Press Statement

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India have issued the following joint statement:

Left Parties Oppose Illegitimate Cabinet Decisions:
Protest Day on 16 July

The Vajpayee government is brazenly going ahead with major policy decisions violating the basic norms expected from a caretaker government. The recent instance is the Cabinet decision taken about the change in the telecom policy towards private companies, large-scale disinvestment of major public sector units and opening up of the radio network to private operators.

The decision to allow private telecom companies to shift from licensing to the revenue sharing system is being done in a manner which will provide a bonanza for big business houses like Reliance, Tata, Essar, Hughes Ispat and others. The Telecom policy had been placed in Parliament for approval. The changes are illegal as the new policy has not been placed before Parliament. The BJP-led government has given these illegal concessions to big business with an eye to the elections. There is a big scam with kickbacks involved after the removal of Jagmohan as Minister for Communications.

The Cabinet decision to disinvest a major chunk of shares in big PSUs like MTNL, VSNL, GAIL and IOC are similarly outside the purview of a caretaker government. Earlier the Cabinet had decided to privatise the Indian Airlines. The BJP-led government is against the public sector as a whole and after having been defeated in the Lok Sabha it has no right whatsoever to proceed with the disinvestment policy.

The Cabinet decision to auction FM radio broadcasting slots in 40 cities also falls in the category of decisions which a caretaker government cannot take.

Such decisions are totally unacceptable politically and constitutionally. The CPI(M) and the CPI requests the President of India to stop these decisions being implemented.

Given the adverse impact, such decisions will have on the people and the country, the CPI(M) and the CPI have decided to organise a strong protest by mobilising people against these decisions. 16th July will be observed all over the country as a Protest Day against these decisions taken by the caretaker government and calling for cancellation of these measures. The two parties have called upon all their Party units to organise public meetings and demonstrations on this day.