Report on Political Developments
(Adopted at the Central Committee Meeting held on January 30-31, 2021)
Covid Surge Continues
Globally over ten crore people have been infected, the highest remaining in USA (2.5 crore) followed by India and Brazil. So far, more than 20 lakh people have died globally.
In India, as of January 25, the confirmed Covid cases are nearly one crore six lakhs. Of these, active cases currently are nearly 2,15,000 and the total number of deaths are more than 1.5 lakhs.
With the virus mutating, a new strain has been discovered in the UK which is a super spreader. This strain has been identified in many countries, particularly in Europe. More than a hundred such cases have been identified in India. Consequently, the pandemic is rampaging rapidly across the UK leading to a sudden spike in the number of deaths. Strict lockdown has been re-imposed in the UK and it is uncertain that how long this will continue. Other European countries, like Germany, have also imposed lockdowns in different degrees.
As a result, there is a large-scale disruption of normal life and activities in many countries in the world. These uncertainties are likely to continue till the required level of mass vaccination is reached.
Vaccination: Vaccination programmes have begun all over the world. Before the Indian vaccination programme started, more than 42.2 million doses in 51 countries have been administered, according to the Bloomberg, i.e., an average of 2.4 million doses a day. Nearly all vaccines have to be taken in two rounds with the gap between the first and the second dose varying in time.
China has developed five vaccines. Of these, CoronaVac is being widely used in China. China has offered these vaccines both as donations and on a commercial basis to several countries. Deals with 20 countries have been signed to supply these vaccines.
India is locally manufacturing the UK Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – Covishield – under licensed agreement. Along with this, the Bharat Biotech vaccine candidate – Covaxin – has also been approved for usage.
While Covishield has passed through all the phases of testing trials, phase three trials of Covaxin have not yet been completed. There are serious questions on the efficacy of this vaccination, that are being raised. There are also safety concerns that have arisen. This has contributed to the widespread hesitation amongst people to get vaccinated.
Party had demanded that this vaccination programme must be free and universal, like all previous mass vaccination programmes in the country. The Kerala LDF government has announced that vaccination would be free and universal in the state.
Till the vaccination programme reaches critical levels and even after, the precautions need to be followed like maintaining physical distance, wearing masks and hand hygiene.
As we have noted previously, even prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the global economy was slowing down severely. With the pandemic rampaging, the World Bank, in its January 2021 report estimates that the global economy contracted 4.3 per cent in 2020. This has caused a “global recession whose depth was surpassed only by the two world wars and the Great Depression over the past century and a half”.
Global economic output is expected to expand 4 per cent in 2021 but will still remain more than 5 per cent below the pre-pandemic projections. This forecast also comes with serious caveats and is dependent on many factors, which includes effective pandemic management and vaccination in nearly all countries of the world etc. In a worse scenario, the World Bank projects global economy recovering only by 1.6 per cent. Under more severe conditions, global growth could even been negative in 2021. Even after the pandemic subsides, global economic activity is unlikely to return to its previous levels.
Major Capitalist Economies: US economic activity in the first half of 2020 fell by nearly three times of the peak decline during the 2008 global financial crisis. For 2020, output has fallen by a 3.6 per cent, according to official data.
EU Region saw a sharp contraction of 7.4 per cent in 2020. 2021 forecast is of 3.6 per cent growth which is still 3.8 per cent below the pre-pandemic trend.
Japan contracted 5.3 per cent in 2020. It is expected to expand 2.5 per cent in 2021, which is still 2.4 per cent below its pre-pandemic trend.
Developing Countries: Investment across the world, particularly in the emerging markets and developing economies had seen a drastic fall. Low income countries witnessed a shrinkage of 0.9 per cent in 2020 – the first aggregate contraction in a generation. Though the forecasts for these countries are of a rebound reaching nearly 5 per cent, this is largely due to the robust performance of China’s economy.
Growing People’s Miseries: World Bank Report notes that: “The pandemic has caused a severe loss of life, is tipping millions into extreme poverty, and is expected to inflict lasting scars that push activity and income well below their pre-pandemic trend for a prolonged period”.
2020 saw per capita incomes fall in more than 90 per cent of developing countries, pushing millions back into poverty. 2020 would erase at least ten years of per capita income growth. This is projected to push poverty rates back up to levels seen last in 2017, or even worse. Recovery of job loss is also projected to take a very long time.
More than hundred million people are projected to move into extreme poverty. At the same time, inequality is likely to worsen further with the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. The vulnerable groups likely to suffer the most include women, migrant workers, low skilled occupations and the informal sector. The long term impact of disruptions in education will have a lasting effect, particularly in countries with poor infrastructure and technological communications.
Socialist Countries: Amongst the socialist economies, China’s economy performed better than projections. This was possible due to the effective control of the pandemic and a large-scale public investment stimulus. China’s GDP expanded by 2.3 per cent in 2020. Growth is forecast to pick up to 7.9 per cent in 2021. Its unemployment rate is below the government’s target of 6 per cent. Nearly 12 million new urban jobs were created in 2020 and unemployment further fell to 4.7 per cent in December 2020.
Vietnam, according to the World Bank, recorded a GDP growth of 2.91 per cent in 2020. The government deferred taxes and land rentals, reduced interest rates boosting credit and investment and generating domestic demand by increasing people’s purchasing power. Covid positive cases stand at 1,547 while the number of deaths are 35.
Laos recorded constant growth and reports only 41 Covid infections and, most importantly, zero deaths.
Cuba successfully survived the double-whammy attack of the pandemic and an ironclad economic blockade imposed by US imperialism. With higher public health expenditures and a decline in economic activity in tourism, Cuban economy shrank by nearly 11 per cent. This, however, did not deter Cuba from rendering selfless medical assistance to combat the pandemic to as many as 39 countries in the world.
US Presidential Elections
Donald Trump lost his bid for the second term as US President. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the Democratic Party polled 51.3 per cent of the popular vote, the highest by any challenger to an incumbent President since 1932. This election saw the highest voter turnout since 1900. These elections saw a sharp binary polarisation. As against Biden’s popular vote of more than 81 million, Trump received more than 74 million and in terms of electoral college votes, Biden got 306 against 232 for Trump.
All through the elections – before, during and after – Donald Trump and the Republican Party attempted to subvert the election, overturn the election results, alleging widespread vote fraud. Trump had given the slogan to “stop the steal”. Consequently, on January 6, as the confirmation of the electoral verdict was being taken up by the Senate and the House, armed Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, vandalized offices and went on a rampage. Five people died in this attack. Accusing Trump for inciting the violence, he was impeached for the second time on January 13 on charges of `incitement of insurrection’.
Donald Trump’s defeat has been a setback to his strongest rightwing allies in the world though they are gearing up to work with the Biden administration. Whatever be the level of expectation, our Party has always maintained that US imperialism’s global hegemonic designs cannot alter significantly. A leopard can never change its spots.
However, as President-elect, Biden on January 14 proposed a $1.9 trillion rescue package to combat the economic downturn and the Covid-19 crisis outlined the proposals for sweeping aid that the Democratic Party demanded for months seeking a shift in the federal government’s pandemic response as he prepared to take charge on January 20. This package includes direct cash transfers, extends unemployment relief, rent relief, food assistance, aid to small businesses and keeping essential frontline workers on the job.
Hours after his inauguration on January 20, President Biden moved to dismantle many of Trump administration’s policies and issued 17 executive orders on immigration; including non-citizens in the census count; reversing the order for aggressive efforts to find and deport unauthorised immigrants; stopping the deportation of Liberians; withdrawing the so-called ‘Muslim ban’ which blockaded travel to USA from several Muslim and African countries; halting construction of the border wall with Mexico, etc. An important executive order concerned climate change with Biden signing the letter to re-enter USA in the Paris Climate accords and reengaging with the WHO. Additionally President Biden also took many decisions on racial and LGBT equality; concerning the environment, on the role of slavery in US history etc.
Donald Trump absented himself from attending the Presidential oath taking ceremony while his vice-president attended. As he was demitting office, Trump signed 140 pardon/commutation orders.
For PM Modi this result is a setback after he had actively campaigned for the re-election of Donald Trump in the USA and hosted an extravagant reception for him in India. India’s MEA is now making efforts to try and work out a new relationship claiming that Biden administration will be more friendly to India. In the meanwhile, there are Democratic Party members of the US Congress who have taken critical positions on Indian developments. How India-US relations will shape up in the future after PM Modi cemented with Trump India’s status as a subordinate junior partner of US imperialism over the last six years will have to be closely watched.
In the December 6 elections to the Venezuelan National Assembly, the PSUV-led alliance, the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) coalition secured 253 of the 277 seats. President Maduro has described this result as a massive people’s victory and “great victory of democracy”. He further said that “a cycle of change is coming, a cycle of work, of recovery of the country, of the economy, with sovereignty, with independence, in peace”.
The formidable challenges of the US led blockade and gross interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela continues. The US led blockade cost a loss of over $ 30 billion in gold and financial assets deposited abroad being confiscated. The US initiated the process of selling the PDVSA's US subsidiary, CITGO, in one of Trump's administrations' last attacks against the Bolivarian government of Venezuela. Citgo is a subsidiary of the state-owned Oils of Venezuela (PDVSA) and the leading supplier of gasoline, lubricants, and petrochemicals in the US.
Following their mentor Donald Trump, the US backed far right groups are now in the midst of their efforts to delegitimse the election and announcing an “administrative continuity” strategy.
US Sanctions on Cuba
The Trump administration in one of its last actions, once again, designated Cuba as a `State sponsor of terrorism’. This is an aggression against the people and government of Cuba which is accompanied by sanctions against Cuba.
While combatting this latest aggression, Cuba continued its advances in providing public health and developing four candidate vaccines against Covid, that are undergoing trials currently. Despite the Covid pandemic, it improved its infant mortality rate. Cuba had 9771 Covid positive cases and 137 deaths. Cuba is taking new initiatives for boosting economic activity in the current conditions.
Brazil: Local Body Elections
The 2020 municipal elections saw huge losses for the Far Right and big gains for the Centre Right. Voters decisively moved against President Jair Bolsonaro and his rightwing fascistic policies. In 25 largest cities, the Socialist Party (PT) elected 48 City Councillors and PCdoB won Councillors in six cities. However, the strength of the Left has reduced due to a sharp decline in these numbers. PT Mayors reduced from 254 to 174 and PCdoB from 81 to 45 Mayoral positions.
Israel: Government Dissolved
Israel will hold its 4th national elections in just two years amid a political collapse of the coalition government that led to the dissolution of the Parliament. There is public outrage against Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption scandals and mishandling of the pandemic, but he is maneouvring to avoid the corruption trial.
Elections are now scheduled in March 2021.
2020 saw US brokered agreements that established diplomatic and economic relations between Israel and four Arab/African countries – UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco (in Africa). There is a shifting of alignments in the Arab world. Those who are not falling in line with the US efforts are being subjected to new sanctions. This was recently seen in US sanctions on Syrian petroleum products. This led to severe fuel shortages and distribution to people was cut by 24 per cent. This is compounding people’s miseries which were already caused due to the devastation caused by the pandemic and the economic crisis.
Last Central Committee meeting noted that under the present circumstances, global capitalism is aggressively implementing neo-liberal reforms, despite their bankruptcy in offering any solution to overcome the economic recession, to further maximise profits. This is further widening economic inequalities and sharpening class offensive against the working people. Protests against this are erupting in many countries.
Trade Unions in Greece went on a strike against the increase in working hours, abolition of holidays, privatisation of social security and uninsured and unpaid work. The demonstration led by the Communist Party (KKE) commemorating the anniversary of the polytechnic uprising was attacked by the police. Party General Secretary, including many of its leaders and MPs were injured.
Protests took place in Paris and other French cities throughout November and December against the proposed new security laws. These laws impose a greater surveillance of the people and restriction on the rights for circulating images of police officers in the media. However, the government was forced to retreat and said that this law will be completely rewritten. The protests met with widespread police brutality in many areas.
Thousands of anti-government demonstrations rallied in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, demanding fresh elections and targeting the rigging of October Parliamentary elections by the country’s richest man and former Prime Minister.
Widespread demonstrations were held in Thailand demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, revision of the Constitution to allow for greater democratic participation, and reform of the monarchy to subject it to legal, political, and fiscal oversight.
Peru saw massive protests against the agrarian reforms and new laws that had handed over Peru’s agriculture to multinational agri-business in December forcing the government to repeal the anti-farmer laws.
After years of delays and negotiations, the EU-Britain Brexit trade agreement was arrived at. This deal frees Britain from EU sovereignty but not from the big corporates. Britain will enforce laws to maintain domination of the capitalist free market rules and policies, WTO rules and new UK-EU arbitration mechanisms. Under this agreement, corporates are free to relocate operations and invest anywhere in Britain and EU, regardless of consequences like job losses etc. Dangerously, it opens up public utilities like the National Health Service (NHS), railways and energy delivery to privatization and full competition across Britain and Europe. The details of the agreements on the movement of finance capital are yet to be finalized. Importantly, this deal dilutes workers’ rights, particularly of EU migrants working in Britain. Though sovereignty has been secured for Britain, the deal does not permit any future government to plan economic development and control policies of the big capitalist corporations.
Fifteen Asian states, including China, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes both close Chinese partners like Cambodia as well as countries with lukewarm relations with China, like Australia and Japan. RCEP will create the most populous trade area in the world, as it joins together several of the largest economies in the world, like China, Japan, and South Korea. This is an enormous free trade agreement that represents roughly 30 percent of the world’s GDP and population. RCEP is expected to eliminate a range of tariffs on imports within 20 years. It also includes provisions on intellectual property, telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce and professional services. India has not joined the RCEP apprehending adverse impact on our domestic industry with the elimination of tariffs on a whole range of products. Party had already taken the stand of opposition to RCEP.
The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) was intended to cover market access as well as investment protection. The agreed text of the agreement only concerns market access, with investment protection still left to be negotiated for a future agreement. Negotiations for the CAI started in 2013 and took 35 rounds of talks. The agreement now needs to undergo “legal scrubbing” and to be signed by the two sides, before it is ratified and enters into force, established to take one year time. In addition, China and the EU set themselves a two-year deadline for the conclusion of negotiations on an additional investment protection agreement.
This has stirred controversy in the EU between backers and opponents of the agreement, both in the European Parliament and among member states. Poland and Italy have complained publicly that Germany and France pushed the deal through before the end of year over the heads of the other member states.
Nepal: Parliament Dissolved
Thousands of people protested against the decision of Prime Minister, K. P. Oli, to dissolve the Parliament and calling for fresh elections. This came after the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) accused PM of sidelining the party in all matters. The legal challenges against dissolution of Parliament are filed before the Supreme Court in Nepal.
Subsequently, K P Oli was removed as one of the two co-chairpersons of the NCP. The other chairperson is Prachanda. Madhav Nepal has taken the place of K P Oli. The Party has now expelled K P Oli from its primary membership. Both sides have gone to the election commission claiming the party and its election symbol. The matter is pending. Big public demonstrations are being held against the Prime Minister who in turn is organising his own programmes rallying people’s support, though not in a large manner.
The situation is very uncertain and has the potential for dangerous consequences for democracy and law and order in the Republic of Nepal. Rightwing forces including loyalists of the ousted monarch are trying to use the situation.
With the vaccine roll out the BJP has mounted a hyper propaganda spin hailing PM and the manner in which he handled the pandemic, being the most effective in the entire world specifically mentioning testing, lockdown and providing adequate health facilities.
It is well known and established that India has one of the lowest testing rates in the world. The problems created by the abrupt, unplanned lockdown saw the long marches of migrant workers for whom the Modi government refused even to provide special trains was a human tragedy of immense proportions. Since the days of India’s partition, such movement of people was not seen. Not only did this lead to agonizing people with greater miseries struggling to survive, this also aided the spread of Covid across the country.
The lack of provision of PPEs to health workers was never addressed properly by the government. While a huge amount of money was being collected in a private trust fund set up in the name of the PM these were not provided to augment the health facilities and provide protective equipment to health workers. Government’s machinery from the highest level was used to forcibly collect a day’s salary from government employees and public sector employees. The PSUs were forced to donate while the corporates were enticed to contribute funds from the Corporate Social Responsibility funds by providing tax exemption. But the government refuses to be transparent and accountable taking the plea of a private trust fund. This is unacceptable and this fund must be subject to government audit, preferably under the CAG. The refusal to do this is tantamount to a loot of public funds.
Universal screening of travellers arriving from abroad only began in March 2020 at all airports in the country. The government however, continues to parade the false propaganda that the alacrity of the Modi government in introducing screening in January 2020 itself helped in effectively containing the pandemic.
The problems for survival created by this lockdown also contributed to further deepening the economic recession in the country. The huge job loss that occurred and the virtual destruction of the informal sector pushed crores of people into hunger and misery. The Party was demanding from the beginning direct cash transfers to all families outside the income tax bracket and distribution of free food grains to all. The government continues to refuse to do this till date. In almost all developed countries such measures have been in place for nearly a year now and a new stimulus package including these aspects has been announced by the US President elect even before assuming office.
As far as the vaccines go, the one that is being used was developed by Oxford University, funded largely by the UK government with the condition that this vaccine once its efficacy and safety are proven by three phase of trials should be made available to the developing countries. This vaccine is also being paraded by the BJP and the PM as an Indian product – swadeshi vaccine! All that India is doing is manufacturing it under licence from Oxford. The country is not aware if there is any royalty that is being paid by the government. The other indigenous vaccine Covaxin has not established its efficacy and there are a large number of health safety issues that have emerged. This is demoralizing the people from actually getting vaccinated. This will only compound the Covid pandemic further.
As always, it is on the basis of falsification that the BJP and the central government mislead the people. But the reality is being experienced by the people.
Contrary to all propaganda and spin by the Modi government of economic rebound, the reality is that the GDP contraction continues to plunge and is now according to official data, minus 7.7 in the whole for the fiscal year 2020-21. GDP was plus 4.2 per cent growth in 2019-20.
Except for the agricultural sector which contributes the least proportion to the GDP currently, which showed some positive growth, the industrial sector declined by minus 8.5 per cent and services sector that contributes the most to GDP declined by minus 9.2 per cent. Within the industrial sector, manufacturing is estimated to have declined by minus 9.5 per cent. This is where a significant number of employment opportunities are generated.
With a minus 23.9 per cent decline in the first quarter and a further minus 7.51 per cent decline in the second quarter, even these estimates for the whole financial year may turn out to be on the lower side. The economic decline can be much worse indicating a very grim recession.
Disturbing Trend: Expenditure Contraction: The expenditure estimates have shown an alarming fall indicating that the future possible recovery can be much more delayed and difficult. Private Financial Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) is estimated to decline by minus 9.5 per cent from plus 5.3 per cent in 2019-20. Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) which is the most significant indicator of the strength of economic fundamentals, declined by a whopping minus 14.5 per cent. This was already showing a declining trend between 2017 and 2020 having fallen from plus 8.5 per cent to minus 2.8 per cent. The health of the Indian economy is very precarious.
PFCE and the GFCF together contribute 87 to 89 per cent of the GDP. Such massive falls in these indicators is bad news.
Gross final government expenditures (GGGE) in the second quarter of 2020-21 was 25 per cent less than the first quarter. The second quarter began in July which is a month after the lockdown was opened up. Yet, this fall in government expenditure means that the overhyped financial stimulus of the so-called “atmanirbhar” far from showing any greater economic expenditures, actually resulted in a further contraction, with emphasis, as we noted in our last CC report, being on creating avenues from availability of credit rather than outflows of government expenditure.
These three indicators, put together, show a very dismal future for the Indian economic recovery in the short run totally negating the propaganda of an economic upturn having begun.
The main cause for the recession of the Indian economy has been a sharp fall in domestic demand due to the massive decline in the purchasing power of the Indian people. PM Modi and the central government have refused to accept the Party’s demand from the very beginning of the pandemic, of direct cash transfers and distribution of free food grains to the people. These would have boosted domestic demand apart from making crores of people survive the present onslaught of economic miseries. This would have helped both the people and the economy.
Even the so-called stimulus package in the name of self-reliance has not resulted, as noted above, in a greater outflow of government expenditures. However, major contraction of expenditures will further reduce domestic demand adding grist to the mill of deepening recession. Unless there is a massive fiscal intervention and an increase in government expenditures, no economic recovery is possible. Party had even before the pandemic, when our economy was plunging towards a recession, proposed a massive hike in public investment to build India’s much needed infrastructure which would have generated large scale job creation.
The spending of their earnings by the newly employed could have boosted domestic demand leading to the beginning of recovery of economic activity and opening of closed manufacturing units. But the government and PM Modi in their eagerness to aggressively pursue the neo-liberal policy of creating greater avenues for profit maximization for private capital have refused to embark on such a direction. This has only resulted in a further squeeze of people’s earnings and hence their purchasing capacity.
The only way in which this recession can be combatted is through a massive hike in public expenditures. The forthcoming budget by all indications may only be full of gimmickry, once again, without any substantial hikes in expenditures, which will only compound the economic recession further.
The pursuit of neo-liberal economic policies for maximization of profits aggressively during the pandemic and lockdown periods has led to obscene levels of inequalities globally and in India. The latest Oxfam report titled the “Inequality Virus” found that the pandemic period deeply exacerbated existing inequalities in India and around the world. The wealth of Indian billionaires increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown. During the lockdown period, India’s top 100 billionaires saw their fortunes increase by nearly Rs. 13 trillion (13 lakh crores). This comes in obscene contrast to the fact that nearly 12.5 crore people have lost their jobs, during the same period, with 1,70,000 losing jobs every hour in the month of April 2020.
The rise in the wealth of the top 11 billionaires in India is equivalent to sustaining MGNREGS for ten years or the health ministry budget for ten years. At the same time, unemployment, hunger, malnutrition and deprivation grew sharply during this period.
Growing People’s Miseries
Unemployment: The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) makes a conservative estimate of loss of 14.7 million or 147 lakh jobs in the organized sector. Of these, 9.5 million are graduates and post-graduates. These constitute a 13 per cent share of the total employment market. Such a massive job loss among the educated young Indians is a bleak indicator for India’s future, wasting our demographic dividend.
Of the salaried employed who constitute 31 per cent of the total employment, 71 per cent of them lost their jobs.
This is in addition of the virtual ruination of the informal sector and MSMEs leading to the large scale loss of livelihood for crores of people. This has resulted as we noted in our last Central Committee report in a sharp reduction in the labour force participation rate with a large number moving into areas of self-employment. They are just moving out of the labour market and not looking for jobs since there are no jobs.
Consequently, the Index of Consumer Sentiment which has its base as 100 in 2015 fell to 52.7 per cent in December 2020. About any positive turn in the situation this people’s survey, showed that those who are pessimistic outnumber the minuscule optimistic by a huge margin.
Crippling Price Rise: Along with this economic recession and galloping unemployment, further miseries on people’s livelihood are mounting by a crippling rise in prices of all essential commodities particularly of petroleum products. The price of petrol, diesel and cooking gas are abnormally high today. Excise duty collections during April-November 2020 were Rs. 62,000 crores more than the same period in 2019. This is despite favourable international prices (2013-$109/barrel; 2021-$53/barrel) and lower levels of imports because of the economic recession.
This massive hike in fuel prices has pushed up transportation costs setting in motion an inflationary spiral. The prices of food products have soared further exacerbating people’s miseries.
This comes at a time when the cronies of PM Modi have been permitted to loot people’s life long savings in bank accounts’ and the writing off of such loans to the tune of nearly Rs. 9,00,000 crores, destabilizing our banking system.
India today has the highest rates of taxes on petroleum products in the world.
Growing Hunger: The latest National Family Health Survey has confirmed the fact of worsening malnutrition of Indian people particularly alarming being that of our children. The World Hunger Index had already shown India as a country among the most hungry people in the world. 80 per cent of India’s children are estimated to be anemic with a high rate of stunting and wasting. The future of our country is thus being emaciated.
BJP/RSS Pursuing their Real Agenda
As noted by us earlier in the Central Committee, absolving all responsibility for the current situation of the pandemic and growing people’s miseries, the central government and BJP/RSS are relentlessly pursuing their agenda of changing the character of the secular democratic Indian republic and loot of our national assets.
Neo-Liberalism: The privatization drive continues relentlessly. Regular employees in public sector undertakings are being replaced by contract labour in order to prevent any possible organized working class protests during this privatization process.
The rules for the new labour codes abolishing all the existing labour laws are being finalized for implementation at the earliest.
The corporate take over of agriculture as has been legalised through the Agri-Laws. The central government is obdurately opposing the historic massive kisan protests demanding their repeal. This shows the determination of this Modi government to handover control of the Indian economy, our natural resources and national assets to private capital, both domestic and foreign.
Undermining the Constitution: The process noted by us in the Central Committee earlier of the systematic undermining of the Constitution, the independent constitutional authorities and institutions is also proceeding relentlessly. This is coupled with their objective of further sharpening communal polarization in order to consolidate their Hindutva communal support base and change the character of the Indian Republic.
The distinction between the State functioning under our secular, democratic Constitution and Religion is being rapidly obfuscated. Secularism, already diluted over the years, from the separation of State and Religion, to State treating all religions equally is also being abandoned.
BJP state governments led by the UP government, being followed by MP and others, have enacted laws prohibiting what they call ‘love jihad’ i.e. interfaith marriages. Harassments, arrests, detentions are taking place of such interfaith couples. These laws are a direct affront to the Indian Constitution that gives the right to consenting adults, irrespective of their caste or creed, to enter into a marriage of their choice. This constitutional guarantee is being nullified. As has become the new ‘avatar’ of the Indian judiciary, the Supreme Court which ought to have suo moto struck down these legislations as ultra virus has chosen to remain silent. The Allahabad High Court however had ruled upholding the unalienable right of couples to exercise their personal choice of whom they chose to live with.
Further, cow protection laws are also being enacted in various BJP ruled states with a focus again on sharpening communal polarization. Under the plea of the mandir construction at Ayodhya, the RSS/BJP and their tentacles have unleashed an aggressive fund collection drive all across the country. This drive is yet again targeting communal polarization and on some occasions, have already led to growth of tensions and clashes resulting in some deaths. Religious minorities are being forced to contribute, otherwise they are being attacked.
Stoking Communal Tensions
In the name of fund collection drive for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, RSS outfits have been taking out rallies in Madhya Pradesh. They have sought to provoke violence by entering minority areas and targeting mosques. In Ujjain, Mandsaur, Indore and other places, attacks have taken place. In UP too such incidents are happening. In the states where assembly elections are due, this fund collection drive is being used for the election campaign of the BJP.
One Nation, One Election: This objective of the BJP is being raised once again. This is patently anti-democratic as we had noted earlier and completely contrary to the spirit and content of the federal character of the Indian republic as defined in our Constitution. This is also an assault on the Indian Constitution. By clubbing the elections to the parliament and the state assemblies under the pretext of saving expenditure and focusing time on development, the BJP is changing the character of our political system from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential form. This they presume will hugely benefit them in the absence of any alternative challenge to the incumbent prime minister.
This is something that should be completely unacceptable in terms of the Indian Constitution.
Increasing Violence Against
Women, Dalits, Tribals and Marginalised
The horrifying sexual violence against women that was noted in our previous meetings has further escalated during this period. Gruesome instances of gang rapes and murder, even of minor children are taking place in BJP ruled states particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Instead of strengthening all efforts to apprehend the culprits and give the criminals the strictest of punishment, the BJP Chief Ministers are putting in place systems for policing of women and their movement. This is a direct assault on their liberty and privacy – a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is moving in this direction.
Such an approach only signals growing sanction and patronage to the criminal elements to perpetuate such attacks. Likewise, the attacks against Dalits and other marginalized people is part of the overall project of establishing a social order in tune with the Manuwadi system. This is an affront to the modern civilized society that is envisaged by the Indian Constitution.
Judiciary: For over a year now the challenges to the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A concerning the special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir; challenges to the Citizenship amendment Act; to the electoral bonds continue to remain pending before the apex court. While it finds time to deal with contempt cases against anti-establishment lawyers; bail pleas of pro-government journalists and others, and by prevaricating on the challenges to the constitutional validity of Article 370, CAA etc. the apex court is virtually presenting a fiat accompli of their implementation to the country. This is the gravest undermining of the independent role of the judiciary as defined in the Indian Constitution.
Likewise, the other constitutional authorities like the Election Commission continue to behave in a unilateral manner despite the objections raised by our party on issues like extending postal ballots in the name of Covid pandemic in Bihar elections or now of the manner in which NRIs voting has been permitted which all favour the ruling party. The Election Commission’s neutrality and the ability to conduct a free and fair election providing a level playing field to all contestants is fast eroding.
Assaults on Civil Liberties & Democratic Rights
The attacks on basic human and democratic rights continue to rise. The NIA is increasingly being used to contain all expression of dissent against the government. Artists/comedians/intellectuals continue to be targeted and their democratic rights violated brazenly. Those under detention in the Elgar Parishad case continue to be denied the basic rights in the prisons including provision of medicines, aids like sippers and spectacles, books etc.
The Changing Character of the Indian Republic
Such assaults on the Indian Constitution and undermining of our constitutional authorities and institutions is part and parcel of the new political narrative of “new India” that we discussed in our last CC report.
The ‘symbols’ for this changed character of the Indian republic are being erected -- the mandir at Ayodhya and now the central vista and the new parliament building in Delhi.
After initially halting the construction of the new parliament building for a month, the Supreme Court, as expected, has cleared the project for construction.
At the time of the raging pandemic, the rising miseries of the people and plunging economic recession, public monies are being spent on fanciful projects. This is a gross injustice to the people. Instead, these resources should have been utilized for people’s welfare.
But then, these are the ‘symbols’ of Modi’s India. The new parliament building is expected to be completed by 2022 i.e. the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. Likewise the mandir construction is also being timed for this occasion. After 75 years of independence and 72 years of the secular democratic republican Indian Constitution, the character of our republic is to undergo in accordance to their plan, this drastic change to replace the secular democratic India with their fascistic ‘Hindutva rashtra’.
Media-TRP Rating Agency Nexus
The recent exposure of WhatsApp exchanges between the Editor of Republic TV and the TRP rating agency was part of the supplementary chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police in an ongoing case has revealed a notorious nexus between the two. These exchanges point to a very gross manipulation of TRP ratings, which determine the advertisement revenues of electronic media channels, tantamount to crass corrupt practices. Grave charges concerning national security have also surfaced. These must be thoroughly investigated preferably by a parliamentary mechanism and the guilty should be properly punished.
CC’s 2019 Election Review Report noted that the BJP had shifted the attention away from people’s issues which saw big struggles and scripted an alternative narrative of communal, jingoistic nationalism centering over the Pulwama terrorist attack and the Balakot response. Information about the abrogation of Article 370 and dissolution of the state of Jammu & Kashmir were also leaked.
This whole episode reveals the manner in which the ruling dispensation has been influencing, manipulating and using large sections of the Indian media for its own projections and misleading public perception and narrative on the basis of false propaganda. Along with the changing character of the Indian republic, the so-called ‘fourth estate’, save honourable exceptions, has been reduced as the pocket borough, of the BJP/RSS.
This is not acceptable. Already millions are moving out of the WhatsApp platform to alternative messaging platforms. The government must intervene to ensure that the privacy of the individual is not breached, failing which Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram should be banned in India.
Further, this move by Facebook/WhatsApp is aimed at strengthening its monopoly over the internet. This poses serious dangers of gross misuse for mass surveillance over the people. The WhatsApp-Reliance joint partnership also poses similar dangers of strengthening monopoly and being misutilized for mass surveillance.
Bihar: Though the BJP-JD(U) coalition formed the government in Bihar, the difference in the vote share between this coalition and the Mahagatbandhan was a miniscule 0.3 per cent. The BJP led alliance lost 12 per cent from the vote it polled in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The JD(U), the incumbent Chief Minister’s party won only 43 seats as compared to 71 it won in the last assembly elections. Having formed the government earlier along with the RJD, CM Nitish Kumar defected to join the BJP allies and continued as the Chief Minister. This has, clearly, been rejected by the electorate.
The Left parties together won 16 of the 29 seats contested - CPI(ML) 12/19; CPI(M) 2/4 and CPI 2/6. The Mahagatbandhan campaign focussed on people’s economic distress and the failures of the BJP and its allies in containing the pandemic and the galloping unemployment among Bihar’s youth. This to a large extent could counter the brazen efforts of PM Modi and the BJP to raise the communal agenda to a very high pitch seeking to communally polarise the electorate.
There were reports of irregularities during the last stages of counting. The Election Commission, true to its present practice of not entertaining any such complaints declared the results in favour of the BJP alliance.
The Left parties have declared that their presence in the assembly will be utilised to advance the cause of the toiling people, raising crucial issues like unemployment and social-economic injustices.
Forthcoming Elections: The BJP is making all out efforts to sharpen communal polarisation, use its massive money power and all other weapons in its arsenal to win the forthcoming assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamilnadu in alliance with the AIADMK and to destabilise the LDF government in Kerala.
The Central Committee had worked out our electoral tactics to be pursued in these elections in these states. In West Bengal, talks over seat sharing between the Left Front and the Congress have begun. In Assam, six parties – Congress, AIUDF, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) and a new regional party have announced that they will fight elections unitedly. In Tamil Nadu, the DMK led front is yet to discuss seat allocations concretely. Preparations for the elections however have been undertaken by all the constituent parties. In Kerala, as reported earlier, the LDF which has now been further expanded with the entry of the Kerala Congress (M) will contest elections against the UDF and the BJP.
Targetting Kerala: The Central government is using the central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate to brazenly intervene in the various decisions taken by the state government which are in its Constitutional remit to try and target the CPI(M) leaders in its efforts to destabilise the LDF government.
The Congress-led UDF and the BJP continue to work in tandem in the state, in their efforts to discredit and destabilise the state government. Physical attacks and killings of our comrades are also taking place.
The attacks against our Party comrades and offices continue to take place in West Bengal and Tripura. In Bengal, the TMC and the BJP and in Tripura the BJP anti-social elements have launched fresh violence against the Party.
Local Body Elections – Big LDF Victory
The LDF has won a big majority in all three tiers of the panchayats. The LDF has also won five out of the six corporations and in 11 of the 14 district panchayats.
The people of Kerala have recorded their endorsement of the performance of the LDF government. The people have appreciated the work done by the state government and the local bodies in tackling the serious floods of 2018 and the Covid pandemic.
The people have given a strong rebuff to the negative campaign by the Congress-led UDF and the BJP of levelling baseless allegations against the LDF government and its leadership, backed by sections of the rightwing media and the unscrupulous usage of central agencies by the BJP Central government.
Other States: Local body elections also took place in Telangana, Hyderabad Corporation, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. The BJP mounted an aggressive campaign of communal polarization in all these elections.
In the Hyderabad Corporation elections, the BJP increased its seats from 4 to 46. As a result, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti suffered a severe setback.
In Jammu & Kashmir, the BJP mounted a virulent campaign against the People’s Alliance branding them as `anti-national’ in the DDC election. The administration prevented many candidates of the People’s Alliance from campaigning freely. Sharpening communal polarization is accompanied by draconian authoritarian measures by BJP-led administration.
Despite this, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) performed well in these elections registering victories in 110 of the total 278 districts. Of these 84 are in the Kashmir division and 26 in the Jammu division. Of the 75 seats won by the BJP, 72 are from Jammu and only 3 in Kashmir. The Congress got 26 seats while the JK Apni Party got 12. 50 independents won. Jammu region saw nearly twice the voter turn out than in Kashmir. PAGD has been able to register victories in the Jammu region in 26 seats.
In Rajasthan, the ruling Congress party suffered a setback in the rural areas but gained in the urban area local bodies. However, the BJP’s vote share in the rural areas declined by 5.9 per cent in the panchayat samitis and 6.2 per cent in the zilla panchayats, compared to last elections in 2015.
In Karnataka, in 30 districts and 226 taluks, there are 5728 gram panchayats with 91,339 seats. Party contested in 726 seats in 20 districts, 17 taluks and 250 gram panchayats. Of these, our candidates won in 231 – loss of 75 seats compared to 306 in earlier elections in 2015. We contested in four more districts than earlier – 14 to 18. While we gained in some districts, we lost the biggest chunk of seats in Chikkaballapur district. This was due to divisions in the Party following Sreerama Reddy’s expulsion and a contest with rival candidates. The organisational problems in the district continue.
Local body elections were held in Himachal Pradesh in January 2021 in all districts, except the snow-bound Lahaul and Spiti and Chamba. Elections in the state are not on Party symbols. 12 of our candidates won election as Zilla Parishad members, 25 as Panchayat Samiti members, 28 as Panchayat Pradhans, 30 as Vice Pradhans and 242 ward members. These seats are across the state. Party has been able to expand its influence into rural areas. The work of our zilla parishad members and gram panchayat members in the last elections heightened people’s faith in our Party candidates which led to better results this time.
In all these states, it is necessary for the state committees to undertake a review of our performance as compared with the earlier elections and draw correct lessons.
Growing People’s Struggles
The October Central Committee meeting had called upon all Party units in the country to extend complete solidarity and support to the kisan protest action calls against these Agri-Laws and the Electricity Amendment Act demanding their withdrawal and the countrywide general strike on November 26 called by the Central Trade Unions.
The Central Committee also decided that the Party should conduct independent campaigns and protest actions against Agri-Laws, labour codes, privatization of PSUs and loot of national assets, growing unemployment, for education and health for all and the escalating price rise that is further ruining people’s livelihood.
We had also called for observing December 10 International Human Rights day and December 18 International Day for Minority Rights and to organize a week-long campaign between these two dates on issues of human and minority rights.
The Central Committee had called for further strengthening of Left unity and forging broader joint actions on common issues.
The CC specifically decided to create state level coalitions on all these issues by mobilizing the widest possible forces for forging an alliance of solidarity with the people’s struggles.
However, the main activity of the Party during this period was, naturally, confined to the calls by the kisan organisations and the Central trade unions which saw the convergence of the trade union movement along with the kisan and agricultural workers movements in a bigger way than earlier.
Though the November 26-27 calls were given by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), there were spontaneous protest actions by various other kisan organisations, mainly from Punjab and Haryana. The AIKSCC decided to expand and included these organisations and formed the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which gave the call for all-India action programmes beginning with the countrywide rasta roko on November 5.
The November 26 call for the general strike by the Central trade unions achieved a degree of success, that saw broader participation than in previous such calls. It is estimated that over 25 crore workers, agricultural workers and other sections of the toiling people, who produce the wealth of the country, struck work on that day. They were joined by millions of kisans and agricultural labour in the simultaneous call for the `grameen bandh’ on the same day. In many states, a bandh-like situation emerged. The strike was widespread covering all major industrial and service activity in the country. This success was registered despite heavy repression and intimidation unleashed in many states, particularly the BJP-ruled state governments.
All our mass fronts have been active in their solidarity with these calls like women, student, youth and our platforms of tribal, dalit, disabled etc.
Expressing solidarity with the trade union general strike on November 26, 2020, the AIKSCC gave a call for a ‘grameen bandh’. Subsequently, kisans began their movement towards Delhi.
Around the Delhi borders, particularly in the BJP-ruled states of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, strong police deployment was there to prevent the kisans from reaching Delhi. There was large-scale use of water cannons, lathi-charges, road blockades and digging up trenches on the national highways to prevent the kisans moving forward.
All these were heroically resisted and overcome by the kisans who reached the border to Delhi. At this stage, the Central government was forced to retreat and relent in the face of a massive gathering of protestors and offered them a ground in the outskirts of Delhi to assemble. The SKM refused this offer announcing that this ground at Burari would be converted into an open jail by the Central government and decided to continue with the blockade of the national highways. This is continuing for more than sixty days now with growing numbers.
The kisan struggle, clearly, identified that the main beneficiaries of these laws are corporate giants of Adanis and Ambanis and rejected the mortgaging of Indian agriculture and country’s food security to corporate profits.
The RSS/BJP mounted a vicious campaign to discredit this kisan struggle by calling them as Khalistanis, Pakistanis, Maoists, tukde tukde gang, misguided by opposition parties etc etc. NIA investigations against some kisan leaders probing terrorist anti-national Khalistani allegations have begun to intimidate the struggle and prepare grounds for intervention.
More than 100 protestors have died due to severe cold, accidents and other reasons.
Bharat Bandh: The SKM gave a call for a Bharat Bandh which was widely observed all over the country on December 8. This bandh call was actively supported by the trade union movement and all our mass fronts. The bandh was total in a large number of towns and villages paralyzing normal activities in most of the states. Under popular pressure, many state governments led by the regional parties supported the bandh by closing down educational institutions, public transport, government offices partially. The widespread response that this bandh call received from the people shows the potential for further strengthening popular protest actions.
The government was forced to call the SKM leaders for talks. Eleven rounds of meetings have taken place so far. The government has indicated its willingness to retreat by keeping the Agri-Laws suspended for one and a half years. The SKM rejected this offer saying that laws, once gazetted, cannot be suspended but will have to be repealed.
The government’s repeated announcements that the MSP regime will continue and that it was prepared to give a written assurance was seen as grossly inadequate by the SKM who demanded a legislation. An effective MSP must cover all crops and the entire peasantry as opposed to covering only 6 per cent of the peasantry today and only a few crops. Secondly, the MSP should be based on the Swaminathan Committee recommendations of C2+50 per cent production costs. Thirdly, the law to make MSP a legal right with penal action against any purchase lower than MSP. Finally, strengthening the nationwide procurement network, both public and private.
International Solidarity: This historic kisan struggle received wide support in many countries like USA, Canada, Britain, Australia etc. Law makers, cutting across party lines, petitioned their Prime Ministers to take up the matter with Indian government. Canada’s Prime Minister, in a public statement, called upon Indian Prime Minister and government to resolve the issue. People of Indian origin organised solidarity actions, including tractor marches, vehicle marches on highways etc.
Supreme Court Intervention: The central government sought the intervention of the Supreme Court on the basis of some petitions filed by some kisan organisations. The Court while keeping the implementation of the Agri-Laws on hold appointed a four-member committee (one of whom subsequently recused himself) – of known votaries of the Agri-Laws – to talk to the kisan and other stakeholders and submit a report to the Supreme Court within two months. The SC however also ruled that if the kisan continue with their peaceful protests they cannot be prohibited.
The Delhi Police also petitioned the Supreme Court for orders to stop the declared kisan republic day parade from entering Delhi. The SC however ruled that they cannot prohibit any peaceful protest and where they come and how they come are matters for the police to decide and not for the judiciary. The SKM and the Delhi Police have come to an understanding on the routes for the tractor parade on the Republic Day and the entry points into Delhi.
Republic Day Kisan Tractor Parade: A mammoth tractor parade was organised by the farmers under the SKM. Lakhs of tractors with many more lakhs of farmers peacefully moved on the agreed routes.
This Republic Day action of the Kisan struggle evoked widespread response with solidarity actions and tractor parades taking place in many states. The main focus was on the repeal of the farm laws and enactment of an MSP legislation.
Untoward incidents occurred on January 26 when some Kisan groups who did not accept the agreed routes for the parade broke away and reached the Red Fort and hoisted the nishan sahib flag.
Such untoward incidents that occurred cannot detract the focus from the main demand. These incidents, handiwork of agent provocators, some with links to the ruling party, have been denounced by the entire farmers’ movement. At the same time, even on the agreed routes for the tractor parade, the police obstructed by resorting to lathicharges and teargasing at various places, provoking, naturally, an angry reaction. Such police actions cannot be condoned.
The SKM has decided to continue the struggle till the retrograde farm laws are repealed. The Party has declared its support and solidarity with this.
In accordance with the Central Committee decisions of further strengthening joint Left parties activities, during this period, the Left parties have issued joint statements supporting the kisan-TU struggles and for joint actions, including the December 8 Bharat Bandh. The latest among such statements was one issued on January 24 reiterating the demand for the repeal of the Agri-Laws.
We took initiative in mobilizing non-Left secular opposition parties on this ongoing struggle. On November 28, along with the General Secretaries of five Left parties, Sharad Pawar of NCP, T R Baalu of DMK and Manoj Jha of RJD issued a joint statement reiterating opposition to Agri-Laws and demanding that the government must repeal them.
Subsequently, a wider mobilization was undertaken which resulted in a joint statement by the General Secretaries of the five Left parties and Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, M. K. Stalin, Farooq Abdullah, Tejaswi Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav on December 6.
This was followed up by a delegation to the President of India. This, however, had to be confined only to five members adhering to the restrictions of the Covid protocol observed by the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Demanding that the President must call upon `his government’ to repeal the Agri-Laws, Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Sitaram Yechury, D. Raja and T K S Elangovan met the President of India and submitted a memorandum on December 9.
A joint statement was issued by opposition parties on December 24. Apart from the General Secretaries of the Left parties, the statement was signed by Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, T. R Baalu, Farooq Abdullah, Tejaswi Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav.
The leaders registered their protest and rebutted the allegations made by Modi accusing the opposition parties of “repeatedly lying” to the farmers about the new farm laws and “using them for their politics”.
While exposing the unsubstantiated accusations made by the PM, they demanded that the present Agri-Laws be repealed along with the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020. They also demanded that following this, discussions on agrarian reforms must be held by the Central government with the farmers and all stakeholders. On the basis of these consultations new enactments may be considered by the Parliament, if necessary, by convening a special or a joint session.
The Party Centre issued a circular on January 7, 2021 to all the state committees to explore the possibilities of conducting state level conventions with as many political parties and forces in support and solidarity with the farmers’ struggle highlighting their issues. Successful conventions were held in some states. The final picture will only come when state reports are circulated at the time of the CC meeting.
This kisan struggle has sharply brought out the efforts by the leadership of the Indian ruling classes – the big bourgeoisie – to acquire corporate control over Indian agriculture, its produce, its markets for its profit maximization in the background of the sustained global capitalist crisis and severe recession of the Indian economy exacerbated by the Covid pandemic and the associated lockdowns.
This has created a conflict between the big bourgeoisie, in collaboration with international finance capital on the one hand, and the entire peasantry, including by and large the rich peasants, on the other. This conflict creates possibilities that can be utilized by the working class, poor peasantry and the agricultural labour to intensify the class struggles against the bourgeois-landlord class order.
The aggressive pursuit of the neo-liberal economic reforms combined with the loot of our national assets is giving rise to new conflicts emerging between the big bourgeoisie and the capitalists engaged in the MSME sector. These conflicts between the big and the non-big bourgeoisie also create possibilities and potential for building a wider unity against the BJP and its policies.
BJP’s drive to establish its total hegemony and replace the federal structure of our Constitution with that of a unitary State has resulted in serious attacks on the rights of the elected state governments. The regional parties, who head governments in many states, are coming under a sharp attack. The communal polarization accompanied by this hegemonic drive is forcing many regional parties, who head governments, to come out in opposition.
Already the oldest allies of the BJP in the NDA like the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and now the Akali Dal in Punjab have left the NDA and came out openly against the BJP.
This growing contradiction among the BJP and the regional ruling parties has the potential for building a wider unity against the BJP, particularly in the absence of any effective intervention by the Congress party.
The possibility of advancing the struggles have grown with the emerging convergence of struggles between the working class and the peasantry. This was evident from the beginnings that were made towards joint activities of the trade union, kisan and agricultural workers movements during the last couple of years. This has reached a higher level during the course of the November 26-27 action calls.
This must be further strengthened in order to move towards achieving the class unity of the workers and peasantry, i.e., the worker-peasant alliance. The struggles against these Agri-Laws and the labour legislations abrogating the rights of the working class must be jointly strengthened in the coming period.
Central Committee Call
The Central Committee decided that all units of the Party will observe a fortnight-long campaign all over the country in the second half of February 2021. This will be on issues that are destroying India’s Constitutional order and economic foundations through the sharpening of communal polarization; the loot of national assets; large-scale privatization; price rise; abolition of labour laws, galloping unemployment etc., while strengthening solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ struggles and exposing the false propaganda of the RSS/BJP.
The Party should mobilise larger sections of people in struggles and solidarity actions of the working class and the peasantry. These must be consolidated organizationally and all efforts must be made to draw in these newer sections into our mass organisations and Party.
As the struggles are unfolding, new calls are being given for further strengthening the struggles. All these calls must be actively supported by our Party units.
Simultaneously, all our other mass organisations must energise their activities on their specific demands while extending solidarity with these ongoing struggles.
Party’s activities and campaigns must concentrate focus on the two main issues of Jobs and Food.
The Central Committee decided that the focus in the coming period would be to defeat the BJP in the forthcoming assembly elections, ensure the return of the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala, work for a Left, secular democratic alternative in West Bengal, defeat the BJP-AIADMK alliance ensuring the victory of the DMK-led front and increase Party’s influence in the Assam assembly.