The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Union Home Minister’s intervention in Parliament while moving the extension of President’s Rule for another six months in Jammu & Kashmir was provocative leading to further alienation of the people of the state.  This is not healthy for India’s unity and integrity.  Alienation only feeds growth of terrorism, which the country is unitedly determined to defeat.

If the conditions were conducive for the holding of the parliamentary elections in the state, there is no reason to believe that the same conditions prohibit the holding of elections to the J&K Assembly.  All political parties in the state have asked for immediate election to the Assembly and opined that this is the best way to draw in the people of Kashmir into the democratic process.

In his two day visit to the state, for the first time in India’s history, a Union Home Minister did not meet the political parties in the state.   Further, during the course of his parliamentary intervention, the Home Minister asserted that, amongst all the states of India, it is only J&K that has a special provision contained in Article 370 of our Constitution.  This is a travesty of Constitutional provisions.  The Constitution provides special provisions  for the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa [Articles 371, 371 (A) to (I)].

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the Central government, on the basis of the accepted recognition that the J&K  situation is not merely a law and order problem, implement its own assurances that it had earlier given to the people of J&K of (a) starting a process of political dialogue with all stakeholders and (b) undertake confidence building measures.  These, along with early elections to J&K Assembly, will be the most appropriate manner to remove the current deepening alienation among the people of J&K.

(Hari Singh Kang)

For CPI(M) Central Committee office