Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) has issued the following statement after its meeting held on 25th April 1999:

The defeat of the BJP government in the vote of confidence was a result of the breakdown of its alliance with the withdrawal of support by the AIADMK. The end of the 13-month Vajpayee government is therefore a logical result of the opportunistic alliance that the BJP forged. In the past one year, the BJP government signified penetration of the Hindutva ideology in the State institutions and education, attacks on minorities and reactionary economic policies. The end of the one-year rule of the BJP-led government, which has proved disastrous for the country, is a welcome development. The unity of the Left, democratic and secular forces ensured this.

However, the efforts to form an alternative government have failed. The CPI(M) had been maintaining for the past one year that in the event of a breakdown of the BJP-led coalition, it is for the Congress party, being the largest opposition party, to form a government and the CPI(M) would support it from the outside. Such a stand was adopted by the CPI(M) despite basic differences with the Congress, as we were fully conscious of the danger of having a communal party in the Central government. In the past one-week the CPI(M) consistently made efforts to see that the secular parties adopt a similar position. Unfortunately, the unity of all these forces for this purpose could not be achieved. The Samajwadi Party, which has been playing a major role in the struggle against communalism, refused to extend support to a Congress government, contrary to its earlier repeated assertions in this regard. This alongwith the stand taken by two of the Left parties, RSP and Forward Bloc, ensured that no alternative government led by the biggest party in the opposition could be formed. The BJP and the communal forces have benefited from this sectarian stance.

The Polit Bureau in its meeting on April 25, after taking stock of the situation, reiterated its resolve to prevent the BJP making a comeback to government. With this in view, the Polit Bureau decided that if the Congress party, after making all efforts, fails to muster a majority, then an alternative from the third force should be considered. Such a proposal would have some basis only if the Congress extended support for it. However, the Congress refused to do so motivated by its narrow party interests and without adequate concern for warding off the communal danger. A party which expected other secular and Left parties to extend support to it to form the government, in its turn, refused to cooperate, stating that no one else should have the opportunity to form the government. The Congress party will have to answer to the people for this shortsighted stand.

Now the only way out of the political impasse is fresh elections. Appropriate tactics will have to be worked out to wage an effective fight to isolate and defeat the BJP and to strengthen the Left, democratic and secular forces. For this purpose, the Polit Bureau has convened a meeting of the Central Committee of the party on May 7 and 8, 1999.