The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on 28th and 29th July, 2000. It has issued the following statement:
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) discussed the international and national situation and adopted a report on political developments.
Stop US Missile System
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) expressed its strong opposition to the efforts of the United States of America to develop a new National Missile Defence (NMD) system. This major step would nullify existing arms reduction treaties and set off a new arms race in the world. In pursuit of global hegemony, the United States wants to develop a missile system which will militarise space. The same United States is consistently threatening all those countries who refuse to accept its hegemony by branding them as "rogue" states.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) noted the worldwide opposition to this aggressive move of the United States. It welcomes the joint declaration of President Jiang Zemin of China and President Putin of Russia declaring their common opposition to the NMD.
The Vajpayee government should come out with a categorical stand firmly opposing the NMD. So far, it has only mildly deplored the move. India should take the lead in mobilising non-aligned countries against this new threat posed to world peace.
Support to Palestinian cause
The Central Committee noted with concern the refusal of Israel to concede the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people and obstructing the realisation of an independent Palestine state. The talks held recently under US auspices have failed to resolve the outstanding disputes. The Clinton administration has virtually supported the Israeli stand by warning Yasser Arafat not to declare an independent state of Palestine next month. The Central Committee expressed firm support to the cause of the Palestinian people and the stand of the PLO on the demand for an independent Palestinian state and having East Jerusalem as the capital.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) welcomed the move for evolving a devolution package, which would help the Tamil people get autonomy within the framework of Sri Lanka. Though the agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the opposition UNP have run into difficulties, the Kumaratunga government should pursue the matter with the Tamil parties so that an acceptable formula can be evolved for devolution of powers and amending the Constitution.
The Central Committee expressed its concern about the difficult conditions under which the Tamil people are living in the northern and eastern province where the military hostilities have caused a great deal of suffering.
Recognition of Saharawi Republic
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) strongly denounces the shameful step taken by the Vajpayee government in withdrawing recognition to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). By this unjustifiable action, the Vajpayee government has gone back on an important principle of India's foreign policy of support to decolonisation and national liberation struggles. The Central Committee demands that the government immediately rescind the decision and continue recognition of the SADR.
Talks on Kashmir Issue
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) welcomed the proposal to conduct talks on the Kashmir issue by ceasing hostilities and creating an atmosphere for dialogue. The cease-fire declared by Hizbul Mujahiddin is a step in this direction. The Prime Minister has responded positively to the offer. The Hurriyat and other concerned organisations should create a suitable atmosphere for talks to proceed.
While doing so, the CPI(M) reiterates that no outside intervention should be allowed. The United States should not be accorded any role as a third party interlocuter or behind the scenes mediator.
The stand of the BJP-led government that it will not discuss bilateral issues with the Musharaff government is untenable. The Central Committee is of the opinion that India should talk to the Pakistani government on matters of mutual concern.
Autonomy for Jammu & Kashmir
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) discussed the question of autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir. The Party has always stood for providing maximum autonomy for the state of Jammu and Kashmir within the ambit of Article 370. Within this framework, regional autonomy should be given to the regions of Jammu and Ladakh.
The issue of autonomy for all the states of India is of immediate relevance. Successive governments have failed to take any step to restructure Centre-state relations on more federal lines.
Time and again, the rights of the states are being ignored or trampled upon. The recent recommendations of the Eleventh Finance Commission has done injustice to the states.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) decided to organise state level conventions on the autonomy issue so that public opinion can be mobilised for getting more powers for the states.
Oppose Economic Policies
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) took stock of the disastrous impact of the economic policies of the Vajpayee government in the past three months. After the budget session, a series of measures have been taken by the BJP-led government to dismantle the public sector, give more concessions to foreign capital and impose fresh burdens on the people.
A big attack has been launched on the Indian farmers with the removal of the quantitative restrictions on a number of agricultural commodities. The drastic fall in prices of milk products, tea, rubber, copra etc are a direct result of the liberalisation of imports. By next year, all restrictions will be removed. The Central Committee also noted the severe effects on small scale industries and the tiny sector by the import policies. Even retail trade is not spared from the invasion of foreign trading chains.
Increased Electricity Charges
The CPI(M) had warned that the privatisation of the power sector will lead to greater burdens on the people by increased power tariffs. The cuts in public investment in the power sector will hamper its expansion. The states where privatisation of power has been initiated have taken measures to increase tariffs. The worst case is in Andhra Pradesh where the Chandrababu Naidu government has imposed a savage increase on tariffs in ordinary consumers and farmers. The Central Committee decided to conduct a movement against the policies of privatisation of the power sector and the increase in tariffs.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) extended full support to the ongoing struggle led by the CPI(M) and Left parties in Andhra Pradesh against the steep price in electricity rates. For more than six weeks, protest actions have been going on and they are being met with brutal police repression. Hundreds have been injured and thousands arrested in the struggle.
The CPI(M) alongwith other Left parties, will conduct a countrywide movement on the issue and in solidarity with the Andhra Pradesh struggle in the month of August.
The Central Committee called upon all its state units to specifically take up the issue of falling prices of agricultural commodities due to the Centre's policy and develop protest movements of the farmers on the specific agricultural commodities which are being affected.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) condemned the violent campaign launched by the Trinamul-BJP combine in West Bengal. The incidents of violence and killings in some of the rural areas are directly connected to the concerted bid by landlords and rural vested interests who are rallying under the Trinamul banner to roll back the progressive land reforms. The distribution of surplus land and the registration of sharecroppers for security of tenure accomplished under Left Front rule is sought to undone by this violent campaign. The Trinamul, BJP and their mentors at the Centre wish to cover up this truth. The Congress party which had been losing its mass base is opportunistically trying to join the anti-CPI(M) bandwagon. The state unit of the party has called for a state wide bandh in its eagerness to act as an accomplice of the Trinamul-BJP combine.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) resolutely opposes the violence instigated by the Trinamul campaign. The loss of lives, as a result of these tactics, is deeply regrettable. 65 CPI(M) cadres and supporters have been killed in Midnapore district alone after the last panchayat elections. The Central Committee warns the Trinamul and its reactionary allies that the progressive measures taken in rural Bengal will not be allowed to be undone. The whole country is aware of the far-reaching transformation in favour of the rural poor which has occurred in West Bengal.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) condemned the attitude of the Vajpayee government in refusing to send the army to Tripura to counter the extremist activities which have been intensified in the past few months. The Vajpayee government knows very well that the extremist problem has an external dimension; they have camps across the border and this is not a problem of the state alone.
The Central Committee decided to launch a public campaign to demand that Tripura be extended all help by the Centre for the sake of defending national unity.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) noted that the Congress-led UDF is trying to create a disturbed situation in the state by conducting agitations which resort to violent tactics such as on the `Plus 2' issue. The Congress party does not hesitate to coordinate its anti-LDF tactics with the BJP. The vandalism indulged in by the RSS-BJP in Thiruvananthapuram city recently is one side of these anti-democratic tactics.
The Central Committee endorsed the stand taken by the Polit Bureau on the line to be adopted in Kerala. The Polit Bureau had decided that in view of the growing collaboration of the Congress and the BJP to attack the LDF government and its policies, it is necessary for the state committee of the Party to adopt tactics to counter it. The CPI(M) will have no state level alliance or adjustment with the Indian Union Muslim League. The Party should work out suitable tactics to strengthen the LDF and defeat the Congress and BJP maneouvres.
Attacks on Left
The attacks on the Left in its strongholds in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura is a phenomenon which has intensified since the BJP came to power at the Centre in 1998. Since the CPI(M) and the Left are the firmest opponents of the imperialist sponsored liberalisation, there is a combined effort by all the reactionary forces to stifle the Left movement.
Assert Right to Protest
The Central Committee expressed its strong opposition to the judgement of the Kerala High Court which has declared hartals to be illegal and unconstitutional. By this judgement, the Election Commission has been directed to entertain complaints against political parties and take steps to deregister them, if they are indulging in forcible hartals. The Central Committee considers this judgement as an attack on the rights of political parties and the democratic right of citizens to conduct mass protests. It called upon all political parties to firmly reject such judicial decree.
The Central Committee worked out the tasks for the Party in the coming period as follows:
1. On the issue of autonomy for the states, state level conventions should be held in some of the major centres in the month of August.
2. The Party, alongwith other Left parties, will conduct a joint movement against the power policies of privatisation and the hike in electricity tariffs in the month of August.
3. The Party committees will take up the issue of falling prices of agricultural commodities due to the Centre's import policies and conduct movements.
4. The Party units will conduct a campaign in defence of the rights of minorities and mobilise the people against the communal forces who are targeting the minority communities particularly the Christian community.