Polit Bureau Communique

Monday, November 12, 2007

Press Communiqué

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on November 11 & 12, 2007. It has issued the following statement:

Nandigram Situation

The Polit Bureau heard a report on the developments in Nandigram in the recent period. Since January 2007, an abnormal situation had developed with an alliance of forces led by the Trinamul Congress driving out workers and supporters of the Left Front including elected panchayat members. Since then the police and the administration have not been allowed to function in the area.

Even after the state government announced that there is no question of land acquisition for a chemical hub, for the past nine months the people evicted from the area were not able to go back to their homes or cultivate their fields.

The Polit Bureau firmly rebuffs all the mischievous attempts to portray the developments in Nandigram as an outcome of “red terror”. There has been no issue of land acquisition whatsoever in Nandigram since February 2007, yet the whole area was under siege on the spurious pretext of protection of land. The reality in Nandigram was a violent and undemocratic offensive to displace those who were the legitimate representatives of the people.

The gang up of political forces against the CPI(M) and the Left operating in the guise of a Bhumi Ucchhed Pratirodh Samity virtually set up a parallel raj in the area. A dangerous phenomenon was their utilising the assistance of Maoist armed squads who came into the area from outside. The situation of utter lawlessness prevailed and bunkers were built and landmines laid. In this entire period 27 CPI(M) workers and supporters were killed. Such a situation cannot be tolerated by any state government or administration. After the March 14 police firing, repeated efforts were made for political negotiations and peace talks for the restoration of normalcy and the return of all the affected people.

After a prolonged struggle, the determined efforts made by the people to return to their homes have succeeded and this should pave the way for normalcy to return. The CPI(M) and the Left Front have declared that they want peace to be restored and all sections of the people irrespective of political affiliations to be allowed to return to their family life in pursuit of their livelihood.

With the deployment of central para military forces, the Left Front government should make all efforts for rehabilitation and resumption of development work in the area.

Indo-US Nuclear Deal

The Polit Bureau discussed the developments regarding the Indo-US nuclear deal since the last Central Committee meeting of the Party. It reiterated the stand of the Left parties that the government should not proceed further to operationalise the deal. There has to be a discussion on the deal in the coming session of parliament.

Support Price for Paddy

The Polit Bureau demanded that the minimum support price for paddy be increased to Rs. 1,000 per quintal. This is necessary keeping in mind the cost of production that the farmers are incurring in paddy cultivation.

Price Rise
The Polit Bureau expressed concern at the continuing price rise of essential commodities. The urgent need is to expand the PDS to reach a large section of people and also to include more essential commodities at controlled prices.

Oil Price Rise
The Polit Bureau urged the UPA government to undertake a review of the ad valorem tax structure and the scale of central excise duties on petroleum products in order to tackle the situation arising from the rise in oil prices at the international level.

Notify Tribal Forest Act

The Polit Bureau expressed its deep concern at the continuing delay in the notification of the Scheduled Tribes & Other Traditional Forest Dwellers. (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006. There is no reason whatsoever to delay the notification after the rules have been framed. The implementation of the Critical Wildlife Habitat provision can be done only after the Act as a whole is notified and rights vested. Reports from various places show that the tribal people are being evicted from their lands in the forest to preempt the Act coming into force.

Women’s Reservation

The Polit Bureau urged the UPA government to introduce the women’s reservation bill in the forthcoming session of parliament. This is a commitment made in the Common Minimum Programme. The failure to move to fulfill this commitment is glaring and cannot be justified.

Emergency in Pakistan

The Polit Bureau demanded an end to the state of emergency in Pakistan and the release of all those arrested for protesting against this authoritarian step. The Polit Bureau reaffirmed its solidarity and support to the people of Pakistan who are struggling for the restoration of democracy.

Party Congress

The Polit Bureau decided to hold the 19th Congress of the Party in Coimbatore from March 29 to April 2, 2008. The PB discussed the preparations for the Party Congress. An outline of the Draft Political Resolution was discussed on which basis the draft will be prepared to be placed in the next meeting of the Central Committee to be held in December.