The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on May 9-10. It has issued the following statement:
Control this Galloping Price rise
Unabated galloping price rise is imposing unprecedented burdens on the people. Crores are suffering and are pushed into poverty with growing hunger pangs. Coming on top of unprecedented levels of unemployment, this is compounding people’s miseries.
Over the last year the prices of petroleum products have increased by 70 per cent, vegetables by 20 per cent, cooking oil by 23 per cent and cereals by 8 per cent. Wheat, the staple diet of crores of Indians, is costing around Rs. 35/kg. The continuous hike in prices of petroleum products and cooking gas cylinders is propelling this overall inflation.
The Central government must immediately withdraw all cess/surcharges on all petroleum products. Wheat supplies through the Public Distribution System (PDS) must be restored. The PDS must be strengthened to check this price rise.
Left Parties will coordinate for a united and concerted nationwide struggle against price rise.
Loot of National Assets
By aggressively implementing the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) the central government is facilitating the loot of India’s national assets.
The Polit Bureau reiterated the CPI(M)’s total opposition to the privatisation of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). The Polit Bureau denounced the manner in which the LIC IPO has been initiated. LIC is largely owned by nearly 29 crore policy holders. Trampling upon their interests the government has scaled down the valuation of the shares being sold to appease international investors and to let them make huge profits at the cost of the policy holders. LIC has assets of Rs. 38 lakh crores, provides more than one lakh regular employment and has 14 lakh agents across the country.
The Polit Bureau strongly denounces the arbitrary manner of the undervaluation of LIC and calls for an immediate stop to this process of future instalments of sale of shares.
Outrageous Communal Violence
The Polit Bureau expressed its deep concern and anguish at the growing incidents of communal violence that have occurred in various parts of the country spread across several states. There is a sinister pattern to these incidents. Religious festivals like Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti were used to unleash aggressive armed religious processions provoking communal violence. Incendiary hate speeches preceded such armed processions. Calls for unleashing genocide against the Muslims go unpunished, confirming official patronage to spread hatred and violence.
The Prime Minister’s silence against the hate speeches and actions propagating bigotry is an eloquent testimony to the fact that such private armed mobs enjoy the luxury of official patronage.
The Polit Bureau appeals to all sections of the people to maintain peace, and to foil these sinister objectives of those spreading hate speech and violence to sharpen communal polarisation. The PB called upon all Party units to independently and jointly work for maintaining peace and harmony, defending the rights of the minorities.
Denounce Bulldozer Politics
The targeted demolition drives in Jahangirpuri and other localities in Delhi are part and parcel of the nefarious efforts to create tensions and sharpen communal polarisation. The bulldozer politics have razed to the ground the shelter of the poorest people and working class families.
There are laws and procedures that govern the demolition of illegal structures and encroachments. Such bulldozer politics violate these with impunity. Judicial interventions halted this for the time being in Jahangirpuri, but such actions are continuing in various places. Any removal of illegal structures must be in accordance with the law and must strictly follow the laid down procedures. Until alternative livelihood and shelter for the poor are ensured all demolitions should stop.
The Polit Bureau strongly condemned the manner in which an independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani was arrested and re-arrested for being critical of the Prime Minister and the BJP government.
Scrap Sedition Law: With the Sedition law under judicial scrutiny, the government was forced to inform the Supreme Court that it will reconsider and re-examine the provision of this law. It is good that the SC has provided some relief by ordering Section 124 A of the IPC to be kept in abeyance, stayed all pending proceedings and directed Central and state governments not to register new cases under Sedition law. The SC must not wait for this government’s review and proceed to scrap the anachronistic Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, when it resumes hearing in July, 2022.
In another serious development, the World Press Freedom Index, 2022 has placed India at 150 out of 180 countries. It has slid down from 142 last year and from 133 in 2016.
Reject J&K Delimitation Commission Recommendations
The Polit Bureau demanded the rejection of these recommendations that are clearly politically motivated, aimed at changing the demographic character and composition of J&K.
Population is the cardinal parameter in any delimitation of electoral constituencies. According to the 2011 census, population of Kashmir is 68.9 lakhs while that of Jammu is 53.8 lakhs. A fair delimitation would have given 51 seats to Kashmir and 39 to Jammu in the 90 member assembly. Instead, these recommendations give 47 seats to Kashmir and 43 to Jammu.
WHO Estimates of Covid Deaths
The Polit Bureau expresses grave concern at the recently released World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates of Covid related deaths in India. The WHO estimates that the numbers of such deaths are 47 lakhs i.e. 10 times the official figure of 4.8 lakhs. In many states, Covid death compensation has been cleared in numbers that are many multiples of the official death count. In BJP-ruled Gujarat, the compensation that has been given is nearly 10 times the official death count. This is a damning indictment not only of the Modi government’s criminal culpability in handling the Covid pandemic, but also of its notorious data fudging. The Modi government must not insult the dead by refusing to count them. It must give the SC mandated compensation to the families of all of them.
Division of Responsibilities among the Polit Bureau and CC members
The Polit Bureau, meeting for the first time after the recently concluded CPI(M)’s 23rd Party Congress, discussed the work division and responsibilities which will now be placed before the Central Committee for its consideration on June 18-19, 2022.