The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in Kolkata on October 10 and 11, 2002. It has issued the following statement:
Threat of War Against Iraq
The Polit Bureau expressed its strong and resolute opposition to the feverish preparations being made by the United States for a military attack on Iraq. President Bush has declared that the goal is to remove the Saddam Hussein government and institute a pro-American regime in Iraq. Despite Iraq expressing its willingness to allow UN weapon inspectors and an agreement being reached between the UN and Iraq government on the matter, the United States is still pressurizing the UN Security Council members to adopt a posture, which will enable the United States to launch a military attack. Except for Britain, all other permanent members of the Security Council are opposed to military action against Iraq. In Britain, a big section of the Labour Party is against Prime Minister Blair’s stand.
The Polit Bureau expressed its strong disapproval of the Vajpayee government’s passive stand on the matter. Prime Minister Vajpayee refused to even mention the threat to Iraq in his speech at the UN General Assembly. The BJP-led government does not want to displease the United States in its pursuit of a pro-American foreign policy.
The Polit Bureau appeals to all the non-BJP political parties to realize the danger posed by the aggressive stance of the United States violating all international norms. The CPI(M) will strive to mobilize all sections of people to oppose any attack on Iraq, which will also harm India’s interests.
Attack on Palestinian People
The Polit Bureau strongly condemned the continuing aggression by Israel on the Palestinian territories. The Sharon regime is continuing its murderous campaign to decimate the Palestinian Authority and its leadership. The Bush administration blatantly supports the Israeli actions and displays naked double standards in targeting Iraq while condoning the state terror indulged in by the Israeli government.
The Polit Bureau expressed its deep concern at the developments in Nepal. The king of Nepal has undemocratically dismissed the prime minister thereby threatening the parliamentary system. It is essential that the interim government formed, is representative of all the parties represented in parliament as a prelude to holding of early elections. The democratic forces in India wish to see the nurturing and strengthening of the democratic system in Nepal.
Jammu & Kashmir Polls
The Polit Bureau expressed its satisfaction at the successful holding of the elections despite the concerted efforts by the extremist groups backed by Pakistan to disrupt the polls by large-scale violence. 44 per cent votes were polled which expressed the desire of the people for participating in the democratic process. If there had been any meaningful dialogue based on the demand for autonomy for the state, there would have been greater participation.
The defeat of the National Conference is a result of its crass opportunism in aligning with the BJP at the Centre and the discontent generated by its misrule. The BJP suffered a major rout losing all its eight sitting seats. It has managed to win only one seat.
Now that the elections are over, it is incumbent upon the central government to initiate talks for provision of autonomy for the state under the ambit of Article 370. This will pave the way for a political solution to the long-standing problems in the state.
Opposition to Privatisation
The Polit Bureau noted the growing opposition, which is developing to the privatization of profitable public sector units. The attempt to sell off the giant oil companies like BPCL and HPCL have met with stiff resistance, which has led to the government postponing the decision by three months. In Orissa, there was a general strike called by various political parties against the privatisation of NALCO. In Bihar, there was a bandh called by the Left parties against the closure of the Barauni and Sindri fertilizer plants.
The Vajpayee government has to heed the strong public opinion, which is against privatization of the profitable public sector units and those in the strategic sector. The Polit Bureau demands that the BPCL and the HPCL be retained in the public sector and not handed over to foreign or Indian monopolies.
The Polit Bureau strongly criticized the Indian National Congress for continuing with its alliance with the extremist backed INPT in Tripura. The banned NLFT continues to launch attacks on innocent people and the security forces. In a recent incident nine policemen were killed in an ambush. It is well known that the INPT is the political front of the NLFT. The Congress party is doing a grave disservice to the people of Tripura and national unity by aligning with such a disruptive organization.
The Polit Bureau congratulated the Kerala state unit of the Party for the massive 10-day picketing organized in the month of September on a nine-point charter of demands. There was an unprecedented response with 5.18 lakh volunteers participating in the picketing of district and tehsil headquarters. The success of the programme showed the depth of the popular discontent against the policies of the UDF.
Next Central Committee Meeting
The Polit Bureau decided that the next meeting of the central committee will be held from November 22 to 24 at New Delhi. The Polit Bureau discussed the draft of the review of the work on the trade union front, which will be placed before the next Central Committee meeting.