The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in Delhi on October 28 & 29, 2001. It has issued the following statement:
Stop The War
The Central Committee reiterated its opposition to the war launched by the United States against Afghanistan. During the three weeks of relentless bombing, the number of civilian casualties have mounted. There are horrific reports of young children being killed in Kabul and other places due to the indiscriminate bombing. In the name of fighting against terrorism, innocent people are suffering and tens of thousands of people have been displaced and are becoming refugees.
It is imperative that the war be stopped and the United Nations and other international agencies be entrusted with the task of curbing terrorism. The Vajpayee government must cease its blind support to America's war and behave as a responsible non-aligned country.
Temple Issue Raked Up
The Central Committee condemned the concerted moves being made to rake up the Ayodhya issue and create a communal polarisation in the country. The VHP-RSS combine's threat to go ahead with the temple construction after March 2002 is being responded to by the BJP-led government at the Centre in a partisan manner. The Prime Minister's assurance that the issue will be resolved by March 2002 and the revival of the Ayodhya cell in the Prime Minister's Office are ominous considering the fact that the title deed dispute is before the courts. After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the only course that should and can be adopted, is the judicial one.
The RSS is repeatedly proving itself to be an organisation, which is not only rabidly communal but also inimical to national unity. The recent RSS call to Hindus to arm themselves with licensed weapons to fight terrorists is another form of intimidation and violence. It is obvious that the Home Minister who belongs to the RSS will not take any action against such inflammatory rhetoric.
The Central Committee warned the BJP-led government not to allow a situation to develop, which can cause serious harm to communal amity and national unity.
Maintain Communal Amity
The US military attack on Afghanistan and the presence of US armed forces in Pakistan has led to tensions developing in our region. Provocative acts by Hindu and Muslim extremist forces can lead to disruption of communal amity. In this connection, the Central Committee expressed deep concern about the violence in Malegaon town in Maharashtra, which has led to the deaths of 12 people and destruction of property on a large scale. Given the stance of the central government, the police machinery in many places is adopting a heavy handed and undemocratic attitude to protests against American war in Afghanistan. In such a situation it is important that all the Left, democratic and secular forces unitedly work to maintain communal peace and counter provocative activities.
WTO Meeting At Doha
The Central Committee noted that the United States and its Western allies are using the cover of fighting global terrorism to push through its agenda in the forthcoming WTO ministerial meeting at Doha. They are determined to press for a new round of negotiations to include steps which will be adversely affecting the national sovereignty of third world countries and harm their economic interests. The Indian government should firmly adhere to the stand that a review of the implementation of the earlier agreements should be conducted to redress the problems of the developing countries. It must firmly resist the launching of a new round of negotiations at Doha.
Government Policies Harmful
The Central Committee warned the Vajpayee government not to proceed with changes in the labour laws, which will harm the interests of the working class. The CPI(M) along with other Left and democratic forces will unitedly oppose and resist any such anti working class measures.
The Central Committee condemned the Vajpayee government's decision to go ahead with the privatisation of 13 public sector units.
All over the country the peasantry is suffering from the steep fall in the prices of agricultural commodities. In Kerala, Karnataka and many other states, the peasantry is in distress and suicides by farmers are continuing to take place because of their inability to pay back debts.
The economy is in bad shape and the wrong policies of the government without learning from the past experience will only worsen the situation further.
The Central Committee noted the good response to the Party's September campaign and picketting programme calling upon the Vajpayee government to scrap its wrong policies or quit. It called upon all the Party units to carry forward the struggle in defence of the people's livelihood and rights.
The Central Committee strongly condemned the Vajpayee government for resorting to an ordinance to smuggle in a draconian law to replace TADA. If the government thinks it can push through such a law taking advantage of the present international climate against terrorism, it is mistaken. The scope of misuse of such a draconian law has increased with the BJP-led government's double standards in taking action against violence perpetrated by different types of religious fundamentalists. The POTO will be a violation of democratic rights and will be misused against trade union activities and popular struggles. The Central Committee called upon all democratic forces to unite to see that this ordinance does not get legislated into law.
Rajya Sabha Elections
The Central Committee opposed the two decisions taken by the Union Cabinet regarding the election of Rajya Sabha members. Firstly, the amendment of the R.P. Act to remove representation based on states to the Rajya Sabha will violate the very nature of the Upper House, which is defined as a Council of States in the Constitution. Members of the Rajya Sabha therefore should belong to the states concerned, unlike the Lok Sabha.
The second measure to make elections for Rajya Sabha open and doing away with secret ballot is an ill-thought step. The secrecy of vote is there in all levels of elections, from panchayat to parliament. Why should one category alone be elected through open vote? If MLAs are being purchased or swayed to vote, then it reflects on the quality of persons selected by the parties concerned.
The BJP-led government is disturbingly prompt in suggesting modifications to the secret ballot system such as "proxy vote" and "open ballot". Such tinkering with the basic electoral principle should not be done.
Support to Anti-WTO Protests
The Central Committee extended its support to the protest rally to be organised in Delhi on November 6 against the WTO measures and the joint call of the trade unions and other mass organisations against the WTO onslaught on November 9.
Preparations for Party Congress
The Central Committee discussed an outline of the Draft Political Resolution to be placed before the 17th Congress of the Party in March 2002. The next meeting of the Central Committee in January 2002 will finalise the Draft Political Resolution to be released for discussion by the entire Party.