June 9, 2014
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on June 7 & 8, 2014. It has issued the following statement:
Review of Lok Sabha Election
The Central Committee discussed and adopted a review report of the Lok Sabha election. The Central Committee conducted an in-depth discussion which critically assessed the poor performance of the Party. The Polit Bureau and the Central leadership took the primary responsibility for the failure to expand the independent strength and the decline in the mass base of the Party which was reflected in the election results.
The Central Committee discussed the review of the election results in West Bengal where the Party and the Left Front have suffered a serious reverse. The Central Committee discussed the political and organisational steps to be taken so that the Party in West Bengal can reorient its work and forge close links with the people. The Party will take the lead in taking up the issues of the working people and conduct struggles and movements. Immediate steps should be taken to protect the Party cadres and supporters who are facing continuous attacks.
The Central Committee congratulated the Tripura State Committee for the unprecedented victory. The Party and the Left Front polled 64.4 per cent of the vote, winning the two seats with huge margins.
The Central Committee decided to review the political line and the organisational functioning in order to take corrective measures. The Party will go to the people, forge close links with the masses and will ceaselessly conduct struggles and movements to defend the livelihood interests of the people, secularism and democratic rights. The Central Committee is united in its resolve to face the challenges arising out of the new political situation in the country.
Trinamul Violence Condemned
The Central Committee condemned the continuing violence and attacks on its cadres and Left supporters by the Trinamul Congress in West Bengal. Ten CPI(M) members and supporters were killed during the election campaign and in the post-poll violence. The Central Committee called upon the Party and the Left forces to conduct solidarity campaigns all over the country in defence of democracy and against the violence in West Bengal.
With the Narendra Modi government taking office, the people are expecting that the acute problems they are facing will be addressed such as price rise, unemployment, agrarian distress and increasing crimes against women.
However, the BJP-led government seems more interested in raising issues which are divisive. The talk of abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution by a minister has caused serious apprehensions. This can only lead to more alienation amongst the people in Kashmir. Nothing should be done that will undermine the special status accorded to Jammu & Kashmir which is a solemn commitment to the people at the time of the state’s accession to the Indian Union.
Moves are afoot to increase FDI entry into defence production and other sectors like insurance. The CPI(M) is opposed to such steps. There are also moves to grant environmental clearance to a large number of projects in the mining and power sectors which have serious implications for the environment and the rights of the tribal people in these areas. The Modi government should desist from taking such steps without taking into account the environmental factors and the rights of the tribal and local people.
Spate of Communal Incidents
Ever since the polling for the Lok Sabha elections ended and the new government assumed office there have been more than a dozen communal incidents across the country. Communal clashes have been reported from Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP, Karnataka and other places. There has been the brutal killing of a young Muslim IT professional by men belonging to the Hindu Rashtra Sena in Pune. It seems the mood of triumphalism has led to communal incidents often targeting the minority community. The Central Committee strongly condemned such attacks and resolved to work to protect the minority community while countering all forms of communalism.
Increasing Crimes Against Women
It is a matter of deep concern that sexual assaults against women and children continue to increase raising questions as to whether India is a country safe for its women. The lack of political will to take the necessary measures to curb assaults on women has been exemplified by the spate of horrific cases of rape and murder of the victims in Uttar Pradesh such as in Badaun. The state Government has failed to curb lawlessness including in its own police force. On the contrary statements by top leaders of the Samajwadi Party trivialize the crime of rape and encourage the callousness of the police and officials in dealing with such cases.
There have also been a big increase in cases of sexual assault in Rajasthan including in the Chief Minister’s own constituency where victims have been denied justice. The shocking statements by the Home Ministers in BJP led Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh display utter insensitivity and raise questions whether victims of sexual assault in these States can ever hope for justice. There is no respite from the growing attacks on women in West Bengal.
The Central Committee demanded that the state governments concerned take firm and effective action in all such cases and send out a message that such crimes will not be tolerated.
Below is the report on the press conference
CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said that Party had decided to review the political line of the Party and to examine why there has been an alienation of sections of the people from the Party. He was addressing the press today at the Party headquarters after the two day central committee meeting of the Party that concluded in New Delhi yesterday. The meeting was held to review the Party’s performance in the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.
Prakash said that the “Polit Bureau and the Central leadership took the primary responsibility for the failure to expand the independent strength and the decline in the mass base of the Party which was reflected in the election results.”
He also said that the Central Committee decided to review the political line and the organisational functioning in order to take corrective measures and that “the Party will go to the people, forge close links with the masses and will ceaselessly conduct struggles and movements to defend the livelihood interests of the people, secularism and democratic rights”.
“The Party”, Prakash said “has decided to initiate studies on the impact of liberalization and the neo-liberal policies in the last two decades and to assess the impact on various classes and the differentiation that has taken place within these classes and the resultant changes that have taken place in their outlook and values.” Such a study he said “will help us adopt correct slogans and demands”.
About organisational measures that the Party proposes to take, the CPI(M) General Secretary said that the Party would undertake an indept analysis of the functioning of the various committees and why the party was not able to translate the various movements that it has led into influence among the people and revamp the organization in the changed situation.
Answering questions about the electoral setback in West Bengal, Prakash said that of the around 77,000 booths in the state around 10,000 were rigged and another 7,000 were partially rigged. But these were not the only reasons, he admitted. He said that the apart from this, the Party has not been able to recover the erosion in its support that it had lost during the 2009 Lok Sabha and 2011 assembly elections in the state. He also admitted that the Party had underestimated the impact of the BJP and the media campaign conducted by it. Sections of people who had voted for the Left earlier have voted for the BJP this time he said.
He said that the West Bengal committee has gone into the reasons for the serious reverse and discussed the political organisational steps which are required to reorient the party and re-forge links with the people.
Prakash said that the reason for the excellent showing by the Party in Tripura is because of the good work done by the Party and its government there.
Prakash said that though the LDF in Kerala was able to improve its performance by winning four more seats than last time, it was still below expectations in the favourable political situation obtaining in the state. He said that the Kerala State Committee has reviewed the results and has discussed about measures to be taken to advance the Party’s and LDF’s influence among sections of the people.
Putting to rest media speculation about certain Polit Bureau members offering their resignation, Prakash Karat said that “There has been no such offer, either in the PB or CC.