The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in Agartala, Tripura from December 13 to 15, 2013. This is the first time that the Central Committee of the Party has been held in Tripura. After the meeting, the Central Committee has issued the following statement:
The Central Committee adopted a condolence resolution paying homage to Nelson Mandela, Võ Nguyên Giáp, Shyamali Gupta, member of the Central Committee and Y. Radhakrishnamurthy, former member of Andhra Pradesh Secretariat of the Party.
Price Rise and Callous Government
There has been no let up in the price rise for the common people. The overall retail inflation touched 11.24 per cent in November, the highest in the last nine months. The poorer sections are hit the worst by the unprecedented price rise in food items. Vegetable prices rose by 61.6 per cent in November from a year earlier. The prices of all other food items have also gone up steeply. The Manmohan Singh Government has set a new callous record in refusing to take steps to curb price rise. On the contrary, the government is promoting runaway increase in food prices by allowing speculation in the forward trading of essential commodities. The deregulation of petroleum pricing has also contributed to the inflationary spiral. Thus the UPA government is directly responsible for the price burden and suffering of the people. The Central Committee demanded the reversal of the policies which contribute to inflation and price rise.
WTO: Bali Negotiations
In the Bali round of negotiations in the WTO, the Indian government has claimed that it was won a victory on the maintenance of food subsidies. But this is misleading. The only concession that they got was that instead of “temporary” an “interim” peace clause has been put in place for four years until a permanent solution is found. The commerce minister’s public posturing and the text agreed to are at variance. The ministerial decision clearly shows how it will compromise India’s food security and farmer’s livelihoods. The agreement will threaten expansion of the present programme of food security and price support to farmers as well as universalisation of PDS. According to this agreement, countries are also to provide information on their administered prices and the volume of stocks purchased. This can unnecessarily cripple domestic policies and priorities being questioned in the WTO’s committee on agriculture impinging on India’s sovereign rights.
The Bali ministerial meeting also came up with an imbalanced package which will mean expensive customs agreements for developing countries in the name of Trade Facilitation. This is a deal made to promote the interests of predatory agri-businesses who monopolise trade.
The Central Committee discussed the situation with regard to the rising incidents of communal violence. The Muzaffarnagar riots in Western UP witnessed a major outbreak in September in which the worst sufferers were the Muslim minorities. Even three months after the violence, a large number of people are still in camps and have been unable to return to their homes. No arrests have been made in most of the FIRs lodged in serious crimes like murder and rape. The Central Committee called upon the UP state government to take immediate measures to arrest the culprits and steps to rehabilitate all the riot-affected victims and facilitate their return to their homes and for earning their livelihood.
Gujarat: Illegal Surveillance Case
The Central Committee called for an impartial probe into the illegal surveillance conducted on a young women at the behest of the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah under the alleged instructions of the Gujarat Chief Minister. This violation of privacy and illegal surveillance using the state agencies including the anti-terrorism squad is a serious matter.
This requires a proper investigation and prosecution of those found guilty.
Assembly Election Results
The elections to the four states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Delhi have resulted in a severe defeat for the Congress. It has been routed in Rajasthan and Delhi where it was running governments. This popular verdict reflects the anger of the people against the Congress and at the dismal record of the Congress-led government at the Centre, with regard to price rise, high level corruption and other anti-people policies.
The BJP benefitted by winning in three states. In Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, despite the ten years of BJP rule, which was marked by misrule and corruption, the people did not find the Congress as an acceptable alternative. The lesson from the Delhi election is that where there is a viable alternative to the Congress and the BJP, the people have extended support to it. This explains the success of the Aam Aadmi Party which was able to win 28 seats.
These four states have had a bipolar situation with the Congress and the BJP being the main contestants. This is not the situation in most other states in India, where the fight is between the Congress and the regional parties or the Left and in some states, where there is a three-way contest. Hence the success of the BJP cannot be seen as the national pattern. The beneficiary of the anti-Congress mood among the people in many states will be the non-Congress, non-BJP parties which include the Left parties.
The Central Committee strongly condemned the attacks against the Party and the Left Front which is continuing in West Bengal after the violence and rigging in the panchayat elections. Since the assembly elections in May 2011, 142 members and activists were murdered by TMC goons. Thousands of cadres have been falsely implicated in criminal cases. All opposition party activities are sought to be suppressed. Recently, 76 year old former minister and leader of the Forward Bloc, Naren De, was seriously injured in an attack while holding a meeting in a party office.
Under the Trinamul rule so far, eighty-nine farmers have committed suicides in the state. Attacks and crimes against women have increased alarmingly. Lakhs of people have been swindled of their savings in the Saradha chit fund scam.
The Central Committee demanded an end to all anti-democratic actions and attacks on the Left Front and the opposition. It called for a CBI probe under the supervision of the Supreme Court into the Saradha chit fund scam so that the perpetrators of the scam and their political backers can be prosecuted.
In Kerala, the struggle for the resignation of the Chief Minister and the holding of a judicial enquiry on the solar panel scam continuing. The LDF has been taking up various issues affecting the people. At its call a state-wide hartal was observed against the implementation of the recommendations of the Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats, without due consultations with the people. The differences within the Congress party and the problems amongst the UDF partners is affecting governance and many urgent problems of the people are not being addressed.
The Central Committee welcomed the judgment of the CBI Special Court which has exonerated Pinarayi Vijayan and discharged him from the SNC Lavalin case. This was a politically motivated case and the Party had firmly rejected the false charges levelled. The verdict has vindicated the stand of the Party and exposed the nefarious designs of the UDF government in falsely implicating the CPI(M) leader.
Lok Sabha Elections
The Central Committee heard reports about the preparations for the Lok Sabha elections in the various states. The seats to be contested by the Party have been finalised in many states which include Assam, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, UP and Bihar. Electoral understanding and seat adjustments with some secular opposition parties are also being explored in certain states.
The Central Committee directed the state committees to step up the organisational preparations for the Lok Sabha elections.
M Basavapunnaiah Birth Centenary
The Central Committee adopted a resolution to observe the birth centenary of Communist leader and Marxist theoretician M. Basavapunnaiah. The anniversary began on December 14, 2013. The Central Committee decided to mark the birth centenary by conducting ideological campaigns based on the Marxist-Leninist outlook.
Call for Action
The Central Committee decided that all the state committees should organise a campaign on the following issues: against price rise, corruption and unemployment; taking up the issue of the farmers and rural poor; food security and against the growing attacks and violence against women. The state committees should organise the campaign by including the relevant state issues. This campaign should be conducted in the months of January and February 2014 in a time frame decided by the state concerned.
At the same time the Party should take up the range of issues affecting the people and conduct local struggles.
In the wake of the October 30 national convention against communalism, the Party should organise broad-based anti-communal conventions and rallies involving wider sections of the secular and democratic forces.