The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met online on December 19, 2020. It has issued the following statement:
Hail Kerala Victory
The Polit Bureau hailed the victory of the LDF in the local body elections in Kerala and saluted the people of Kerala for once again reposing their faith in the LDF.
The LDF has won 11 out of the 14 district panchayats bettering its tally from 7 in 2015. In the municipal corporations, out of the 6 the LDF has won 5, improving from the 4 it won in 2015. At all levels there has been an improvement in LDF performance.
The Polit Bureau hails the unity among the 500 plus strong organisations who are peacefully with grit and determination continuing the massive Kisan struggle demanding the repeal of the retrograde agri laws and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The Polit Bureau extends the CPI(M)’s continued support to and solidarity with the struggle. The Polit Bureau called upon all Party units to organise solidarity actions in support of this glorious struggle in defence of Indian agriculture and our annadatas. The struggle has entered the 25th day. The Polit Bureau salutes the martyrdom of 31 kisans in this struggle. Despite the severe cold wave sweeping across North India, more kisans are pouring in to join and strengthen the struggle further.
The Polit Bureau reiterated the CPI(M)’s demand that the central government repeal these agri laws and then sit to discuss agrarian reforms with the kisans and other stakeholders and on that basis fresh enactments may be made in parliament.
Crippling Price Rise
On top of the unprecedented miseries mounted on people’s lives and livelihood by the pandemic, unplanned and unprepared lockdowns, comes the crippling rice in prices of essential commodities, worsening the plight of the people.
The prices of petroleum products, petrol and diesel have been continuously hiked. This pushes up the overall inflationary spiral due to increase in transportation costs. India today has the highest rate of taxes on petroleum products in the world. The central government is garnering resources at the expense of the people’s misery.
On top of this has come the massive hike in the prices of cooking gas cylinder. Between November and December 2020 the cost of one gas cylinder has increased by Rs 100/-
The miseries imposed due to the pre-pandemic economic slowdown has worsened during the course of this year. Prime Minister Modi and his government seem totally unconcerned about imposing further burdens and miseries on the people.
Alarming Hunger & Escalating Job Losses
The latest National Family Health Survey has shown an alarming rise in malnutrition, particularly among our children, the future of India. This signals a hunger alert in the country that is destroying the health of our people.
PM Modi and the central government refuse even in the face of exponential job loss and growing hunger to give cash transfers and free food to all needy people. More than 10 crore tonnes of foodgrains are rotting in the FCI godowns but the government refuses to distribute free food.
The Polit Bureau reiterates the Party’s demand for an immediate cash transfer of Rs. 7500 per month for six months and distribution of free food grains of 10 kg per individual for the next six months.
Instead of using the available resources to feed our people and provide them with some means of livelihood, this central government is squandering our country’s resources in constructing new buildings and the Central Vista including a new parliament. In the midst of this pandemic and mounting people’s woes, the Prime Minister laid the foundation for the construction of the new parliament.
The CPI(M) demands that this project of the Central Vista be scrapped. The money allocated for this must be transferred to provide free food and cash transfers to our beleaguered people.
Cancelling Winter Session of Parliament
The Polit Bureau strongly denounced the unprecedented cancellation of the Winter Session of Parliament using the pretext of the Covid pandemic. The pandemic is not any problem for the BJP to organise its election campaign and rallies but it has chosen to avoid being answerable to the parliament. It is thus abandoning its constitutional responsibility of being accountable in the parliament.
Clearly, the Modi government is escaping answering questions over its allround failure in tackling the pandemic effectively and the economic recession while mercilessly attacking the livelihood of the people and destroying the rights of the working people and the peasantry. The people shall make the government answer.
Wistron Workers Protest
The Polit Bureau noted that the protest by workers and the incident that occurred in the Wistron company factory near Bengaluru was a result of the non-payment of wages to contract workers for four months and making them work for 12 hours without any overtime pay. The multi-national company is a contractor for making I phones of Apple corporation. More than eighty per cent of the 10,000 workers employed in the factory are non-permanent contract employees. Such violations of existing laws are the norm in enterprises owned by the MNCs. When the new labour codes come into effect, it will be an open invitation to violate the rights of workers.
It is strange that the Karnataka Chief Minister is condemning the workers and supporting the company when The Apple Corp. itself has found its supplier company had violated norms.
The Polit Bureau condemns the widespread arrests and police repression on workers. The Modi government must stop adopting an anti-worker stance in its eagerness to attract FDi into the country.
Next Central Committee Meeting
The Polit Bureau decided to convene the next Central Committee meeting of the Party on January 30-31, 2021.
The Polit Bureau called upon all Party units:
· To organise solidarity actions with the ongoing struggles of the kisans demanding repeal of the agri laws.
· To support the actions of the working class in the ongoing struggles against large-scale privatisation, the scrapping of labour laws and the loot of India’s national assets.
· To conduct a rigorous campaign against the barrage of disinformation being unleashed by the central government on the ongoing people’s struggles.