Date: Monday, June 26, 2023
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on June 24-25. It has issued the following statement:
15 opposition parties met at Patna on June 23rd at the invitation of Bihar CM Niteesh Kumar. The CPI(M) underlined the need for cooperation among the opposition parties to safeguard the secular democratic character of our Republic and the guarantees provided by our Constitution to the people on democratic rights and civil liberties and fundamental rights.
The CPI(M) proposed that the opposition parties must jointly conduct all-India campaigns on important issues of national concern and joint protest actions on issues of rapidly deteriorating people’s livelihood. At the level of each state discussions amongst the opposition parties must begin to minimize the advantage BJP gets from a division in opposition votes, in the coming 2024 general elections.
The PB expressed deep concern at the ethnic violence in Manipur that continues unabated even after 7 weeks since it began on May 3.
The “double engine” BJP government has totally failed in controlling the situation. PM Modi refused even to comment on the situation! The Home Minister’s visit on May 29, full 26 days after violence began, has had no effect on the law-and-order situation. The all-party meeting called by the Home Minister was of no consequence as the Modi government refused to accept the dismissal of the Biren Singh led BJP government in the state which has been both complicit and incompetent in controlling the situation.
The PB called for the immediate cessation of violence and the restoration of normalcy.
PM Modi’s US visit
PM Modi’s official state visit to the USA has further cemented India as the subordinate junior partner of US imperialism. The defence deals that have been concluded like joint production of GE-F 414 Jet engine comes on top of the earlier major military and defence deals as a ‘major defence partner’ of USA.
In the USA’s quest for strengthening its global hegemony it sees India as a crucial strategic and military partner to isolate China. Biden administration’s refusal to raise issues of human rights and democracy in India under the Modi government has come in for widespread criticism with even former President Barack Obama raising concerns. 75 members of the US Congress have raised issues of concern on the Modi government’s record on human rights and democracy.
Uniform Civil Code
The Law Commission has once again started consultations on the issue of a Uniform Civil Code. The last Law Commission had conducted a similar exercise and came to the conclusion in 2018 that a “UCC is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”. The CPI(M) endorses this position.
Uniformity cannot be equated with equality. The CPI(M) champions equal rights for women of all communities. This can be best advanced through reform of personal or customary laws applicable to different communities with active democratic participation of all men and women of these communities.
Legalizing Loot of People’s Money
The PB demanded the withdrawal of the RBI circular legalizing the loot of people’s savings by willful defaulters who have taken large bank loans and refuse to repay despite having the capacity to pay. RBI circular permits such defaulters to go for a compromise settlement with the banks. The properties of such people must be confiscated and the bank loans must be recovered in full amount.
Restore Rice Supply to States
In the most dictatorial and undemocratic manner the Modi government has directed the Food Corporation of India not to sell rice to state governments. This move is aimed to prevent non-BJP governments from meeting their assurances to the people of providing relief.
Scrap Pre-paid Smart Meters Project
The smart meters project with pre-paid arrangement for electricity consumers is being implemented by the Modi government. Many states have been forced to implement the scheme and thereby withdrawing from the responsibility of electricity distribution and handing over to private corporates for profit maximization. This will impose unbearable burden on the poor and the farmers. This project must be scrapped immediately.
The PB opposes the delimitation of assembly constituencies in Assam alone based on the 2001 census, in the year 2023. Clearly, this exercise has been done by the Election Commission without forming a separate commission for delimitation to cater to and advance the political objectives of the ruling BJP.
The blatant defence by the Modi government and BJP of the accused in sexual harassment cases who are their supporters has been reflected in its determination to protect its MP despite prima facie evidence of sexual harassment made by women wrestlers against him. It bent procedures to deliberately delay investigations into the case including the charges under POCSO to give time to the accused to pressurize the victim to withdraw her statement. This has serious implications for all cases of complaints by minor victims of sexual harassment. The CPI(M) reiterates its demand for the arrest of the accused MP without delay.
West Bengal Panchayat Polls
As has become the norm, the elections under the TMC government in West Bengal are marked by largescale violence and terror. In the ongoing Panchayat elections, 10 people have already lost their lives including a young CPI(M) activist, Com. Mansoor Alam.
Despite such politics of violence and terror, the people of West Bengal are resisting this murder of democracy and courageously coming forward to establish people’s panchayats. In the last Panchayat elections 34 per cent of the seats were uncontested due to unprecedented terror. In these elections, resisting such terror, the uncontested seats have drastically reduced by nearly 2/3rd.
Exclusion of Disability Questions from NFHS Survey
The Polit Bureau views with serious concern the dropping of disability related questions from the National Family Health Survey-6. Even while the questions posed in the earlier round were flawed, removing them entirely is a regressive step. The PB demands the inclusion of disability related questions in the NFHS-6.
Central Committee Meeting
The CPI(M) Central Committee will meet next on August 4,5 and 6 2023 at New Delhi.