The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on May 21, 2018. It has issued the following statement:
Karnataka Assembly Elections
The Polit Bureau welcomed the developments in Karnataka where the BJP/RSS’s attempts to cobble a majority through horse-trading have been thwarted. The BJP had made it a practice to form governments even after losing elections like they have done in Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya and entering the Bihar government, betraying people’s mandate. The parties assuming office now in Karnataka together command a support of 56.6 per cent of the people who voted in these elections as against the 36.2 per cent polled by the BJP.
CPI(M) General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury, along with Polit Bureau Member and Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, will be attending the swearing-in ceremony at Bengaluru on May 23, 2018.
Unbearable Economic Burdens
The Polit Bureau expressed serious concern over the continuous attacks on the livelihood of the vast majority of our people by the policies pursued by this BJP government. The prices of petrol and diesel have skyrocketed, reaching the highest ever levels. Rural distress continues to aggravate. The rural economy has never seen such disastrous conditions in independent India as under this government’s rule in the past four years. Rural wage growth is the lowest recorded during the last three years. Prices of cooking gas cylinders have also gone up significantly, even as advertisements appear claiming of subsidies being provided to the needy. The economy is unable to recover from the double whammy attack of demonetization and the GST.
At the same time this BJP government continues write off unpaid bank loans to crony corporates who are today refusing to return over Rs. 11 lakh crore of loans taken from the banks.
The Polit Bureau called upon all its units to mobilise the people and organize protests against these relentless attacks on people’s livelihood.
Attacks in Tripura Continue Unabated
The Polit Bureau noted with serious concern the continuing attacks in Tripura on the CPI(M) and the Left Front by the BJP/RSS ever since it assumed office in the state.
Two comrades have been killed during this period; nearly 50 offices of the Party have been demolished apart from eviction/forcible occupation of Party and mass organization offices. In the face of these unabated attacks nearly 500 comrades have had to shift from their homes and are temporarily accommodated in camps at Party offices.
Apart from physically targetting Left cadres, even programmes and events conducted by the Party and the Left have come under attack. Even May Day celebrations were sought to be disrupted in various parts of the state. The Party run daily Desher Katha has become a target with transporters carrying the paper as well as subscribers being threatened.
Pradhans, Chairmen and elected members of various local bodies including the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) are being coerced either to resign or join the BJP.
The complicity of the state administration is revealed by the fact that Party leaders are being attacked even inside the police station where they go to lodge complaints.
The situation in West Bengal is nothing short of outrageous. The recent panchayat election has exposed the depths to which authoritarian onslaughts can degenerate and undermine democracy. What people have witnessed for the first time is the open forcible occupation of counting booths and not just rigging but changing the final result issuing certificates to candidates who were actually defeated in the counting process. From pre-poll to post-poll, 40 people have lost their lives. Those who protest, particularly election officials, are being targeted and false cases slapped. It is ironical that the Chief Minister seems to be showing solidarity with those who have restored democracy in Karnataka after having initially, on the basis of early counting trends, congratulating the BJP’s CM candidate.
In West Bengal, the Chief Minister is presiding over the complete obliteration of distinction between the ruling party, the state administration and the state Election Commission leading to the complete destruction of democracy.
The Polit Bureau expressed its serious concern over the developments in Assam and the North East. The fragile unity of people belonging to immense diversity in the region has come under a severe additional strain due to the central government’s efforts to amend the Citizenship Act on the basis of religious affinity of the people. Linguistic minorities are under severe pressure due to incomplete and deliberate discrimination in the process of the updating of the national register of citizens (NRC) and the category of doubtful voters.
The unity of the people belonging to different religions, languages and ethnicity must be the foremost objective. Playing with emotive issues for electoral gains by the BJP/RSS is worsening the situation.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) reiterates that the Assam Accord must be strictly adhered to and its gains must be consolidated. The proposed Citizenship Act (Amendment) Bill must be withdrawn. The CPI(M) in parliament will oppose any amendment based on the religious affiliation of the people to determine their citizenship. This is completely unconstitutional.
Jammu & Kashmir
The Polit Bureau expressed its grave concern over the situation in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and the complete sense of alienation among the people of the Kashmir valley. While the Prime Minister has announced a ceasefire during the month of Ramazan, this is accompanied by certain conditions which by themselves can lead to a rupture of the ceasefire.
The Polit Bureau demands that the central government should implement the assurances it had made earlier to urgently enforce confidence building measures and start a political process through dialogue with all stakeholders. The Central Government must initiate talks with Pakistan to ensure cross border terrorism is stopped by a mutually agreed ceasefire along the Line of Control. The situation in Jammu & Kashmir cannot be allowed to deteriorate further.
This BJP government continues to attack institutions of higher education and research in the country with its ideological project of replacing the study of Indian history with Hindu mythology. Efforts are on now to communalise the syllabus in the central university. The JNU Academic Council, despite wide opposition to it, has proposed to introduce a course on “Islamic Terrorism”. This will play havoc with the country’s unity and integrity. The wide spread notion is that if at all such a course has to be introduced it should be on “religious fundamentalism” not specifically targeting any one religion. The Polit Bureau demands that this proposal must be withdrawn immediately.
Division of Responsibilities
The Polit Bureau discussed the division of responsibilities and work amongst the Polit Bureau and Central Committee members. These proposals will be placed before the next Central Committee at its meeting from June 22 to 24, 2018, for finalization.