Central Committee Communique

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Press Communique

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi from March 07-09, 2008. It has issued the following statement:

Tripura Victory

The Central Committee warmly congratulated the Tripura unit of the CPI(M) and the Left Front for their splendid victory in the Assembly elections. The fourth successive victory and the three-fourth majority shows the overwhelming confidence of the people in the Left Front government.

Price Rise

The Central Committee expressed its serious concern at the continuing rise in prices of all essential commodities. The price rise is particularly steep on foodgrains which is badly affecting the lives of the poor.

The Union Budget of 2008-09 has failed to address the problem of inflation and price rise. The Wholesale Price Index has gone over 5 per cent. What is required is urgent intervention by the Central government to:

1) restore the 139 lakh tonne cut in foodgrain allocation to the states under the PDS.

2) reverse the price rise in petrol and diesel by cutting customs and excise duties.

3) ban on futures trading in agricultural commodities as proposed by the standing committee of Parliament.

4) take stringent action against hoardings under the Essential Commodities Act.

The Left parties have given a call for a sit-in demonstration against price rise on March 18, 2008 before Parliament demanding urgent steps from the Central government to control the price situation. The Central Committee extended its full support to this programme.

Firmly Counter Chauvinist Forces

The Central Committee condemned the statements made by Raj Thackeray, the MNS leader and the attacks on North Indians that took place in Mumbai. The derogatory remarks made by Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray are also designed to create hatred against people from North India. The stance and activities of these chauvinist forces strike at the root of Indian unity and should be firmly countered. It is unfortunate that the Maharashtra state government is taking a soft attitude to such disruptive forces. The BJP leadership which criticizes such activities continues to ally with the Shiv Sena which promotes the worst type of disruptive politics. This exposes their hypocritical stance.

Women’s Reservation Bill

The Central Committee demanded that the government introduce the women’s reservation bill in this session of Parliament itself. The UPA government should fulfill the commitments made in the Common Minimum Programme in this regard.

Hyderabad and Bangalore Airports

The Central Committee called upon the government of India to stop the closure of the Hyderabad and Bangalore airports which are under the Airports Authority of India. The decision to close the airports has been taken in view of the new private airports being opened outside both the cities. The standing committee of Parliament has unanimously recommended that both these old airports should function given the rising volume of traffic. Further, the Airports Authority of India has already been weakened with the privatization of the Delhi and Mumbai airports. The closure of the existing Hyderabad and Bangalore airports will deal a mortal blow to the fortunes of the Airports Authority of India, converting it into a loss-making enterprise.

Organisational Report

The Central Committee discussed the draft Political Organisational Report to be submitted to the 19th Congress. The report includes a section on the role and experience of the Left-led governments. After discussion, the draft report was finalized.