The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met at New Delhi on November 13-14, 2021. It has issued the following statement:
Mockery of Reduction in Petrol and Diesel Prices
The cut in central excise duty of Rs. 5 per litre for petrol and Rs. 10 per litre for diesel provides no relief to the people who are suffering from the growing burden of higher prices of petroleum production.
This token reduction must be seen in the light of the fact that central excise constitutes Rs. 33 per litre of petrol and Rs. 32 per litre of diesel.
The Central government has made this meagre reduction from excise duties that are sharable with the states. However, it continues to collect special additional excise duty (surcharge) amounting to Rs. 74,350 crores; additional excise duty (cess) amounting to Rs. 1,98,000 crore; and other cess and surcharges amounting to Rs. 15,150 crores, totaling a whopping Rs. 2.87 lakh crores that are not sharable with the states.
The Polit Bureau demands that these additional cess and surcharges must be withdrawn immediately to provide some meaningful relief to the people.
The Polit Bureau condemns the decision of the Central government not to procure paddy at MSP prices from certain states under the specious argument that the Central godowns are full. Foodgrains rotting in godowns must be distributed free to the needy.
This cruel decision comes at a time when the farmers have been in a historic struggle for a year demanding the repeal of the Agri Laws and the legal right to sell at MSP for all crops.
The Polit Bureau demands that the Centre must procure all crops at MSP.
Stop Attacks against Minorities
It is a matter of great concern that reports of growing attacks against minorities all over the country continue to pour in. Clearly, rightwing groups patronized by the governments are emboldened to perpetuate such crimes. The administration, instead of protecting victims, actually punishes them and their supporters with the arrests under draconian laws. The mob violence in Assam and recently in Tripura happened under the patronage of the state administration, with anyone reporting news of such attacks being booked under UAPA.
In Uttar Pradesh, the use of NSA against the Muslims have become common place along with numerous “encounters”. The fundamental right to offer prayers is being curtailed, as the recent incidents in the NCR, Gurgaon, shown.
Human rights groups recently published a report of 300 incidents of attacks on Christians in the first nine months of 2021. Such attacks are continuing. Even FIRs filed are not being acted upon. Many of these belong to dalit and adivasi communities. Churches have been vandalized.
The Polit Bureau has called upon all its units to observe a day of protest against attacks on minorities that endanger our secular fabric and violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Withdraw BSF Jurisdiction Extension
The decision of the Central government to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force upto 50 kilometers from the international border from the earlier 15 kilometers in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam is a severe assault on the rights of the states and federalism, a basic feature of our Constitution.
Worse, this decision has been taken without consulting the states. Policing and law and order is a state subject under the Indian Constitution.
The Polit Bureau demands that this decision be withdrawn.
Even after the French investigative journal Mediapart revealed fresh evidence of commissions to middlemen in India and the documents related to this, along with the official negotiation details showing that the Dassault Aviation substantially benefitted, the Central government is refusing to investigate the scam.
The efforts to bury high level corruption involved in the Rafale deal and the cover-up operation are reprehensible. While many governments of other countries have in some manner ordered investigations, the Modi government continues to remain obdurate in refusing to conduct such an investigation. This smacks of total complicity.
The Polit Bureau demands that a high level independent enquiry must be conducted.
Support the Calls of the Kisan and Central Trade Unions
The Polit Bureau extended solidarity and support of the CPI(M) to the decision of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha to observe the first anniversary of the historic kisan struggle by strengthening the mobilization at the border points of Delhi and conducting protest actions in all state capitals on November 26.
The Polit Bureau extended its support to the call of the Central Trade Unions marking the first anniversary of the historic strike of the working class against the loot of country’s assets through large-scale privatization, repeal of the labour codes amongst other demands.