The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on December 26 and 27, 2009. It has issued the following statement:
Copenhagen Climate Talks
The Copenhagen climate conference failed to reach the required agreement on reducing carbon emissions due to the unreasonable stand of the United States and other developed countries which worked to bypass the Kyoto Protocol and undermine the United Nations Climate Change Framework. No legally binding agreement was arrived at and the industrialised countries refused to commit to deep emission cuts. Instead, by negating the principle of differentiation between the industrialised and developing countries, they sought to pressurise the developing countries to take on the major burden of reducing global emissions. The United States which is historically the main culprit for carbon emissions sought to impose monitoring and verification of voluntary emission reductions by the developing countries.
The lesson to be learnt from the Copenhagen summit is that the Indian government which sought to adjust to the policies of the United States and make unilateral concessions could not prevent the maneouvres of the developed countries. It is only the unity of the BASIC bloc comprising China, India, Brazil and South Africa which to some extent prevented an outright capitulation.
It is imperative that India work in concert with the BASIC and G77 countries and evolve a strategy to ensure that the United States and the developed countries accept their historical responsibility and commit to affect deep emission cuts and provide the finances for appropriate technology for the developing countries to mitigate carbon emissions.
US Troops to Afghanistan
The Polit Bureau strongly opposed the decision of the United States President to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. With this increase, the total number of US troops will reach nearly 100,000 apart from the troops from the Nato allies. It is eight years since the United States launched its war in Afghanistan. The intensification of the war will only lead to more civilian casualties. The people of Afghanistan will never accept foreign occupation by the US-Nato troops and this will only provide sustenance to the Taliban.
It is deplorable that the UPA government supports the continuance of the US-Nato occupation of Afghanistan. By the Af-Pak strategy the United States is attempting to draw India into its Afghanistan strategy for serving its geo-political interests. India should demand the withdrawal of the US-Nato troops. India should be part of a regional initiative comprising countries like Russia, Iran, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to address the Afghan problem.
Mobilisation Against Price Rise
The Polit Bureau reviewed the rallies against price rise and for a strengthened public distribution system in the different states. Price rise is a major issue for the people and the campaign has had a positive response with large mobilisations. The stubborn refusal of the Central Government to change its food policies has been highlighted by the refusal to ban future trading in wheat. It will be recalled that the earlier ban on futures in wheat was stealthily removed just before the new government was sworn in. The refusal to increase the number of families under BPL in spite of the recommendations of various official committees to increase the number of BPL families in the rural areas to between 41 and 50 per cent is another example of the wrong policies. The Party will intensify the struggles to bring relief to the people on the basis of the demand for alternative policies.
All India Rally
The Polit Bureau decided to make the all India rally call by the Left parties during the Budget Session of parliament a big success. The issues of price rise, land, employment and other immediate problems of the people will be highlighted in this rally.
No Civil Nuclear Liability Bill
The Polit Bureau reiterated its opposition to the proposed Civil Nuclear Liability Bill. This legislation demanded by the US as part of the operationalisation of the 123 agreement, absolves suppliers of nuclear reactors of liability in the case of nuclear accidents. Further, it has set the liability limit for the operator at a meagre Rs. 300 crores, when a nuclear accident can affect the lives of lakhs of people.
The Polit Bureau demanded that the Government abandon such a nuclear liability law. It called upon all political parties to oppose the Bill, if it is brought to parliament.
Kota Bridge Collapse
The Polit Bureau expressed deep sorrow at the deaths of many workers late on December 24th in the collapse of the bridge being constructed over the Chambal river near Kota, Rajasthan. 28 bodies have been recovered so far. The actual number of workers who died cannot be confirmed as it is the practice of companies not to register the workers who are usually on contract to deprive them of their legal rights. One of the companies responsible for the Kota accident is Gammon India. This is the same company responsible for three accidents in the Delhi Metro project, caused by gross and criminal negligence in which several workers lost their lives. It was reported at the time that the company has been banned for two years from construction by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Gammon India should be banned from all Government projects throughout India. The Central Government has to ensure that all private companies/contractors which are given projects by the Government guarantee the workers their full legal rights which is not the case at present.
The rectification report of the Polit Bureau was discussed. This will be finalised and placed before the meeting of the Central Committee.