The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) which held its meeting in Bhubaneswar between January 20 and 22, 2001, has issued the following statement:
On the Forthcoming Assembly Elections
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) discussed the tactics to be pursued in the forthcoming elections to the four state assemblies of West Bengal, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Assam and the Union territory of Pondicherry. The importance of these elections is obvious. Both West Bengal and Kerala are the bastions of the Left movement. The results of the elections to the four states will have a bearing on national politics too.
In West Bengal, the Left Front has been in office for twenty-four years having won five successive assembly elections with big majorities. The policies implemented by the Left Front government in the sphere of implementation of land reforms, defending the democratic rights of all citizens and maintaining communal harmony is known to all. It is these pro-people policies which have enabled the Left Front to command, mobilise and sustain popular support in the face of continuous efforts to weaken it. Before the present elections, serious efforts are being made by the right-wing forces under the leadership of the Trinamul-BJP combine to create a situation whereby the Left Front can be destabilised. Once again, using the pretext of some incident in Midnapore district, the demand for invoking Article 356 of the Constitution to dismiss the government was raised. The rightwing forces wish to have an all-in anti-Communist alliance against the Left Front. The reactionary combine wants to rollback all that has been gained by the working people of West Bengal through their struggles and the policies of the Left Front government over the two decades. But the people of West Bengal will not be deceived by such disruptive tactics.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) resolved to further strengthen the unity of the Left Front and take all necessary measures for successfully facing the elections.
In Kerala, as in the past, the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front will be contesting the elections to win the support of the people. The LDF government has significant achievements to its credit and has provided a corruption-free regime unlike the earlier UDF governments. The LDF’s staunch defence of secular values has enhanced its prestige. The crisis being faced in Kerala’s economy, particularly in the agrarian sector, is a result of the policies being pursued by the Vajpayee government but which were initiated by the Congress when it was in power. The fall in prices of agricultural commodities is a direct result of the terms and conditions of the WTO which the then Congress government accepted in 1994-95.
The RSS has stepped up its murderous attacks on the CPI(M) leaders and workers in Kannur district. The aim is to create an atmosphere of violence and terror to discredit the LDF government on the eve of the elections and to prepare the ground for collusion with the UDF. It is significant that the Congress leadership in Kerala has refused to condemn the bomb attacks on the leadership of the CPI(M) in Kannur district.
The Central Committee decided that the unity of the Left Democratic Front should be strengthened and its political and organisational cohesion ensured.
In Tamilnadu, the alliance of the DMK with the BJP facilitates the penetration of the communal forces in a state which has been traditionally free from such influences. The DMK government has enthusiastically implemented the economic policies formulated by the Vajpayee government which has imposed immense burdens on the people. It is essential to defeat the DMK-BJP combine which is an important link in the coalition forged by the communal forces at the national level.
The Central Committee decided that we must work out suitable tactics so that all the opposition votes are pooled to defeat the DMK-BJP combine. The Party is discussing with the AIADMK and the Tamil Manila Congress how to pursue this.
In Assam, the BJP is making efforts to spread its communal politics. This will have a disastrous impact on the state which has a diverse composition consisting of many religious and ethnic minorities. The Central Committee endorsed the line of having an electoral understanding to fight both the BJP and the Congress in the state. For this purpose, the Party will be prepared to have seat adjustment with the AGP and conduct an election campaign against the danger of the BJP and the discredited policies of the Congress.
The Central Committee appealed to all the democratic and secular forces in the country to recognise the importance of these forthcoming assembly elections to the four states and to work together to ensure the victory of the Left, Democratic and secular forces.
The Central Committee also underlined the necessity for forging a third alternative at the national level to meet the requirements of the present political situation.