Polit Bureau Communique

February 19, 2017

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met on February 19, 2017 at New Delhi. It has issued the following statement:

State Assembly Elections

The CPI(M) along with other Left parties are together  contesting the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur.  In Uttar Pradesh, the CPI(M) has fielded candidates in 26 constituencies; in Uttarakhand, it fielded candidates in six constituencies; in Punjab, it fielded in 12 constituencies; and in Manipur, it is contesting two seats. 

The CPI(M) along with Left parties are contesting elections with the primary objective of projecting the Left policy alternative before the people appealing to the people to strengthen the Left representation in the respective Assemblies, so that people’s grievances that remain unheard today in these assemblies can be raised by the Left representatives. Through this, the Left parties, particularly the CPI(M), aims to build pressure on the state governments to address these issues and provide the much-needed relief to the people.

In those constituencies where the CPI(M) and the Left candidates are not in the fray, the CPIM) has called for the defeat of the BJP and the candidates of the communal combination.  This is essential in order to ensure that the people’s protest against the pincer attack of sharpening communal polarization and imposing unprecedented economic burdens on the people is resisted and eventually defeated.  The imposition of unheard of burdens on the people due to the demonetization is also being opposed in this campaign. 

Electoral Reforms

In this election campaign to the state assemblies, Prime Minister Modi and the BJP leaders have been focusing on the need to make the funding of political parties more transparent.  The PM and the BJP will do well to first be transparent on their own funding.  BJP and allies are indulging in massive display of money power in all their election rallies. 

The measures announced in the Union Budget for the so-called cleansing of the system of political funding by the Finance Minister constitute a mere eyewash.  The reduction of cash donations from the existing   Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 2,000; and donations above this amount be made through a digital transaction and the purchase of electoral bonds by donors to be redeemable by the political parties with whom these are deposited do not, in any way, constitute any effective measures.

The CPI(M) has long been suggesting that if the growing excessive  use of money power distorting the democratic  choices to be made by the people in the electoral process is to be checked, then the first step should be to ban corporate funding to political parties.  Secondly, a ceiling must be imposed on the expenditures incurred by a political party during elections. Currently, there is a ceiling on the expenditures incurred by the candidates, but no ceiling or control  over the expenditures incurred by the political parties.  During the last nearly three years of this BJP government, it has outrightly refused to consider these suggestions.   On the issue of electoral reforms, the CPI(M) has been making important suggestions for a long time now.

The CPI(M) had suggested that the electoral system should be changed to adopt a partial proportional representation whereby the true reflection of the people’s democratic choice can be found in government formation. Almost all central governments since independence have formed governments with less than 50 per cent of the popular vote polled in general elections. The current BJP led Modi government has a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha with a mere 31 per cent of the polled vote share; 69 per cent of the people who have voted have voted against the BJP, save except those parties which have subsequently joined the NDA. Democracy as a rule of the majority has not really been implemented in the country. We had earlier proposed that two constituencies can be clubbed into one where one of the individual candidate will contest and in the other people will choose a political party on the basis of its political manifesto, policies and programmes. This will be a better reflection of the democratic choice of the people.  Proportional representation also has the advantage of curbing to some extent factors like money power, caste considerations etc as people would be voting for the programmes and policies of the political parties.

Following discussions with other political parties and social organizations and movements, the CPI(M), along with the CPI, proposes to hold a national convention on thoroughgoing electoral reforms shortly.  The CPI(M) shall approach other political parties who are willing to take up these substantive issues to be bring into effect the much needed reforms in our electoral process. 

Discrimination against SCs and STs

The Polit Bureau expresses its dismay over the meager allocations made in the Union Budget for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.  With the abolition of the Planning Commission and the Five Year Plans from this year, the sub-plans for SCs and STs have virtually ceased to exist.  As a result, huge amounts that were to be sanctioned for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes today remain unsanctioned.  The current union budget allocates a meager 2.44 per cent of the total budgetary outlay for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and a miniscule 1.48 per cent for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes.

In the light of this, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau has decided that in coordination with other Left parties and social movements connected with dalit rights, to demand the following:

1) The denied amounts totalling to SCs (Rs.71,139Cr) and to STs (Rs 34,349 crore) need to be urgently allocated.
2) Legislate Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) for Accountability, Participation and Transparency: A central legislation is required clearly spelling allocations and mechanisms for implementation both at the Union and State Governments level  regarding budgetary allocation under Scheduled Caste Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan.
3) Apart from the 10% specific allocation for women in SCSP-TSP, there should be special mechanism to prioritise women beneficiaries.
4) Release of backlog of over  Rs. 12,000 crores earmarked for post matric scholarships for SC/ST students.  These monies should be re-allocated to provide the continued benefits to SC/ST students in higher education.

The CPI(M), along with other Left parties from dalit organizations and social movements, will organize popular movements and struggles on these issues and simultaneously raise them in parliamentary fora.

Seminar of South Asian Countries

As a part of the year-long observation of the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Polit Bureau proposes, in accordance with the decision of the last Central Committee meeting, to organize a two-day seminar of Communists and Workers Parties from Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in September 2017.  The theme of the seminar would focus on confronting “Imperialism, Communalism and Fundamentalism in the Contemporary Era – Abiding Relevance of October Revolution”.

Central Committee Meeting

The next Central Committee meeting will be held on April 18-19, 2017.  The Polit Bureau will meet on April 17.

Polit Bureau Communique

August 8, 2009

Press Communiqué

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on July 29 and 30. It has issued the following statement:

Indo-US Nuclear Agreement

The Polit Bureau discussed the developments regarding the Indo-US nuclear agreement. It expressed its serious concern at the manner in which the terms of the agreement have been changed and new provisions attached by the United States. The bill passed in the House of Representatives and the draft to be taken up in the Senate make it amply clear that the terms and conditions are not those about which the Prime Minister had made a statement in parliament.

In such a situation it is imperative that parliament discuss the issue. People in India are asking the legitimate question how is it that an issue which concerns the vital interests of India is being discussed threadbare and decisions taken in the US Congress, while the Indian parliament does not even scrutinize the matter.

The Polit Bureau therefore reiterated that the nuclear agreement should be taken up in the monsoon session of parliament itself. It is no use discussing the matter after the US Congress adopts the relevant law.

The Sense of Parliament should be expressed so that the parameters of the agreement which are in conformity with India’s interests are spelt out. The UPA government should work towards accomplishing this aim.

Terrorist Attacks

The Polit Bureau denounced the terrorist outrage perpetrated in Mumbai by the blasts in seven suburban trains. It appreciated the way the ordinary people rallied to assist the victims of the attacks and their determination to maintain unity and communal amity.

Strengthening of intelligence and better coordination among the security agencies are necessary to uncover the terrorist network and to check such violence.

Curb Price Rise

The Polit Bureau expressed serious concern at the price rise of essential commodities which are a burden on the people. The debate on the price rise situation in parliament has shown that the government is unwilling to take effective steps to check price rise. Firstly, the government should take steps to remove foodgrains and other essential commodities from the ambit of futures and forward trading. Secondly, strict action should be taken against those indulging in speculation and hoarding of essential commodities.

The Polit Bureau expressed serious concern at the collapse of the public distribution system. The government has to immediately take steps to strengthen the PDS by including more essential commodities. The criteria for BPL cards should be changed so that all poor people come under its purview. The wheat allocations to the states which have been cut must be restored.

Forest Tribal Bill

The Polit Bureau urged the government to accept all the major recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill. The Polit Bureau is of the firm view that the JPC recommendations are crucial for assuring the rights of the tribal people in the forests. The Bill should be adopted in the current session of parliament incorporating the JPC recommendations.

Aggression on Lebanon

The Polit Bureau strongly condemned the continuing Israeli military attack on Lebanon. The savage bombing raids and shelling have  displaced more than 20 per cent of the population from their homes. Hundreds  have died and thousands have been injured. The Bush administration has abetted Israel by preventing a ceasefire being declared and encouraging Israel to carry on its blatant aggression by supplying lethal bombs and weapons.

The CPI(M) is collecting funds in  solidarity with the Palestinian people who have been facing the Israeli military attack for the last two months. The Polit Bureau called upon all its Party units to combine this fund campaign with solidarity with the Lebanese people and condemnation of the Israeli aggression.

The Polit Bureau reiterated its demand that the Indian government suspend arms purchases from Israel in view of its blatant violation and disregard of international and humanitarian norms.

August Campaign

The Polit Bureau reviewed the preparations for the national political campaign of the Party beginning from August 1. Leaders of the Party will be addressing scores of public meetings all over the country to highlight the political platform of the CPI(M) against communalism, for alternative economic policies, for addressing the immediate problems of the farmers and other sections of the working people, for strengthening the public distribution system and for an independent foreign policy.