The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in Kolkata on January 28-29, 2023. It has issued the following statement:
Allegations against Adani group
A high-level inquiry is essential on the allegations leveled by Hindenburg Research against the Adani group, monitored on a day-to-day basis by the Supreme Court. Till this enquiry is completed and the truth is known the interests of India and our people must be protected. Around Rs. 80,000 crores of LIC are invested in Adani companies and 40 per cent of all loans taken by the group from national banks are through the SBI. Both the LIC and the SBI are institutions where crores of Indians park their life long savings for their future security. Since this report became public Adani groups capitalization in stock market dropped by over $50 billion. This cannot lead to the ruination of people’s life long savings in these public sector institutions.
The CPI(M) will coordinate with other secular opposition parties and raise his issue in the forthcoming budget session of the Parliament.
The Indian economy continues to falter with recessionary conditions intensifying. Notwithstanding all propaganda and claims made by the government on economic recovery, investments in augmenting India’s productive capacities are not growing. This means that employment generation is stagnant, if not declining, contributing to greater poverty and miseries.
The obscene widening of inequality: The Oxfam report titled ‘Survival of the Richest: the India Supplement’ shows that more than 40 per cent of India’s wealth owned by mere 1 per cent of its population. The total wealth of 10 richest Indians stood at Rs. 27.52 lakh crores in 2022, a 32.8 per cent rise from 2021. The bottom 50 per cent of the population accounted for a meagre 3 per cent.
The total number of billionaires in India increased from 102 in 2020 to 166 in 2022. In stark contrast nearly 23 crore people – the highest in the world – live in poverty.
Noting the regressive taxation regime in India the report pointed out that the bottom 50 per cent of our people pay 6 times more on indirect taxation as a percentage of income as compared to the top 10 per cent. Of the total taxes collected from food and non-food essentials 64.3 per cent was incurred by the bottom 50 per cent.
It is high time that the tax concessions for the rich that continue to be given by the Modi government are reversed, a wealth tax and an inheritance tax be introduced and GST on all essentials especially food items must be abolished.
Sharpening Communal Polarisation
The efforts to sharpen communal polarization continue to escalate in various ways. All the BJP ruled states have announced that they shall proceed with the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in their state. This is accompanied by strident comments of abolishing the Muslim Personal Law. All the BJP state governments have already enacted laws targeting Muslim minorities either in the form of ‘love jihad’ or ‘cow protection’ and stipulating conditions that virtually prohibit any voluntary religious conversions and interfaith marriages. There are growing reports of dangerously intensified hatred against the Muslim students in educational institutions.
The Uttar Pradesh BJP state government has been aggressively pursuing incendiary communal polarization denying Muslim minorities basic Constitutional guarantees. Recently, principal of a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district suspended children singing a popular Urdu prayer song.
There have been large-scale attacks on the Christian community in the North Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. The propaganda of forcible conversion used as a pretext for such attacks is not borne out by facts. There has not been a single case of forcible conversion reported. This is a clear case of pursuing an agenda of targeting and attacking the Christian community and forcing them to accept ‘Ghar Vapsi’ by the Bajrang Dal under the patronage of RSS/BJP. Criminal assaults have taken place with violence unleashed, particularly against women and children.
A BJP MP and the president of the Wrestling Federation of India is facing serious allegations of sexual harassment by women wrestlers who have won medals in international tournaments. Neither the government nor the ruling party has taken any action against him.
Soon after the remission of life sentences of the guilty in the Bilkis Bano case, all 21 persons accused of rioting and in the cold-blooded murder of Mohsin Shaikh case in Pune in June 2014 have been acquitted and welcomed by a large contingent of Hindutva outfits. The police and the administration have so far not moved to contest this in a higher court.
Undermining Judicial Independence
Seeking to have a `tame’ judiciary, the government has been interfering in the appointment of judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court by delaying or refusing to clear various names recommended by the Supreme Court and the High Court collegiums.
The Modi government’s aim is to subordinate the higher judiciary to the executive. The erosion of judicial independence, as per the Constitutional scheme, would spell the complete domination of authoritarianism.
Role of Governors
Intensifying the assault on federalism, the Governors and Lieutenant Governors in non-BJP ruled states and Union Territories continue to advance the political objectives of the ruling party brazenly violating the Constitutional position. Governors in Kerala, Telangana, Maharashtra and now Tamilnadu and the Lieutenant Governors in Union Territories of Delhi, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Puducherry grossly misuse their Constitutional positions.
The Governor of Tamilnadu refused to read portion of the address to the Assembly prepared by the state government. The Governor of Kerala continues to sit on bills adopted by the elected state assembly.
Governor’s office is used as an instrument to undermine the Constitutional role of the state governments and smacks of an anti-federal tendency and penchant for centralization of powers.
Tripura Assembly Elections
The CPI(M) is seeking the cooperation of all secular democratic forces in Tripura to ensure that the BJP state government that has unleashed a politics of terror and violence undermining democracy and the rule of law is removed from the office.
The pattern of violence is clearly aimed at creating an atmosphere of terror and fear which will clearly affect the conduct of free and fair polls. The ECI must undertake emergency measures and proactively intervene to ensure free and fair polls.
Democracy and democratic rights must be restored in Tripura fully if there has to be a free and fair election.
1. Solidarity with the people and secular democratic forces in Tripura to restore democracy and democratic rights as a pre-condition for holding free and fair polls.
The CPI(M) will organize programmes all across the country expressing solidarity.
2. A nationwide call for protest action in the last week of February from 22nd to 28th against the continuing assaults on the peoples’ livelihood with growing unemployment, poverty and inequalities.
Along with issues that will arise in the 2023-24 Union Budget, this campaigns of protest actions will highlight the following demands:
• Hike public investments in job creating infrastructure projects.
• Restore 5 kg of subsidized foodgrains along with 5 kg free foodgrains.
• Vastly increase allocation for MGNREGS with a higher wage.
• Impose a wealth and inheritance tax
• Withdraw tax concessions to the rich and impose a tax on the super-rich
• Withdraw GST on food and essentials commodities including medicines.
3. The CPI(M) extends its full support to the call of the Mazdur-Kisan rally to the Parliament on April 5, 2023.
During the course of the month of March the CPI(M) will organize political campaigns and activities on the following issues all across the country:
(i) With growing attacks on federalism, protest against BJP’s policies against elected state governments, particularly non-BJP state governments and opposing the efforts to impose a unitary state structure destroying the federal structure.
(ii) Campaigns denouncing the BJP government’s efforts to undermine the independence of the judiciary. All democratic forces must be mobilized to defend the Constitutional role of the judiciary against the Modi government’s efforts to subordinate higher judiciary to the government.
(iii) For democratic and level playing field in electoral reforms to ensure a free and fair election. The 23rd Congress of the CPI(M) in its political resolution highlighted the set of electoral reforms that must be urgently introduced.
(iv) To organize solidarity campaigns with the Palestinian people and against the repression by the right-wing Israeli government.