The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met from August 6 to 8, 2021. It has issued the following Communique:
The Central Committee discussed the following issues: (a) review of the assembly elections in Kerala, West Bengal, Tamilnadu & Puducherry and Assam (b) a report on political developments and a call for national campaign and (c) convening of the 23rd Congress of the CPI(M).
Assembly Election Review
The results of this round of Assembly elections is a setback for the BJP in Kerala, Tamilnadu and West Bengal. In Assam, it managed to retain its government with a razor thin higher vote share of 0.78 per cent more than the opposition `Mahajot’. Despite all its efforts to sharpen communal polarization, spending unprecedented amounts of money, aggressively misusing Central agencies and manipulating the electoral apparatus, intimidating and threatening opposition parties and its leaders, the BJP and its allies failed to get the people’s support that they sought and have been decisively defeated in Kerala, West Bengal and Tamilnadu.
Kerala: The Central Committee hails the resounding victory of the Left Democratic Front in Kerala. It thanks the people of Kerala for reposing faith in the LDF and in an unprecedented manner re-electing an incumbent government. The LDF’s result is better than in the last assembly elections.
The people of Kerala have voted on the performance of the incumbent government, the alternative policies pursued, the manner in which all the natural calamities were tackled, exemplary manner of handling the pandemic and its fallout, welfare measures undertaken and safeguarding the secular democratic harmonious character of Kerala society.
West Bengal: The BJP suffered a setback despite its money power and all machinations in West Bengal. The people of Bengal have very clearly rejected the ideology of communal polarisation.
For the CPI(M) and the Left Front, these results have been devastating. For the first time since 1946, no Communist has been elected to the assembly. The Central Committee in a sharp self-critical introspection drew lessons and outlined the corrective measures to be undertaken. The state committee of West Bengal will discuss and implement this review.
Tamilnadu: As part of the victorious DMK-led front, two CPI(M) MLAs were elected.
Assam: In seat adjustments with the `Mahajot’, the CPI(M) won the MLA from Sorbhog constituency. The Party would be represented in the assembly after a gap of ten years.
In all these states, the steps that the Party must undertake in the post-election situation have been discussed and outlined for the state committees to take follow-up action.
Covid Pandemic Situation: The corona infections continue to rise. To prevent a catastrophic third wave, it is absolutely essential that the rate of vaccination increases exponentially. Currently a mere 11.3 per cent of our adult population has received both the doses and 40 per cent, including this 11.3 per cent, received a single dose. At this rate, the target of vaccinating the entire adult population by the year end would be impossible. The slow pace of vaccination is mainly due to vaccine shortages. We require to vaccinate at a rate of one crore doses a day to meet the target. The Central government must immediately procure vaccines globally and intensify the vaccination drive.
Covid Mismanagement and Deepening Economic Recession: The Covid mismanagement by the Central government and the virtual destruction of the economy by its policies, is imposing severe misery on our people. Unemployment is sharply growing. There is an alarming rise of poverty accompanied by a run-away inflation. The double whammy attack of joblessness with low incomes and rising prices are eating into the vitals of people’s livelihood and pushing families into a debt trap.
Instead of addressing these issues and providing relief to the people, this BJP Central government continues to aggressively loot India’s national assets and people’s wealth through large-scale privatization and sharpening communal polarization accompanied by growing attacks on women, dalits and adivasis and people’s democratic rights and civil liberties.
Parliament Disruption: In this situation of tremendous problems before the country and the people, the ruling BJP and the Central government are disrupting the Parliament with its obdurate refusal to discuss the Pegasus spyware surveillance issue. This BJP Central government is displaying an unprecedented brazen refusal to be accountable to the Parliament as the Constitution ordains.
At the same time, while disrupting the Parliament, it is legislating various Bills, through the din, that are anti-people and those that dilute India’s economic sovereignty. This is unacceptable and will be resisted.
Pegasus Spyware Surveillance: That the government of India is procuring the Pegasus military spyware for surveillance of people is very alarming. The government refuses to answer one straight question. Has it, or, any of its agencies engaged the Israeli firm – NSO, the worldwide leader in cyber military surveillance – for the use of Pegasus military spyware? The government must answer and come clean. Such surveillance is not only a gross violation of people’s fundamental right to privacy but is an attack on Indian democracy and democratic institutions. The list of those under surveillance include political leaders, journalists, a former Supreme Court judge and officers of the judiciary, a former CBI Chief, a former Election Commissioner etc. This is ominous. Apart from individuals, this is an attack on institutions that act as vital checks and balances in a democracy and discharge their Constitutional responsibilities.
There should be an immediate high-powered enquiry monitored by the Supreme Court to establish the truth and punish the guilty.
Historic Kisan Struggle: Independent India have not seen such an unprecedented over eight month-long continuous struggle by the Indian farmers demanding the repeal of the agri-laws and legal right to sell at an MSP of C2+50 per cent cost of production.
This peaceful protest has drawn solidarity from vast sections of the Indian people and continues to do so. The parallel `kisan sansad’, that is going on till the end of this Parliament session, highlights the widespread support to these demands.
Joint Protests by the Trade Unions, Kisan Sabhas and Agricultural Labour Organisations: The coming together of the trade unions, kisan sabhas and agricultural labour organisations is a historic step in strengthening the unity of the basic working people of our country in defence of their rights and to safeguard the country’s assets.
Working Class Actions: Large-scale protests and struggles against the privatization is taking place in various public sector undertakings and sectors. The GIC employees have held a complete strike on August 4 all across the country. The entire sector of the electricity employees and officers for the first time is going on strike on August 10.
Other Sections: the Youth are rising against growing unemployment demanding the filling up of vacant government and related departments. Students are in protest demanding the creation of conditions for early reopening of educational institutions and for strengthening public education. Women have been on the streets fighting against hunger and distributing relief to the people.
Tripura: Stop Attacks
The Central Committee strongly condemned the continuing attacks by BJP goons on CPI(M) offices and cadres in Tripura. Last week, the Kamalpur sub-divisional office of the Party at Manikbhander was set on fire. Earlier, CPI(M) leader Ranjit Ghosh was attacked and badly injured in a local office in Kamalpur. Such attacks on offices and arson have taken place in Belonia and Jirania sub-divisions too.
CPI(M) delegations had met the Governor and the Chief Minister in the past regarding these attacks and they had assured that such violence would not be allowed. But, despite this, the reign of terror continues.
The Central Committee calls upon the state government to put an end to these brazen attacks on the opposition and protect democratic rights.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) congratulates all those who won medals in the Tokyo Olympics and brought glory. It is historic that for the first time ever India won an Olympic medal in athletics and that too a gold medal. While the men’s hockey team won the bronze medal, the women’s hockey team put up a spirited performance to rank fourth. It is heartening that three of the six individual medal winners are women.
Despite these sterling performances, the low tally of medals show how neglected sports is in the country. There has to be a comprehensive policy of State support to sports facilities and training by both the Centre and state governments.
Condemn Casteist Slur
The Central Committee strongly condemned the casteist slurs against women’s hockey player, Vandana Katariya, in Hardwar and demands strict action against those culprits.
75th Anniversary of India’s Independence
The Central Committee decided that the Party will observe this anniversary highlighting the role of the Communists in the freedom struggle; Communist Party’s contributions to the building of modern India and consolidating the `Idea of India’; the complete absence and at times collaboration of the RSS with the British during the freedom struggle; and the vicious undermining of the Constitutional secular democratic Republic of India today.
23rd Congress of CPI(M)
The Central Committee decided to convene the 23rd Congress of the Party in the month of April 2022 in Kannur, Kerala. This is subject to the concrete situation of the pandemic while observing necessary protocols.
Central Committee Demands
The Central Committee demands that the following issues must be implemented by the Central government:
1. Procure vaccines globally and speed up the free universal mass vaccination drive immediately; adequate compensation for those who lost their life due to Covid; vastly expand public health care system.
2. Implement free cash transfers of Rs. 7,500 per month to all families outside the income tax bracket.
3. Distribute free food kits containing all essential commodities of daily consumption to all the needy.
4. Withdraw hikes in Central Excise duties on all petroleum products and control galloping inflation.
5. Repeal agri-laws and legislate right to sell at MSP which is C2+50 per cent.
6. Stop and reverse the privatisation of the public sector; repeal the labour codes.
7. Restore the rights of the working people to protest through strikes and for wage bargaining.
8. Announce monetary stimulus packages for revival of MSMEs, not provision of loans.
9. Vastly enlarge MGNREGA with increasing guarantee for 200 days with at least doubling of wages.
10. Legislate an urban employment guarantee programme on similar lines.
11. Increase public investments to build our economic and social infrastructure generating jobs and boosting domestic demand; fill up vacancies in government jobs.
12. Prioritise the vaccination of teachers, staff and students to ensure early re-opening of educational institutions.
13. Immediate Supreme Court monitored judicial enquiry into the use of Pegasus spyware for surveillance of people.
14. High level investigation into the Rafale deal – the cancellation of the earlier order and placing of a new order at higher cost.
15. Release all political prisoners including those under draconian UAPA in Bhima Koregaon case and anti-CAA protests.
On the basis of the above demands, the Central Committee calls for organising countrywide protests and struggles by the state committees and all lower units during the month of September depending on the local conditions of the pandemic and associated lockdowns. The state committees will decide the details of these protest actions over the month.
Efforts must be made to draw in all other sections who are willing to join these protest actions on the above demands.
The CPI(M) has already extended its support to the nationwide call by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha for the observance of the Quit India Day anniversary with protest actions all across the country.
(For CPI(M) Central Committee office)