The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on December 15, 2003. It has issued the following statement:
Outcome of Assembly Elections
The Polit Bureau discussed the outcome of the recent elections to the five state assemblies. An analysis of the results and voting trends was conducted. The defeat of the Congress in three of the four northern states, shows that it has lost ground among some of its traditional support bases. This is particularly so in the case of the tribal areas in the three states. The outcome of the elections is a rejection of the record and performance of the Congress governments in these states. The attack on the people’s livelihood as a consequence of the liberalization policies pursued by the Congress state governments engendered acute discontent amongst different sections of the people. In the eyes of the people, there was no difference between the economic policies of the BJP and the Congress.
In rejecting the Congress, the BJP being the main opposition party in these states, has benefited. There is no endorsement of either the Centre’s performance or the BJP’s right wing economic policies. The BJP’s success is sought to be propagated as due to a mythical mix of the Centre’s performance and the development agenda. The BJP has won on the negative vote against the Congress, by using the communal agenda, particularly in the tribal areas, caste appeal and massive use of money power. The RSS and its outfits were fully deployed to take the Hindutva platform amongst the tribal people which enabled the BJP to win a big majority of the scheduled tribe reserved seats (75 out of 99) for the first time.
The verdict is therefore a boost to the RSS combine and the forces who wish to subvert the secular basis of the polity. It will embolden them to push forward with their real agenda under the cover of the BJP-led Central government and the newly elected state governments.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) underlined the necessity to counter the BJP with an agenda which is based on alternative economic policies and a firm commitment to fight the communal and divisive forces. The Congress leadership failed to come up with such a policy platform which has been graphically brought out by this election outcome.
Deteriorating Living Conditions
The Polit Bureau noted with deep concern that the living conditions of the people continue to deteriorate. The massive unemployment is blighting the lives of millions of young people and those who have lost existing jobs. The recent attacks in Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra on people from other states, while highly condemnable, stems from the root cause of chronic lack of employment opportunities. Divisive and parochial forces seek to utilise this discontent.
For the rural and urban poor, there is no respite from the rising prices of food items and the disastrous effects of the deliberate dismantling of the public distribution system.
The tea and plantation industry in general is in deep crisis, aggravating jobloss and threatening the livelihood of ten of thousands of families. Similar is the plight of many traditional industries.
The privatization spree of the public sector continues and new methods are being devised to sell of valuable public sector assets.
Instead of acknowledging these serious problems, the Vajpayee government is busy in painting a rosy picture of economic revival and growth.
Defence of Right to Strike
The Polit Bureau took stock of the countrywide campaign in defence of democratic rights and in defence of the right to strike. The Supreme Court judgement which declared that government employees have no right to strike has been opposed by all democratic sections. In this connection, the Polit Bureau decided to extend full support to the proposed one-day strike being called by the state government and central government employees’ federations to defend their right to strike. Other trade unions are expected to join and support this strike. The CPI(M) will actively work to support this strike action which is in defence of the democratic rights of all citizens of the country.
The Polit Bureau considers the bill to amend the Pota as an ineffective and meaningless piece of legislation. The provision for review committees to go into appeals by those detained under the act will in no way stop the basic misuse of this draconian law. The Polit Bureau reiterated its stand that Pota be scrapped.
Since the occupation of Iraq by the United States and Britain, the resistance to the colonial style occupation has steadily grown. The arrest of former President Saddam Hussein by the US military is part of the American drive to impose a pliable regime in the country. The apprehending of Saddam Hussein will not end the ongoing resistance against the US occupation. It is an opposition based on the national traditions of the Iraqi people of fighting against colonisation and imperialism.
The US war on Iraq and its occupation is an illegal act of aggression. Eight months after the war it has become evident that the pretext for the war, Iraq’s possession of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” was a concocted and false one. The United States has therefore no right or legitimacy to be in Iraq. The occupying forces should immediately withdraw and arrangements made for a representative and sovereign Iraq government to take over.
February Campaign of Party
The Polit Bureau decided that at the current juncture it is essential to put forward the CPI(M)’s and Left and democratic platform, both political and economic, before the people. This is an alternative provided by the Left and democratic forces as against the BJP’s communal platform and the economic policies pursued by both the BJP and the Congress. It is necessary to mobilise the people against chronic unemployment, the collapse of the public distribution system and the indiscriminate privatisation drive. At the same time the divisive role of the communal forces has to be exposed and countered in the interests of national unity.
The Polit Bureau therefore decided to conduct a national campaign against the communal forces and against the harmful economic policies of the government based on the above issues. This campaign will be conducted from 1st to 15th February all over the country through public meetings, jathas, pickettings and rallies.
Next Central Committee Meeting
The Polit Bureau decided to hold the next meeting of the Central Committee of the Party from January 29 to 31, 2004 at Hyderabad. The Polit Bureau will meet on 28th, prior to the Central Committee meeting.