Report On Political And Current Issues 
(Adopted By The Central Committee At Its October 29-31, 2004 Meeting) 




In the three months since the last Central Committee meeting held in end July,  
the American occupation of Iraq has run into further difficulties with the 
guerilla resistance intensifying in various parts of  Iraq.  The US armed forces 
found itself no more in control in some of the towns like Falluja, Samarra, 
Ramadi  and the Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad. It is estimated that there are 
atleast twenty towns where the US has no control.   Realising that such a 
situation would make elections in January untenable, the US armed forces have 
now embarked on a policy of attacking these towns through relentless 
bombings and sending in armoured troops.  Such an attack on Samarra and its 
occupation led to the killing of 125 people, mostly civilians, including women 
and children.  Falluja is being bombed  from the air continuously leading to 
heavy loss of life.  The American policy is to raze to the ground towns in the 
name of pacifying the resistance.   
The tenuous grip of the interim government set-up by the  Americans is being 
exposed.  The US commander of Iraq has already said that more troops would 
be required for holding the elections in January. 
Israeli Tactics 
The Israeli armed forces launched a major military operation in Gaza from end-
September which has left over 100  Palestinians dead.  The armed forces are 
shooting down Palestinian children deliberately.  This attempt to suppress the 
Palestinian resistance preceded the Sharon government’s decision to put to vote 
in Parliament, a planned pull out from Gaza.  The Sharon government wants to 
evacuate 8000 settlers from the 21 settlements in the Gaza strip while 
consolidating its hold over the West Bank.  The decision to evacuate Gaza has 
met with fierce opposition from the settlers, the ultra rightwing parties and the 
orthodox clergy.  The United States is backing Sharon’s plan to annex the bulk 
of the West Bank by withdrawing from Gaza. The efforts of Israel backed by 
the US to isolate Yaser Arafat in the Palestinian Authority and movement have 
failed so far.   With the serious illness of Arafat, they will be hoping to utilise 

his absence to disrupt the Palestinian movement.  As noted in the previous 
reports, both the resistance in Iraq and the Palestinian struggle, are in the 
forefront of the fight against imperialist aggression and in defence of national 
sovereignty and self-determination. 
Continuing US Intervention 
The US-led intervention on various issues in different parts of the world 
continues with the aim of extending and consolidating the  imperialist 
hegemony.  The United States is bent upon sanctions against Iran for pursuing 
its uranium enrichment programme.  The European countries favour a 
negotiated approach.  The Bush administration, alongwith Israel, is for 
aggressive action on the ground that Iran’s nuclear potential is dangerous.    
On Sudan, the Security Council adopted a resolution pushed by the United 
States and Britain which threatened sanctions against Sudan on its handling of 
the rebellion in the western region.  Instead of allowing the Organisation of 
African Union to tackle the problem, the US is pushing for sanctions and 
intervention.  In contrast to this interventionist approach, the United States 
vetoed a resolution adopted by the Security Council calling upon Israel to halt 
the attacks on civilian population in Gaza.   
Venezuela Referendum: Chavez Triumphs 
The referendum calling for the removal of President Chavez in Venezuela was 
held on August 15 at the initiative of the rightwing opposition which had 
collected the necessary number of signatures for holding the poll.  The 
referendum  has resulted in a 60 per cent vote in favour of  Chavez, rejecting 
the call for his removal.  This step of the rightwing opposition has 
boomeranged on them with Chavez acquiring greater democratic legitimacy.  
This  is the third attempt to dislodge Chavez which has failed following the 
abortive coup and the oil strike  meant to paralyse the economy.  This victory 
of Chavez has galvanised the forces fighting in defence of national sovereignty 
and  against the imperialist-dictated neo-liberal reforms in South America.   
World Economy 
The IMF, in its world economic outlook, has forecast a 5 per cent growth in 
world output for the year 2004.  China’s phenomenal growth which averages 
9.5 per cent increase in real GDP annually has made a major contribution to the 
global growth rate.  The global economy is growing after the recessionary spell 
which lasted until 2002.  But this growth is halting and uneven with the United 
States registering growth without any increase in jobs.  The world oil prices  
which have shot up is casting a cloud on the growth prospects for the next year. 
The G-7  and the rich countries failed to come up with any substantial relief for 
the poorest countries despite promises.  At the G-7 summit in June, no 
substantial proposals were adopted.  On the other hand, in the WTO talks for 

the framework agreement, the rich advanced capitalist countries have 
succeeded in pushing through the agenda of protecting their interests while 
conceding very little  to the developed countries.   
South Asia 
In Bangladesh, the assassination attempt on Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka by a bomb 
blast at an Awami League rally and increasing attacks by fundamentalist forces 
on secular intellectuals and the minorities shows the situation has worsened 
under the right-wing Khalida Zia government.  In Pakistan, the  technocrat 
Shaukat Hussain has become the prime minister and got elected to Parliament.   
Musharaff has got Parliament to vote for his remaining the Army Chief while 
being the President, going back on his earlier decision to quit the Army post by 
the end of 2004.  In Sri Lanka, efforts to resume the peace talks with the LTTE 
have so far yielded no results though the cease-fire continues to hold. 
Other Developments 
The existence of terrorism in various forms is impacting on political 
developments in a number of countries.  Usually, terrorist attacks strengthen 
rightwing and authoritarian forces who play upon the fears and insecurity of 
people.  In Russia, the horrific killings of school children and their guardians  
at a school in Beslan in North Ossetia  led to Putin strengthening his grip over 
the political system and changing the way  Governors are appointed. He has 
now proposed Governors be appointed instead of being elected. In Indonesia, 
the perception that Megawati Sukarnoputri has been ineffectual in dealing with 
bomb attacks in Jakarta amongst other reasons has contributed to her defeat in 
the Presidential elections and  victory for the former General Yudhoyono. In 
Afghanistan, under US and NATO supervision, elections have been held for 
the presidency which  Hamid Karzai has won with ease, as was expected. 


Maharashtra Assembly Elections 
The BJP suffered another setback with the defeat of the Shiv Sena-BJP 
combine in the assembly elections held on October 13. The Congress-NCP 
alliance won 141 seats, which enables them to form a government with the 
support of its rebel candidates who have won the elections. The fact that the 
BJP-Shiv Sena could not cash in on the poor record of the Congress-NCP 
coalition government shows that the people of Maharashtra are not willing to 
subscribe to the rabid communal platform advocated by the Shiv Sena.   
For the BJP, this defeat coming in the wake of the shocking loss in the Lok 
Sabha elections has further deepened the confusion and disarray within the 
party. Even before the Maharashtra election results, the party was struggling to 

come to terms with its defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. In the Mumbai national 
executive meeting of the party, under Advani’s leadership a call was given for 
going back to the basics i.e. falling back on the Hindutva ideology and relying 
on the RSS. 
It is this approach, which led the BJP to try to whip up feelings on the Savarkar 
issue and launch Uma Bharati on her tiranga yatra. Both these programmes 
failed to meet with much response.  
With the Maharashtra defeat, the line of going back to Hindutva and relying on  
the RSS to give a new direction is going to be strengthened. The organisational 
fall out of the Maharashtra defeat came swiftly with the change over in 
president from Venkaiah Naidu to L.K. Advani. L.K. Advani, after assuming 
presidentship, in his speech to the  national council of the party declared that if 
Vajpayee had come back to power, the Ram temple would have certainly been 
built at Ayodhya.  It is inevitable that the BJP will adopt a hardline Hindutva 
communal approach under Advani’s leadership giving up the face of 
moderation that it had assumed during its period in government. 
Even though the Savarkar and Uma Bharati episodes failed to rouse the people, 
the BJP will bide its time to pick up such issues again as its mobilisation plank 
in the coming days. 
Advani’s exhortation to his ranks not to be apologetic about Hindutva and his 
attempts to present the Hindutva platform as “nationalism” reflects the 
necessity to balance the projection of a hardcore Hindutva platform with the 
compulsion to keep its NDA allies with it. As for the NDA allies, there was a 
noticeable lack of support for the BJP’s stance on Savarkar and Uma Bharati’s 
As the BJP under RSS guidance steps up its Hindutva rhetoric, some of its 
allies will find it uncomfortable to maintain their association. The JD(U) has 
come out criticising Advani’s speech at the national council regarding the 
building of the Ram temple.   Other allies have also expressed their 
apprehensions and maintained that their alliance with the BJP is based on the 
exclusion of the  hardcore Hindutva agenda.  George Fernandes has been trying 
to approach some of the non-Congress secular parties in the hope of setting up 
a third front which would only benefit the BJP at the present juncture. The talk 
of reviving some sort of a third front which can include forces like 
Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP stems partially from the uneasiness which the BJP’s 
allies in the NDA experience with the resurgence of the Hindutva platform. 
The Maharashtra election results have provided an important space for the 
UPA government to consolidate. With the BJP on the defensive, with its 
confrontationist stance meeting with popular disapproval, the UPA government 
has more manoeuverability and time to push through its own agenda. 

UPA Government  & The Left 
During this period, our Party adhered to the approach, which we worked out in 
the last Central Committee meeting vis-à-vis the UPA government. We have by 
and large succeeded in keeping the focus on policy issues and debates centering 
around them. This was in contrast to the BJP’s negative and confrontationist 
attitude which further isolated it from the people. 
In keeping with the approach worked out by the Central Committee, our Party 
supported those measures which were in keeping with the commitments made 
in the CMP or the country’s interests; the CPI(M) and the Left parties 
continued to oppose those measures which erode national sovereignty or give 
unjustified concessions to foreign capital and continued to impress upon the 
government the necessity to implement some of the pro-people measures in the 
CMP on a priority basis. 
Our Party welcomed and supported the repeal of Pota; the disbandment of the 
enquiry commission on Tehelka and handing over the Tehelka tape exposure 
related investigation to the CBI. It welcomed the setting up of an enquiry 
commission on the Godhra railway arson case. The Left parties also 
appreciated the decision of the government to bring a bill for enacting the 
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in the next session of parliament. 
At the foreign policy level, the Party welcomed the outcome of the meeting of 
the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan and the subsequent talks held 
between the prime minister and the Pakistan president in New York. 
Conflict On Policy Issues 
The CPI(M) and the Left have had to criticise and oppose a number of policy 
issues in this period. As far as the raising of the FDI cap in telecom and 
insurance are concerned, the Left parties have taken a firm stand. It has been 
raised in the Coordination Committee and taken to the people explaining why 
allowing control by foreign companies in these two vital sectors will be 
harmful. Our Party and the Left must continue to resist any move to raise the 
FDI cap in telecom and insurance sectors. 
The Left parties opposed the inclusion of representatives of the World Bank, 
ADB and the McKinsey firm in the consultative groups set up by the Planning 
Commission. This was done for the first time since the Commission was set up. 
Our Party objected to representatives of these multilateral organisations which 
are controlled by the US and G7 countries being given representation in an 
institution which is part of the Indian State and who have no accountability to 
the Indian people but to their employers in Washington. The CPI(M) made it 
clear that it is not opposed to “foreign experts” per se but to any representative, 
whether foreign or Indian, being represented in the Planning Commission’s 
bodies who are in the employ of these international agencies. The stand taken 

by the Party and the Left found support amongst many outside the Left circles. 
The government had to respond by disbanding these bodies. 
The trend dominating the UPA government as represented by the finance 
minister and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission is to push for 
further concessions to foreign capital and relying on foreign capital flows for 
investment. After the proposal to raise FDI caps, the government contemplated 
the scrapping of Press Note 18 which provides protection to domestic industry 
when they enter into joint ventures with foreign companies. Our Party is 
opposed to the scrapping of Press Note 18 and demanded that any modification 
made should be done after consultations with domestic industry. 
Another proposal mooted by the Finance Ministry is to allow foreign banks to 
acquire 10 per cent equity every year in private Indian banks. By this process, 
after some years, the foreign bank can convert the Indian bank into its 
subsidiary. Further, the 10 per cent voting rights cap is also proposed to be 
done away with. The UPA government would be facilitating the takeover of the 
private Indian banks by foreign banks with this measure. This measure has to 
be opposed. 
The Finance Minister has also called for the merger/acquisition of banks. This 
is in line with the Narasimham Committee report. Along with the entry of 
foreign banks in a big way, it is said that the merged banks will be better placed 
to meet the competition. Merger/acquisitions will lead to the closure of a large 
number of bank branches particularly in the rural areas. Secondly, it will render 
a large number of the bank staff surplus. The next step would be to allow 
foreign and Indian private banks to buy stakes in the mega banks, paving the 
way for privatisation of the industry. The Party cannot therefore accept this 
The government has also set up an empowered group of ministers to decide on 
the price of shares to be disinvested in public sector undertakings. The finance 
ministry has prepared a plan to disinvest shares in all profitable PSUs which 
will result in tens of thousands of crores of rupees being realised by the 
government for its budgetary requirements. It is being argued that upto 49 per 
cent of the shares can be disinvested as it will not lead to privatisation, as 51 
percent will remain under government ownership. The public sector units are 
not having a decision of their own accord to go to the market but are being 
directed by the government to sell shares in the market to provide resources for 
the government. For the profit making PSUs based on its own financial and 
fiscal preferences kept together, freedom to mobilise resources in the debt 
market or through debentures in the capital market without tinkering with 
public equity, the present move of the government is a tact to revert back to 
disinvestment as part of the budgetary effort of the finance ministry. 
The government is going ahead with the privatisation of the Delhi and Mumbai 
airports. As per the group of ministers’ recommendations, nine proposals from 
private consortiums have been cleared for further processing. The government 

is not taking seriously the alternative proposals including that given by the 
Airport Authority employees. 
Despite assurance of consideration in the August 25, 2004 coordination 
committee meeting, the government has not taken any step to restore the 
interest rate of the Employee’s Provident Fund. Without waiting for a review of 
the Electricity Act, the government has put out a national power policy draft for 
discussion. Similarly, the draft national tribal policy prepared by the previous 
government has been reissued by this government without making any 
The WTO framework agreement arrived at in Geneva is not a step forward in 
advancing India and the developing countries interests as projected by the 
commerce minister. Too many concessions have been given to the rich 
advanced capitalist countries in return for very limited and nebulous terms. The 
whole question of subsidies given to the rich countries has been circumvented 
by giving minor concessions on ending export subsidies while the developing 
countries have made more far-reaching commitments to reduce tariffs for 
providing access to their markets. The patents amendments bill which is due to 
come up in the next session of parliament is also a legislation which concedes 
too much to the multinational drug companies and doing too little to protect 
domestic interests.  
The UPA government is working on the basis that the core issues of 
liberalisation and privatisation should be left to the government to pursue while 
the Left should confine itself to its concerns to increase resources for 
employment generation, food supply and health. 
Our Party cannot accept such an approach. The basic content of economic 
policies, nature of investment, mobilisation and allocation of resources and 
fiscal policies are very much in the purview of the Left’s concerns as they have 
a direct impact on the working and living conditions of the people. 
Step Up Struggles 
Reports from all around the country show that at the ground-level, the 
problems of the rural poor in terms of lack of food and work continue.  
Suicides by farmers in Andhra Pradesh and other places are going on.  There is 
no substantial relief available for the rural poor and the tribal people.  Workers 
are losing jobs due to the closure of industrial units. 
In the coming days, more emphasis will have to be given to mobilisation and 
struggles by the different sections of the working people in defence of their 
interests and for changing the government’s policies in this regard.  


Situation In The North East 
In Manipur, with the killing of Manorama Devi after her arrest  by the Assam 
Rifles, popular anger led to big mass protests. The demand for the scrapping of 
the Armed Forces Special Powers Act became the main focus of the protest 
movement. The state government decided to withdraw the application of the 
Act in the three police station areas of Imphal. But the agitation continues with 
the demand for the withdrawal of the Act throughout the state. Our Party 
supported the demand for the shifting of the Assam Rifles headquarters from 
out of Kangla; strict action against those guilty for the killing of Manorama and 
a review of the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Given the 
complicated situation in Manipur, it was important that the situation be handled 
carefully and sympathetically for the popular feelings. The excesses committed 
by the security forces on the protesters and demonstrators worsened the 
situation. The delay in prompt intervention by the Home Ministry and the 
Centre aggravated the situation.  
Some of the draconian powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 
need to be amended and the Centre should work out the legal basis for keeping 
the armed forces to perform certain duties in the North East without recourse to 
such draconian provisions. 
The bomb blasts in Dimapur and in various parts of Assam have led to the 
deaths of a large number of persons and injuries to many. Both the ULFA and 
the NDFB have been responsible for these attacks. Since the uprooting of the 
camps of the ULFA and the other extremist groups in Bhutan, the ULFA has 
been seeking to retaliate by bomb blasts which have targeted innocent people 
including school children. Such reprehensible violence has further isolated the 
ULFA from the people of Assam. The Tarun Gogoi government is seen to be 
soft on the ULFA and has failed to take firm measures in time to check these 
violent activities. Our Party has been calling for negotiations between the 
extremist organisations and the Centre and the state governments provided no 
conditions are set. The ULFA’s demand that the sovereignty of Assam be 
negotiated is one such condition which cannot be accepted.  
The ULFA, the NDFB and the Tripura extremist outfits like the NLFT and the 
ATTF are operating from camps based in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh 
government has been consistently denying the existence of the camps and the 
activities of the extremist leaders from the territory of Bangladesh. Such a 
stance has become a serious matter in view of the escalating violence indulged 
in by these groups. The Central government must take up the matter with the 
Bangladesh government in a manner, which makes it clear that it cannot evade 
the issue of sanctuary found by the terrorist groups any longer.  
Jammu & Kashmir 
While progress has been registered in the dialogue between India and Pakistan, 
there is a stalemate as far as initiating a political dialogue with the forces within 

Jammu & Kashmir. The ascendancy of Geelani and the announcement of the 
formation of a political party by him with the endorsement of the Jamaat-e-
Islami has changed the situation which existed earlier when the moderate 
faction heading the Hurriyat was prepared to hold talks. 
The attacks by militant outfits against political parties continues.  The CPI(M) 
has been specially targetted with four Party workers being killed in the recent 
period.  The cadres of the PDP and the National Conference have also been 
targetted with the aim of crippling  the political system.  The Mufti Mohd. 
government has to take more effective steps to tackle the extremist influence 
which is now concentrated in South Kashmir, including Anantnag district.   
The UPA government must consider fresh initiatives to revive the political 
dialogue and to announce an economic package of measures for the state which 
can boost development activities and employment opportunities. 
Naxalite Talks 
In Andhra Pradesh, the People’s War group has begun negotiations with the 
state government for which its leaders came overground. They also utilised the 
period after the ceasefire and lifting of the ban to hold rallies in major cities. 
The People’s War leaders made it clear that they are not giving up the armed 
struggle. They will use the time to regroup their forces. The merger of the 
People’s War and the MCC to form the CPI(Maoist) has been announced. With 
this the attacks in states like Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and pockets of West 
Bengal can be expected to be stepped up. What will be the direction of the CPI 
(Maoist) remains to be seen but upto now there is no indication of their giving 
up their disruptive stand of  targeting the Left parties along with other political 
opponents.  The statement announcing the merger while talking of defeating 
the “more dangerous Hindu fascist forces” also talks of “keeping the edge of 
the people’s struggles directed against the new Congress rulers in Delhi 
alongwith the CPI/CPI(M) and their imperialist chieftains”.  Our Party must 
keep up the political and ideological struggle to isolate their disruptive moves.   
Declining Sex Ratio  
The 2001 census figures have revealed an alarming state of affairs with regard 
to the child sex ratio in the age group of zero to 6 years.  If the scheduled 
caste/tribe figures are taken out,  the ratio of female to male children had fallen 
below 900.  This highlights the necessity to rouse social consciousness to fight 
the evils of female foeticide, infanticide and discrimination towards the girl 
child.  There has to be the political will to reinforce the laws prohibiting these 
social evils.   
The declining sex ratio is mirrored in other ways in the violence against 
women.  Such violence has grown by leaps and bounds, whether it be sexual 
assaults or decisions by caste panchayats reinforcing the subordination of 
Foreign Policy 
After the secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, the foreign ministers 
meeting was held in the first week of September in New Delhi. It was agreed to 
continue “serious and sustained” dialogue on all bilateral matters including 
Kashmir. Thirteen proposals including the series of high level meetings to push 
forward the peace process were announced. President Musharaff  recently 
floated some proposals to deal with the Kashmir problem.  All such proposals 
can be taken up as part of  composite dialogue to be held.   
It was followed up by the meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with 
President Musharaff in New York at the time of the UN General Assembly 
session. Both sides have expressed their commitment to continue with the 
dialogue process and for further steps to improve relations. There was a 
meeting of the foreign ministers of India, Russia and China at Almati, 
Kazakhstan which provided an opportunity for the three countries to exchange 
views on the international situation and take steps for trilateral cooperation on 
agreed issues. 
The UPA government must seriously undertake a review of the ongoing 
relations with Israel. The Sharon government has stepped up its military attacks 
on the Palestinian people in Gaza. It has stepped up its annexation of the West 
Bank territories by building the security wall. The minister of state for external 
affairs visited the West Bank and met Yaser Arafat to express solidarity with 
the Palestinian cause. However, the UPA is continuing with the security and 
military cooperation with Israel. The recent visit of the Indian Air force chief to 
Israel is part of this policy. The UPA government must disentangle India from 
the security and military ties with Israel established by the Vajpayee 
government as they militate against India’s interests in the Middle East and 
promotes suspicion about USA-Israel-India axis. 
In the coming days, the emphasis has to be on organising and mobilising the 
different sections of the working people to come out in defence of their rights 
and for changes of the policies adopted by the previous BJP-led government 
which have adversely affected the livelihood and interests of the people. It is 
only through the building up of such popular movements and struggles that 
pressure can be built upon the government to take corrective action. 
In the coming period, the Party will have to pay attention to the continuing 
efforts by the US to entangle India in a host of strategic and military 
relationships. A concerted effort should be made to focus on the reorientation 
of foreign policy towards a more independent one. 

The Party while resisting the moves for greater liberalisation and privatisation 
in vital sectors should build up campaigns for popular mobilisation and 
struggles. The Party should call upon the organisations of the working people 
to initiate struggles to compel the government to heed the verdict of the people 
and address their needs. 
The Party should counter the ideological and political attacks on the Left by the 
pro-imperialist and rightwing bourgeois circles, which cannot stomach the Left 
influencing policy decisions. Special attention should be paid to exposing and 
isolating the disruptive communal activities and Hindutva ideology of the BJP-
RSS combine. 
The Party should utilise the conferences at all levels to discuss the political-
organisational issues which can help give the Party a new thrust for expansion 
and strengthen it organizationally.