The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi from October 2 to 4, 2019. It has issued the following statement:
LDF Victory in Kerala
The Central Committee congratulated the people of Pala assembly for electing the candidate of the Left Democratic Front. This is an unprecedented victory. Considered a UDF stronghold, the LDF snatched this sitting UDF seat in the face of a big campaign mounted against the LDF and its government in Kerala.
J&K Situation: Far from “Normal”
Despite the Central Government and the BJP claiming from the roof-tops that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is “normal”, things are quite the opposite. Even CPI(M) Central Committee member, Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami, was not granted permission to attend the meeting of the Central Committee, though the government claimed in the Supreme Court, that he is not under detention. This shows that all the claims made by the government that so-called normalcy exists in the valley is completely opposite of the ground realities.
The clampdown on communications continues, public transport is off the roads, schools and other educational institutions remain closed, shops and other business establishments continue to remain shut. This situation has continued for over two months now. It has put the people in unprecedented hardships.
It is in this situation that the elections to the Block Development Council in Jammu & Kashmir have been announced. This is a travesty of democracy with the sole intention of portraying to the world that “normalcy” prevails. Further, 61 per cent of the seats of the panches and sarpanches who constitute the electoral college for the BDC elections are lying vacant.
The CPI(M) reiterates its demand for restoration of communications, movement, civil liberties and release of all political leaders and activists. Elections can only be held after the right to political activity is restored.
NRC Process and Connected Issues
The Chief Ministers of various BJP-ruled states have demanded a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in their states. The NRC was part of the Assam Accord and was specific to the state of Assam. It was under the direction of the Supreme Court that this process was conducted. Nearly 20 lakh people have been left out of the NRC in Assam. No genuine Indian citizen can be excluded. All the appeals by those excluded must be considered and adjugated by a judicial authority without any discrimination. The detention centres where those declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal are housed, lack basic amenities and the conditions are abysmal, violative of elementary human rights. These must be closed down and people should be allowed to stay as they did so far till their appeals are adjudicated.
The Central Committee of the CPI(M) opposes the extension of the NRC outside of Assam. This government has revived the preparation of the National Population Register (NPR). This is being done in preparation for an all India NRC on the basis of this NPR. BJP Central Government has asked some states to start constructing buildings to be used as detention centres.
All these exercises are unnecessary as the Aadhaar cards have been universalized in the country. The EPIC with the photo identity electoral rolls has the list of all voters of the country, which is routinely revised every year. When all these already exist, the simultaneous talk of extending the NRC beyond Assam, enumeration of the NPR, duplication the electoral rolls by the Electoral Verification Process and the assurance of passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill, all indicate the efforts to sharpen polarization in the country in order to consolidate the RSS/BJP’s communal vote bank.
The unprecedented economic slowdown in India, bordering on recession with large-scale unemployment, lakhs of workers being retrenched, the continuing agrarian distress are all imposing greater miseries on the people. Even according to the GDP data from the controversial 2011-12 base year series, the rate of growth of GDP has fallen successively over the last five quarters from 8.1 per cent in Q4 of 2017-18 to 5 per cent in Q1 of 2019-20. The Index of Industrial Production also confirms the slowdown – the Manufacturing Index of Industrial Production growth for the April-July period of 2019-20 was just 2.8 per cent compared to 5.6 per cent for the same period last year. The overall IIP growth for April-July similarly showed a drop to 3.3 per cent this year from 5.4 per cent last year. Capital Goods production in fact has contracted by 4.3 per cent (negative growth) compared to a 7.1 per cent increase in the same period last year. Consumer durables too have seen a contraction in their production by 2.7 per cent.
As a consequence of this economic recession unemployment has risen to unprecedented levels. The CMIE estimates on the basis of official figures, which are normally a gross underestimation; as of September 27, 2019, unemployment has reached 9.94 per cent - the highest in over half a century. By August end 4.5 crore people officially reported being unemployed. This is an increase of 1.1 crore from last August. Youth unemployment is estimated to be 28 per cent.
The Central Committee calls upon all its units to mobilise the largest sections of the people in response to the call given by the Left parties for an all India protest between October 10 & 16 on the following demands:
• Increased public investment to generate employment. Untill then the central government must provide unemployment allowance to the youth.
• Ensure a minimum wage of Rs. 21,000 per month.
• The government must ensure the provision of monthly living wages for the large number of workers who have been terminated.
• Stop privatization of the Public Sector. Withdraw 100% FDI in defence and coal sectors. Halt the large scale privatization of BSNL, ordnance factories, Indian Railways, Air India etc.
• Allocations for MGNREGA must be enhanced to ensure the payment of past dues and for providing a minimum of 200 days of work at the designated minimum wage.
• A one-time loan waiver to the farmers to meet agrarian distress, stem growing farmers suicides and announcement and implementation of the minimum support price one and half times higher than the input costs.
• Raise minimum monthly old age/widow pension to Rs. 3000.
State Assembly Elections
The Central Committee discussed the tactics to be adopted in the elections to the state assemblies of Maharashtra, Jharkhand & Haryana. Discussions with the Left, secular and democratic forces are going on for seat adjustments.
The full list of the candidates contesting these elections will be announced soon.
The endeavor of the CPI(M) in these elections will be to defeat the communal-fascistic forces led by the BJP and its allies and to strengthen the Left presence in the assemblies.
Observance of the
Centenary of the Foundation of the Communist Party
October 17, 2020 marks the 100th year of the foundation of the Communist Party of India. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has given a call for a year-long observation, beginning October 17, 2019 of the foundation of the Party.