing the appointment of the judge concerned to an office of profit while the sensitive enquiry was on.
The CPI(M) demands that a Joint Parliamentary Committee be entrusted with the enquiry. Further, George Fernandes must step down from the office of Defence Minister till the enquiry is over.
The Central Committee noted that the opposition to the privatisation of the profitable public sector units is intensifying. The proposed privatisation of NALCO in Orissa has led to a strong protest movement involving all sections of the people and political parties. The efforts to sell HPCL and BPCL have led to differences within the NDA partners. The Centaur Hotel resale scandal has highlighted the seamy side of privatisation. The Central Committee called for intensifying the resistance to the privatisation drive and to make it a mass movement involving different sections of the people.
Drought & Food Shortage
The Central Committee strongly criticized the central government for its callous attitude towards providing sufficient funds to meet the severe drought situation which affected many parts of the country. So far only Rs. 2000 crore has been allotted for the massive cost of providing relief to the drought-stricken people in the various states. The central government has also shown criminal neglect in providing sufficient foodgrains to meet the requirements of the drought-hit rural poor. The public distribution system has virtually collapsed in many parts of the country. Starvation deaths are being reported from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other places. The Central Committee demanded immediate steps to provide cheap foodgrains to the people affected by drought and the rural poor. The central government must immediately take steps to expand the Antodaya scheme; reduce the prices for the below poverty line card holders and reverse the current policy and go in for universalisation of the public distribution system.
Withdraw Eviction Circular
The Central Committee demanded the withdrawal of the circular issued by the Ministry of Environment & Forests in May this year which directs the state governments to evict encroachers from forests. This would affect 10 million tribal people who are forest dwellers and not encroachers. The Forest Act must be amended to assure the right of tribal people to the forests and access to forest produce.
Call For Action
The Central Committee called for the united observance of December 6, which marks the 10th year of the demolition of the Babri Masjid . The day should be observed in defence of secularism, communal harmony and to expose the designs of the RSS-BJP combine. The Central Committee called upon all the Party units to mobilise the people against the imminent threat of US aggression on Iraq; intensify the struggle against privatisation of public sector units; take up the problems of the peasantry and rural poor in the drought-affected areas and the problems arising out of the fall in prices of agricultural commodities. The party also directed its units to actively intervene in defence of the rights of dalits, women and adivasis against whom attacks are increasing.