The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on April 18 and 19, 1999. It has issued the following statement:
On Defeat Of BJP-led Government
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) considers the defeat of the BJP-led government in the vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha as a significant step forward in the struggle against communal forces. The 13-month rule of the Vajpayee government was marked by a serious and sustained onslaught on the secular character of the polity and the Constitution. The growing attacks on the minorities, particularly the targetting of the Christian community; the gross misuse of Article 356 of the Constitution twice to dismiss the elected government in Bihar; the growing economic difficulties and hardships faced by the people due to the economic policies of the BJP and the spoiling of relations with our neighbours due to jingoism have all contributed to a disastrous record.
With the removal of the Vajpayee government, it is imperative that an alternative government be formed forthwith.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) reiterated its stand that in the present situation in parliament, the initiative to form a government will have to be taken by the Congress Party. The CPI(M) would support such a government from outside on an issue to issue basis.
Such a government must take immediate steps to undo the damage done to the secular fabric of the system and reassure the minorities. Steps will have to be taken to provide relief to the people suffering from the economic crisis.
The Polit Bureau appealed to all secular political parties to take necessary steps to see that an alternative government is formed. They must be alert to see that the BJP manoeuvres to stage a comeback are foiled.