Report on Political Developments
Since Last Central Committee Meeting
(Adopted at the Central Committee Meeting held on
December 15-16, 2018 at New Delhi)
Economic Crisis of Capitalism
World capitalism, once again, is showing that it is incapable of overcoming the continuing economic crisis. While the year-end surveys of IMF and World Bank will be released in the beginning of January 2019, the World Bank has put out the Goldman Sachs Economic Report which estimates that the world economy will slow down in 2019 from a growth rate of 3.8 per cent in 2018 to 3.5 per cent. US economy is projected to slowdown from a growth rate of 2.9 in 2018 to 2.5 in 2019 and 1.6 in 2020. Likewise, there is a slowdown in the EU from 1.9 to 1.6 per cent. Japan’s growth rate is less than 1 per cent and is likely to decline to 0.6 per cent in 2020. The crisis of neo-liberalism that we noted in our 22nd Party Congress has resulted in the US adopting a high degree of protectionism generating a global trade war. The continuing global capitalist crisis and US protectionism have together created pressures on the developing countries through the further reduction of global aggregate demand. Global trade has fallen and with the austerity measures being adopted by most countries, domestic demand is also on the decline.
This situation is imposing unprecedented burdens on the working people all across the world. This has further accentuated income inequalities. These are likely to sharpen further with a decline in employment opportunities as a result of the reduction in the aggregate demand in the world economy, as well as the growing induction of Artificial Intelligence (noted in last CC).
France: The continuing crisis in the global capitalist economy and the burdens being mounted on the working people globally has led to protests and struggles in many parts of the world against neo-liberal economic policies and burdens on the working people. France has witnessed a big unrest and an outbreak of protest actions. This was triggered by the recent sharp increase in petroleum taxes. More than 130 people were injured and over 400 arrested by December 1 in the largest street protest actions that France has seen in decades.
All tourist landmarks in Paris and elsewhere in France including the Eiffel Tower were shut. On December 7 & 8 a protest action that was billed as “Act 4” posed a challenge to President Macron and his neo-liberal policies. These protests called “yellow vest” – high visibility safety jackets adopted as a sign of people’s economic distress– began in November over the squeeze in household budgets, a consequence of the austerity measures.
Protest actions are growing in other countries in Europe. Protest actions have grown in Netherlands and Hungary. Greece is witnessing another round of big protests. In Brussels more than 100 people were arrested as police resorted to teargas and water cannons in the week end of December 8-9.
After four weeks of such massive protests, French President Macron was forced to accept crucial issues raised by this movement. He announced an increase of minimum wage of € 100 per month from January 2019. He withdrew the planned tax increase for low income pensioners, exempted overtime pay from being taxed and announced that the government would encourage employers to pay a tax-free year-end bonus to the employees. However, true to his commitment to neo-liberalism, he refused to reintroduce a tax on wealth. The cost of the increase in the minimum wage would be made by the government and not the employers.
All across Latin America such protests against burdens imposed by neoliberalism are on the rise.
Elsewhere in the developing countries, protest actions have grown. For example, teachers went on strike for two days across 27 major cities in Iran protesting against low wages and violation of educational rights of students and minorities.
The political shift to the right that we noted in the Party Congress was reflected in the Brazilian presidential election where a politically far-right Jair Bolsonaro was elected defeating the candidate of the Left forces in a polarized election. The depoliticization of the people which is fostered by the rightwing politics saw 28.60% Brazilians either abstain or leaving their ballots unstamped.
Elections to the presidency of Mexico saw a counter trend to the political rightward shift. The Left of centre former mayor for Mexico City, Andres Manuel Lopaz Obrador representing the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) assumed office as President of Mexico. He declared to implement his promises of reversing the privatization of water, health care and other public services. He also assured of a campaign against corruption that has been rampant in the earlier administration.
The crisis over Britain’s exit from the EU continues. The Brexit exit process is proving to be a matter of serious contention between UK and EU. This has triggered a political crisis in Britain. Prime Minster Theresa May survived a confidence motion on the assurance that she will not seek any political office after her current term.
The US-China conflict, with the retaliatory trade war, has worsened. Recently, Canadian authorities have arrested the chief financial officer of the China’s Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s largest makers of tele-communications network equipments, for possible extradition to the US. China demanded immediate release and warned of retaliation. US claim was that the arrest was over alleged illegal violations of US sanctions. Reportedly, USA was telling its allies not to use Huawei’s products for security reasons.
This arrest came days after Donald Trump and Xi Jinping held a meeting in Argentina where they agreed to resolve the continuing trade war. Following this arrest, stock markets slumped in the G7 countries fearing that the trade war truce is becoming unattainable.
As a part of its ‘containment of China’ strategy, USA is strengthening its military base in Japan’s Okinawa island. Joint US-Japan-India military exercises have been held recently in Hashimara, West Bengal, near the Chinese border.
The annual climate summit, COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, has come to an end, having somehow salvaged a statement, but with important issues unresolved and the balance of advantage firmly on the side of the developed countries. The climate COPs have settled into this pattern ever since the Paris Agreement (PA), which decided on an international emissions control architecture heavily favouring global capitalism led by the US. PA had adopted a “forward looking” burden-sharing regime that ignored historical emissions of the global North, responsible for over 75 per cent of accumulated atmospheric greenhouse gases, and a voluntary pledge-and-review system for all countries which not only clouded the differentiation between developed and developing countries, but also unscientifically did not address the inadequacy of efforts to ensure the goal of restricting temperature rise to 2 degrees C or less. COP 24 did not at all address this issue of adequacy. With all current pledges, particularly the low emission cuts pledged by developed countries with the US actually opting out, temperature rise is expected to touch a disastrous 3 to 3.5 degrees C.
COP 24 finalized a Rulebook for implementation of the Paris Agreement to ensure that all countries report on emissions reductions in a truly comparable manner also enabling totalling, so as to assess national as well as global performance with respect to goals. The Rulebook calls for bi-annual reporting after 2023. However, important aspects remained unresolved and were pushed to future negotiations, such as how to account for carbon trading, earlier used by developed countries to “offset” below-par emission reductions against supposedly “equivalent” trees planted in developing countries. In COP 24, developed countries managed to resist developing country calls for mandatory writing-off of 30 percent offsets so as to ensure net emission reductions. On climate financing too, developed countries retained the provision for including loans and not just grants as called for by developing countries. Consequently, loans are currently around 70 percent and 90 percent of bilateral and multi-lateral climate finances respectively, and loans have increased by 100 percent compared to a rise of only 25 percent in grants. Even then, total financing is nowhere near the $100 billion annually promised. Developed countries also ensured that rules governing payments for loss and damage caused due to climate change are deferred, arguing that such compensatory payments could give rise to legal liability and additional claims in future.
This gross inequity between developed and developing countries in the international climate negotiations must be addressed and opposed by India. All progressive forces in both the global North and South must recognize this reality and join forces to reverse this pernicious trend.
On October 26 the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister. The Parliament voted out Rajpakse as Prime Minster. The President dissolved parliament and called for snap elections which was stayed by the Supreme Court and is now under the consideration of the apex court. Sri Lankan Supreme Court has given its verdict that the dissolution of parliament is unconstitutional. Ranil Wickremesinghe has since reassumed office of the Prime Minister. There are disputes over Mahindra Rajapakse being declared as the leader of the opposition. The political crisis in Sri Lanka is likely to continue.
General Elections in Bangladesh are scheduled to be held on December 30. These elections are crucial as the religious fundamentalist forces are mounting an offensive to consolidate the return of Bangladesh as an Islamist Republic.
The main contest will be between the Awami League and the Bangladesh National Party. The Sheikh Hasina government suffers from anti-incumbency and questions continue to be raised on the impartiality of the electoral process. The Left parties are divided on their tactics with the Workers Party deciding to continue their electoral alliance with the Awami League and the Communist Party and other Left parties deciding to contest independently in a few seats. The outcome of these elections will have an impact on the neighbouring states in India.
Results of the Recent Assembly Elections
The defeat of the BJP in the elections to the state assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is a big setback for it. These results have shattered the myth, created by the BJP, of its electoral invincibility.
The growing people’s discontent as a consequence of the policies pursued by the BJP both at the centre and the states deepened the people’s misery. Struggles against such assaults on people’s livelihood are growing amongst all sections of the people, notably amongst the Kisans, working class and agricultural labourers. This was a major factor in rejecting the BJP. The agrarian distress, growing unemployment, price rise, the wrecking of the economy through demonetization and GST implementation have all contributed to this result.
The efforts to divert the discontent of the people by raising issues aimed at sharpening communal polarization also was not accepted by the electorate. The attacks on Muslims and Dalits, the atmosphere of hatred and violence that fostered a divide among the people have also not given the BJP their desired electoral dividend.
However, to presume from these results that the threat posed by the RSS-BJP and the communal forces has been decisively defeated would not be correct. In terms of the vote share the BJP is 0.2 per cent ahead of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh (41.1 per cent to 40.9 per cent). In Rajasthan the Congress got 39.3 per cent while the BJP got 38.8 per cent, the difference being 0.5 per cent. While in terms of Lok Sabha seats these results translate to the BJP losing one half of their existing 62 seats in these three states to 31.
Under these conditions, the new governments that will be formed in these three states must respect the people’s verdict and adopt policies aimed at improving people’s livelihood and reducing their miseries. These governments must also ensure that the unity of the people and the integrity of the country are not further damaged by the RSS-BJP campaigns to deepen communal polarization. In the face of these defeats such efforts will escalate in order to consolidate the Hindutva communal vote bank. Utmost vigilance is required to not allow this communal gameplan to succeed.
In Telangana, the TRS has won a sweeping victory and the BJP tally of seats has come down from 5 to 1. In Mizoram, the MNF has won a decisive victory ousting the incumbent Congress government.
CPI(M) Performance: The CPI(M) contested 28 seats in Rajasthan and won two – Shri Dungargarh and Bhadra. We have improved our vote share from 0.9 per cent in 2013 to 1.2 per cent in 2018. Our number of votes increased from 2,69,002 in 2013 to 4,32,001 in 2018. In 2013 we had contested 38 seats while now we contested 28 seats only.
The CPI(M) and six other smaller parties formed an alliance, the Loktantrik Morcha. However, media reports projected as though the Morcha was bidding for power. This was unrealistic given the fact that this alliance had, at present, not a single MLA in the Assembly.
The Polit Bureau sent a letter to the Rajasthan state committee when media reports appeared regarding this matter. The correct demand was to call for defeating BJP and for increasing the representation of the CPI(M) and Left and democratic forces in the assembly, so that the demands of peasants, workers and other toiling sections can be raised.
In Madhya Pradesh we contested 13 seats and polled 0.04 per cent of votes. In Chhattisgarh we contested 3 seats and polled 0.06 per cent of votes.
In Telangana we contested 26 seats as part of the Bahujan Left Front, which we had formed in the state. BLF contested 107 out of 119 seats and did not win any. The CPI(M) did not win any seat and polled 0.43 per cent.
However, there was one aspect in the projection of this alliance which does not conform to the basic approach of the Party.
At the outset itself, the front declared that it would make a Backward Classes person as its Chief Ministerial candidate. There was also the projection of candidates based on their caste identity.
This emphasis on caste identity to the exclusion of other criteria reduced the alliance to a caste-based combination, which was a major departure from our basic approach where the class aspect must also be emphasized.
Moreover, to talk of a Chief Minister and a new government was unrealistic. We were only at the stage of trying to make our presence felt in the state legislature.
A proper review of our performance in these states will be done once the respective state committees conduct their reviews and send their reports.
2019 Lok Sabha Elections
The October CC meeting decided that the main task in these elections is to accomplish the following:
a) To defeat the BJP alliance
b) To increase the strength of the CPI(M) and the Left in the Lok Sabha; and
c) To ensure that an alternative secular government is formed at the Centre.
As decided by the CC, the state committees must work out appropriate electoral tactics in the states to ensure that we can contribute towards maximizing the pooling of anti-BJP votes based on our political line.
Economic Downturn Continues Relentlessly
The RBI’s Consumer Confidence Survey of November 2018 shows that there is growing pessimism over the general economic situation and the employment scenario. The fall in the spending levels of the people indicates the shrinking of domestic demand which will continue to have a negative affect on the overall growth of economic fundamentals. Any possibility of extra governmental spending is also restricted with the fiscal deficit breaching the annual target in the first seven months of this financial year.
Though some relief for the economy has come with declining global oil prices, the Current Account Deficit (CAD) worsened to 2.9 per cent of the GDP in the quarter ending September 2018 from 1.1 per cent in September 2017. The CAD is the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign currency. This has happened despite the fall in the oil prices from $ 86 per barrel to $ 61. However, the pressure of US sanctions on Iran restraining its global sale of oil and the decision taken by the OPEC and Russia led allies on December 7 to curb output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January will put further pressure on India’s CAD. The mere announcement of this decision has seen international oil prices jump more than 5 per cent on the same day.
Agrarian distress continues to deepen. In the last quarter i.e. July-September, agricultural output grew at 2.8 per cent, far slower than 5.3 per cent in the earlier quarter. Last year, the annual output growth was only 2.6 per cent. The deepening rural distress with slower farm output is leading to a fall in rural incomes. This in turn is constricting rural demand, adversely affecting the overall growth. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates that the private annual consumption expenditure grew by 7 per cent in the quarter ending September compared to 8.6 per cent in the previous quarter. The fraud committed with the announcement of a higher MSP by the Modi government is exposed by the fact that farmers incomes continue to fall and remain much below the cost of production. This is deepening the misery in rural India.
As we noted in the last CC meeting, the government has now stopped the release of the annual Labour Bureau Unemployment Survey to conceal the reality of the growth of unemployment. As in all other spheres, like GDP growth rate, Modi government is manufacturing favourable data on employment. But the ground realities and private surveys show that unemployment continues to rise alarmingly.
The Crisis in the Banking Sector
With shocking suddenness the RBI Governor, Urjit Patel resigned on December 10. This has sent the financial markets in a tizzy.
There is an immediate background that appears to have triggered this resignation. The Modi government has taken the unprecedented measure of invoking Section 7 of the RBI Act striking at the very root of independence of the RBI as the financial regulator ensuring financial stability. Tensions between the RBI’s independent positions like on demonetization, handling of bad loans, the taking of 99 per cent of the profits of RBI every year during the present government and the recent attempt to force the RBI to part with Rs. 3.5 lakh crores from its reserves to contain the fiscal deficit are some of the issues under dispute leading to the undermining the independence of the central bank. The step to invoke Section 7 appears to have been triggered by the RBIs stand of refusing to accede the demand of the government to allow the SBI to waive the corporate debt to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore on account of power projects in Gujarat. Unless the RBI permits the SBI to do so, the automatic safeguard, the Prompt Corrective Action will be triggered undermining the credibility of the SBI. These pressures on the RBI are clearly the result of protecting crony capitalist interests by the Modi government.
On December 11, the government appointed former Finance Secretary, Shaktikanta Das, as the new Governor of RBI. He was the Modi government’s pointsman hailing demonetization. He proposed inking thumbs, like during elections, of those changing notes for new. The Modi government’s intentions are clear from this appointment.
Crony Capitalism & Corruption
The Rafale scam continues to become murkier with the Modi government itself admitting to the Supreme Court that there is no sovereign guarantee from the French government but only a letter of comfort which is not legally enforceable to ensure delivery of this high value contract by the Dassault company. It is now fairly clear that a very high price was agreed upon when the deal was renegotiated and this deal was announced by the Prime Minister in Paris without the mandatory clearance of the defence procurement council. A JPC must be constituted to probe this deal. The Modi government must be forced in this session of parliament to announce a JPC.
This scam comes in the backdrop of the growing defaults of public money taken by chosen corporate favorites of the Modi government and not being returned. The list of those who have fled the country continues to grow.
Electoral Bonds: It is clear that the BJP and the Modi government are facilitating through such crony capitalism corporate funding for its electoral benefit. The amendment to political funding laws make electoral bonds new tax havens. This has now been proved by the BJP’s audit and income tax report submitted to the Election Commission.
The BJP has listed a voluntary contribution of Rs. 210 crores plus through electoral bonds for the year 2017-18. The total value of electoral bonds issued in the first tranche in March this year was Rs. 222 crores. Thus, the BJP received 94.5 per cent of this entire tranche. The total money received by the BJP during 2017-18 was a whopping Rs. 1027 crores.
Undermining the CBI: The ominous developments undermining the CBI have now come into the open with various legal cases being heard by the Supreme Court and some high courts. It is clear that the Modi government has been using the CBI for its political objectives and to provide relief to its own leaders involved in various scams and cases.
The Modi government’s interference to use constitutional authorities and institutions to advance its political objectives is undermining the foundations of the Indian Constitution and our Republic. From the functioning of parliament itself, Executive interference in matters concerning the judiciary, question marks being raised on the neutrality of the Election Commission, the appointment of heads of institutions like the CBI, CVC, CA&DG, universally throughout the entire structure of higher education and research in the country and now this attack on the independence of the CBI constitute an unprecedented authoritarian onslaught.
Deepening Communal Polarisation
The RSS-BJP leaders are now openly calling for a legislation/ordinance by the Modi government to construct the Ram temple at Ayodhya without waiting for the Supreme Court verdict, over the disputed land, in the ongoing case. Rallies have been held in Ayodhya, Nagpur, Bangalore and Delhi demanding an ordinance. Clearly the party is building up communal frenzy in the run up to the general elections. Having failed miserably in implementing any of the promises made in 2014, and on the contrary, mounting unprecedented burdens on the people deepening the economic crisis and looting the country’s coffers, sharpening communal polarization is seen by the RSS brigade as the only way to consolidate its Hindutva communal vote bank. This is the worst expression of vote bank politics in India.
The patronization of private armies in the name of cow protection, moral policing etc, resulted in vigilantism growing to the extent of incidents of mob lynching. In July, the Supreme Court directed all state authorities to crack down on incidents of mob violence and lynching. In response to this Uttar Pradesh police have arrested 54 people on charges of cow smuggling in Meerut range, in which Bulandshahr district falls. The number of arrests in cases of cow vigilantism however is zero. No further reconfirmation is necessary to establish state patronisation to such private armed vigilantism. The brutal killing of a police inspector in this district was in the course of violent protests over the pretext of cow slaughter due to carcasses found under dubious circumstances. This fits in with the characteristic pattern of the Hindutva outfits for instigating communal tensions. The communally provocative speeches made by UP Chief Minister have emboldened such vigilantism. Even in this specific incident, the UP CM has first ordered a probe into the allegations of cow slaughter and proclaimed that only subsequently the enquiry into the death of the police inspector would be conducted.
This pattern of sharpening communal polarization is bound to intensify further in the run up to the general elections all over the country.
Jammu & Kashmir
Subsequent to the BJP’s decision to withdraw from the coalition government with the PDP in Jammu & Kashmir, Governor’s rule was imposed. The BJP was seeking to install a government that will function under its directions mainly by engineering defections from other parties under the leadership of Sajjad Lone who was part of the BJP-PDP government. However, the National Conference, PDP and Congress decided to stake claim to form the government since they together have a majority in the J & K Legislative assembly. The Governor rejected the letter sent by the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister, by saying that parties with “opposing ideologies” cannot form a stable government. By this yardstick, the PDP-BJP government, the most opportunistic alliance of opposing ideologies, should not have been allowed to be formed in the first place. The Governor has no business to pass political judgments over the political parties. All that should be done by the Governor is to ask the leader who is staking claim with majority support to prove the majority on the floor of the house.
Subsequently, the J & K Governor dissolved the house and then made a startling revelation that he did so in order to preempt any pressure to install a government led by Sajjad Lone. He let the cat out of the bag that this was the RSS-BJP gameplan all along.
Recently, seven civilians have been killed in the firing by security forces on unarmed protesters. This is unacceptable. Over three hundred civilians have died in the last three years. Unfortunately, no enquiry has been conducted into these deaths and no one responsible has been held accountable. This situation will only lead to further alienation of the people. Steps should be initiated to start the process of dialogue with all stakeholders, a promise made by the Modi government earlier, immediately.
The Modi government’s handling of J&K has worsened the situation of growing alienation of the Kashmiri people. This is extremely dangerous for India’s unity and integrity. The holding of local body elections which has seen the lowest participation of voters in the Kashmir valley and the subsequent developments only contributed to further widening this alienation. Clearly, the Modi government is seeking to use the J&K situation to aid its campaign of deepening communal polarization all across the country in the run up to the general elections.
India and Pakistan have reached a landmark agreement to build a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak Gurudwara in Punjab’s Gurudaspur district through the international border and 3 kms inside Pakistan terriroty to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. This Gurudwara is the world’s first Gurudwara where the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev spent the last years of his life. Both India and Pakistan have held foundation laying ceremonies to open this corridor. This will be a big relief for the pilgrims who at present subject to visa issuance by Pakistan have to travel to Lahore and then a further 120 kms to reach Kartarpur. This will now be reduced to a mere 3kms from the border in Gurudaspur. Once constructed, this corridor will permit pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib without a visa.
Many hope that this move will trigger a thaw in India-Pakistan relations. But this will have to wait for the test of time given the continued belligerence of the Modi government over cross-border terrorism and the surgical strikes.
The attacks on linguistic and religious minorities in Assam have escalated. Apart from the BJP state government failing to ensure the protection of law and order, the killing of five people in Tinsukia district on November 1 is a part of the larger campaign of hate and terror unleashed by the RSS-BJP.
The process of completing the draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) is becoming more complicated. The Supreme Court had allowed the more than forty lakh people excluded from the NRC to make claims and file objections between September 25 and December 15. The Supreme Court is monitoring this exercise and has now extended the deadline. There has been a total confusion over the submission of claim forms as the ground level officials are not properly trained to implement the Supreme Court directions. This must be corrected.
The BJP’s efforts to amend the Citizenship Act to include religion as a criteria determining Indian Citizenship, is also creating communal tensions. We reiterate our stand that Indian citizenship cannot be determined on the basis of religion.
Kerala: During the period since the last Central Committee meeting in Kerala the RSS-BJP escalated the Sabarimala women temple entry issue aiming at creating communal polarization and tensions. Their game plan is to create a law and order situation was failed by the effective handling of the Party and the LDF government. The Kerala Government’s decision to implement the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple was sought to be challenged by the RSS-BJP and the Congress through various forms of agitations. Though both these parties initially welcomed the verdict, they sought to exploit the apprehension among believers and pit them against the Party and the government. That the BJP using the stand taken by the LDF government had planned to indulge in violence and instigate riots was exposed in leaked tapes and circulars of the party.
The LDF government and the Party is through a series of campaigns exposing the false propaganda being launched by the BJP and the Congress to foil their game plan. As part of this campaign, a call for the formation of a women’s wall has been given to be organized on January 1, 2019.
Despite attempts to pit the believers against the Party and the LDF, Party and the LDF registered good victories in the bye-elections held to various local self government institutions. Both the UDF and the BJP were humbled.
Rebuilding Kerala: Another major challenge before the Kerala government is the post flood rebuilding which as per UN assessment requires around Rs. 31,000 crores. A major part of this would have to be mobilized through public borrowing. Though the central government has permitted Kerala government to negotiate with multilateral agencies, it is denying the additional borrowing for ‘rebuild’ programme to be outside the normal FRBM limit of 3 per cent of GDP. This is tantamount to effectively denying the state any additional resources. The Party is of the opinion that in case of natural calamities, apart from the usual NDRF assistance, the states should be allowed additional borrowing right above the normal FRBM limit.
Tripura: Fascistic attacks by the ruling BJP-IPFT combine continues in Tripura. Since the last Central Committee meeting five major incidents have taken place including attacks preventing Polit Bureau member and former Chief Minster Com.Manik Sarkar and Central Committee members from holding a meeting on November 16th, observing the October Revolution anniversary at Bishalgarh. The attacks on the houses of our comrades and Party offices continues with the complicity of the state government, police and law enforcing authorities. Since the last Central Committee meeting till November 30, altogether 177 comrades were physically attacked and houses of 87 comrades were also attacked, ransacked and looted in Santirbazar, Belonia, Subroom, Udaipur, Sonamura, Bishalgarh, Dukli, Jirania, Kamalpur, Khowai, Teliamura, Dharmanagar, Kumarghat, Ambassa, Karbook, Longthorai Valley and Sadar Sub Divisions.
West Bengal: During this period two very big actions were organized. The first was a massive Kisan-Khet Mazdur rally on 28-29 November. This big march began from Singur on 28th and culminated at Kolkata Raj Bhawan on 29th November where a very large public meeting was held on issues of agrarian distress and demanding relief from both central and state governments.
On December 6 massive state level rallies and demonstrations in defence of our Constitution and secular democracy were organized in all district head quarters by the Left Front. This was part of the all India call. The rally and procession in Kolkata was very impressive.
Mass Actions and Campaigns
After the big worker-peasant protest rally on September 5, 2019 in Delhi, a huge mobilization of farmers from all over the country took place on November 29-30 demanding a special session of parliament to discuss the deepening economic distress in the country and legislate laws for minimum support price and a onetime loan waiver. More than 200 kisan organisations came together under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee. Leaders of 21 political parties also addressed the gathering committing themselves to support two draft legislations prepared by the AIKSCC in the coming session of parliament. In West Bengal, a massive march of kisans and khet mazdoors from Singur to Kolkata Raj Bhawan was held on 28/29 November.
All across the country, observing the second anniversary of the demonetization, protest actions have taken place.
The Left parties organized a public hearing on the Rafael scam and conducted a campaign in many states. The youth front held a demonstration asking PM Modi “Where are our Jobs”.
On the 26th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid – December 6 – which is also the death anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar, the Left parties gave an all India call in “defence of the Constitution and secularism”. Massive mobilisations took place in West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura and other states.
The continuous struggles of the peasantry, working class and the all India campaigns and rallies in the last four months have helped to channelize the discontent against the BJP. These movements and struggles must be further intensified in the coming days.
- The Party must extend full support to the two day national strike on January 8 & 9, called by the central trade unions and the call for “Grameen Bharat Bandh” by Kisan organizations, on the same date, by Rail and Rasta Roko programmes.
- Focusing on growing unemployment, working class, youth front must take the lead to organize joint protest actions in a big manner.
- Struggles against agrarian distress must be further intensified in the states.
- The Party must extend its support to the 19th February march for education on the slogan of “Save Campus, Save Education, Save Nation”. This is being organized by our student front, teachers front and university employees front who have forged a broad platform with civil society organisations.
- The Party must organize protest activities against the continuing attacks on Dalits and Muslims at all levels.
- Big protests must be held on the issues of growing gender violence; against sexual assaults; growing instances of ‘honour killings’ and demanding action against the perpetrators of such brutality.
- The Party reiterates its demand for passing the women’s reservation bill in the current session of parliament.