P.B. Communique

November 15, 2016

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi today. It has issued the following statement:

Withdrawal of Rs. 1000/500 Notes:
Crisis of Gigantic Proportions

The Polit Bureau heard reports from various states about the effects of the withdrawal of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes. The reports indicate that there has been a total disruption of the payments and settlements system and has impacted all citizens in one way or the other.
In the rural areas the crisis is much more grave. Markets are closed in various places. People are unable to buy even bare essentials, life saving medicines etc. It has put at discomfort the vast mass of our people most of who are outside of the banking and the non-cash economic system. These include, but not limited to, agricultural workers, fishermen, daily wage earners, vegetable vendors, truck drivers etc.
This measure does not in any way address the four objects that PM Modi outlined – black money; corruption; counterfeit currency notes and terrorist funding.

No effort has been made whatsoever to bring back the bulk of black money which is generated and stored in off-shore accounts in foreign currency. Cash constitutes only 6 per cent of the black economy. Also a study conducted on behalf of the National Investigation Agency by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata has found that only 0.028 per cent of the currency withdrawn is counterfeit. Also, the basic avenues for money laundering through Participatory notes and diversions through tax havens remains untouched. There is no attempt to curb the roots of generation of black money such as in the real estate sector.

Reports show that in many states the local BJP units have deposited huge amounts of money in Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in their accounts hours before this announcement was made by the Prime Minister. There is concrete evidence, that media has exposed, about the BJP unit of West Bengal, in this regard.

Known cases of money laundering through chit funds schemes like Saradha and the open acceptance of currency in the Narada expose continue to remain uninvestigated, common people whose savings have been looted are not being given back their monies by this government and the culprits go unpunished.

The utter insincerity of the government in bringing back black money is revealed in its wariness to making public the names of those holding bank deposits and accounts in tax-havens and those refusing to return humongous loans from nationalised banks estimated at over Rs 11 lakh crores.

Recent reports show that bad loan provisioning for most state-owned banks doubled – and even trebled in some cases — in 2015-16. There has been a lack of concerted effort to recover these bad loans. Instead, the BJP government waived off Rs 1,12,078 crore of bad loans of big borrowers in two years of 2014-16.

The Government of India/RBI has permitted scheduled banks to accept and exchange Rs. 500 and 1000 notes. Similar permission has been granted to urban cooperative banks. This must be extended to district and primary cooperative banks also. This will provide much relief to people in the rural areas who are the worst victims of this measure.

The Polit Bureau therefore:

(i) Demands that till all alternative arrangements like the availability of required currency notes and the recalibration of the ATM machines are completed, people should be allowed to transact in rupees 500 and 1000 notes till the time limit set by the government of December 30, 2016.

(ii) Urged the Central government to concede the request of the Kerala and Tripura Chief Ministers to permit their state governments to accept Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes for payments until alternative arrangements are firmly put in place. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) hopes that the other non-BJP state governments will also similarly take measures to provide relief to the suffering common people in their states.

(iii) Calls upon all its units throughout the country to organise protest actions demanding that the central government allow the usage of these notes till alternative arrangements are put in place or at least till December 30, 2016.

The Polit Bureau also called upon all its members to actively assist and help the various people standing in serpentine queues before banks and post offices to convert their legitimate money.

Growing Authoritarian Trends

The Polit Bureau expressed serious concern over the increasing authoritarian trends of the Modi government.

Paradoxically even while the Prime Minister rejected any future possibility of Emergency saying it was “a sin” that no future political leader should think of committing, contrary signals are displayed elsewhere. Two days after the PM made the statement, the government imposed a one day ban on the Hindi channel NDTV India (which was stayed later after widespread protests).

On the very day that Prime Minister Modi delivered this speech the Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, his Deputy Manish Sisodia and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi were detained by the Delhi police while trying to meet the family members of a retired army man who had committed suicide. The Delhi Police was again used against students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University who were protesting against the disappearance of one of their students Najeeb Ahmad following a dispute with the ABVP on the campus.

The Polit Bureau also noted that the BJP governments in the various states are also ruthlessly clamping down on dissent.

This is visible in its brutal action against villagers assembled in Seko village in Jharkhand’s Khunti district recently. Tribal people who had gathered in large numbers at the village to proceed for participating in a rally at Ranchi to protest against the ordinance that seeks to amend the Chotanagpur and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act were fired upon resulting in the death of a tribal leader and critically injuring five others. The Jharkhand BJP state government has during the last one month resorted to repeated police firing against popular protests. There have also been two custodial deaths during this period.

The Chattisgarh BJP government has registered a false case of murder against some noted intellectuals and activists including Sanjay Parate, CPI(M) State Secretary.  They have been charged under sections relating to murder, conspiracy etc.

Increasing evidence and conflicting reports have cast serious doubts about the initial claims made by the BJP government of Madhya Pradesh about the gunning down of eight under trials, who are said to have escaped from the Bhopal jail.

The Polit Bureau is of the opinion that the judicial enquiry announced by the state government should go into the circumstances which led to their “escape” and what led to their killing and also the various versions about the incident that have been reported.

Sharpening Communal Polarisation

The Polit Bureau expressed serious disquiet over the escalating communal tensions and consequent polarisation in the run up to the elections to the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly. The BJP/RSS is vigorously pursuing this agenda through its various outfits and championing and propagating various divisive issues like gau raksha etc. It is also politically misusing the army action on the LoC with Pakistan to whip up a false notion of nationalism linking it up with its communal propaganda.

The Polit Bureau noting these disturbing developments called upon all democratic and secular forces to rally together in defence of India’s secular, democratic Constitutional republic.

Immediately Fill Judicial Vacancies

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expressed its grave concern over the immense hardships poor litigants in various courts in the country are facing due to the inadequacy of judges. The existing vacancies must be filled up immediately.

P.B. Communique

August 8, 2009

Press Communiqué

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on October 25 and 26, 2005. It has issued the following statement:

Foreign Policy

The Polit Bureau discussed the situation arising out of India’s vote against Iran in the IAEA board meeting in September. The Polit Bureau endorsed the decision to conduct a countrywide campaign to mobilise public opinion against this serious departure from India’s independent foreign policy. The PB called upon all its Party units to join this campaign.

Jammu & Kashmir

The Polit Bureau expressed its serious concern at the attempt on the life of Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami and the killing of the education minister in Jammu & Kashmir. Another CPI(M) leader was killed in Anantnag district. These and other incidents have taken place at a time when certain parts of the state have been hit by the earthquake. These attacks show that some of the extremist groups are oblivious of the suffering of the people and are determined to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere. Both the state and the central government should ensure sufficient security for the CPI(M) cadres and other political activists.

The Polit Bureau heard reports about the collection for the J&K and Pakistan earthquake relief fund. The West Bengal State Committee has contributed Rs. 30 lakhs to the fund which has been collected through mass collections. Funds are being raised in the other states also.

Election Commission

The Election Commission has resorted to certain extraordinary measures during the Bihar elections which are disturbing. The central observers are acting in a manner which is outside their jurisdiction by interfering in the executive and police functions. Some of these actions have raised questions about partisanship. During the recent Asansol by-elections in West Bengal too such partisan actions by the central observers were seen.

Another recent decision by the Commission to delete names of persons from the voters list against whom non-bailable warrants exist and are absconding is also questionable. The Polit Bureau decided to take up such matters with the Election Commission.

Price Rise

The Polit Bureau noted that there is a steep increase in the prices of various commodities which are adversely affecting the people. The prices of onions have shot up. Prices of vegetables have gone up. Shortage of cooking gas has led to high prices in the black market. The increase in the prices of petroleum products are now impacting on the prices of essential commodities. The central government should take immediate steps to relieve shortages and to check price rise.

Approach to IT Sector

The Polit Bureau discussed the question of the understanding regarding the IT sector. The right to form trade unions and resort to collective bargaining should exist in the IT sector. Labour laws of the country should be applicable to the enterprises in this sector. As for the nature of work and services in the IT sector are concerned , the Polit Bureau decided to prepare a comprehensive document which will be placed before the Central Committee.

Scheduled Tribes Bill

The Polit Bureau discussed the provisions of the proposed Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill. The Party’s views on some of these provisions were finalised. The Polit Bureau expects this bill to be introduced in the forthcoming winter session of parliament.

Women’s Reservation Bill

The Central Committee of the Party has already demanded that the Women’s Reservation Bill be introduced in the winter session of parliament. The Polit Bureau decided that the Party should conduct a mass campaign to demand the introduction of the Bill without delay. For this, the Polit Bureau called upon all its Party units to observe a day on November 21, 2005.

Next Central Committee Meeting

The Polit Bureau decided to hold the next meeting of the Central Committee on December 14, 15 and 16 at New Delhi. This will be preceded by the meeting of the Polit Bureau on December 13.