The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi from August 8 to 10, 2014. It has issued the following statement:
The two and a half months period of the Narendra Modi government has confirmed that it will not only pursue the same neo-liberal policies as the previous UPA government, but it will do so more vigorously.
The Union Budget and the Railway Budget were characterized by a heightened push for privatization, greater FDI and more concessions to big business. 49 per cent FDI in defence production and insurance; FDI in railway infrastructure; greater opportunities for big capital to profit at the expense of public resources through PPP and tax adjustments to benefit foreign institutional investors and the upper classes.
Accompanying these measures is the unstated squeeze on public expenditure. The allocation for MGNREGA shows no increase, there is steep cut in fuel subsidy and no real increase in expenditure on health and education.
The Central Committee expressed its strong opposition to the FDI cap in insurance being increased from 26 to 49 per cent. It called upon all opposition parties to oppose the move. The Party will extend full support to the struggle to stop the FDI increase in the insurance sector.
Labour Law Changes
The BJP government is proposing to bring changes in the labour laws. Already the BJP state government in Rajasthan has got certain changes made in the labour laws through the legislative assembly. It must be emphasized that the changes being proposed are not in the interests of the workers but of the employers and the capitalists. For instance, the amendment to the Industrial Disputes Act raises the limit of workers in an enterprise from 100 to 300 where government permission would be required for retrenchment of workers. By this, the government wants to facilitate the removal of workers from their jobs.
The Central Committee called for a strong movement to oppose the dilution to the labour laws. All the trade unions and the Left and democratic parties should jointly oppose this move.
Land Acquisition Act Changes
It is reported that the government will be proposing changes in The Right To Fair Compensation And Transparency In Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act which was adopted in 2013. The efforts to dilute the Land Acquisition And Rehabilitation Act is being done at the behest of industry. Among the changes proposed are bringing down the consent required to 50 per cent of the land owners instead of 80 per cent and this being made applicable for PPP projects. The changes proposed will be detrimental to the interests of land owners and those dependent on land.
The Central Committee expressed its deep concern at the rising number of communal incidents across the country. After the Lok Sabha elections, communal clashes have taken place in a number of states such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana and Maharashtra. The largest number of incidents have occurred in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP and the RSS are trying to utilise the communal tensions and incidents for their political interests. This was seen in the way they tried to fan tensions and escalate trouble in Moradabad district. Instances of attacks on women are given a communal slant.
The mood of triumphalism after the BJP victory has led to such communal incidents often targeting the minority community. It is also a fallout of the intense communal campaign conducted during the elections. The Central Committee noted that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindutva outfits are stepping up their activities. With the BJP coming to power at the Centre, efforts are being made to re-write textbooks and to introduce the communal content in the educational system.
The Central Committee decided that the Party should step up its political and ideological work to counter the influence and activities of the communal forces. It will cooperate with other secular and democratic forces to counter the communal offensive.
Violence against Women
The Central Committee expressed its deep concern at the continuing cases of sexual violence against women and children. The shocking case of gangrape of a child in a Bangalore school and the instances of gangrapes in Uttar Pradesh points to the utter failure of the police and the government to put in place standard procedures to ensure the quick arrest and prosecution of the accused.
The Central Committee condemned the insensitive and objectionable public pronouncements of some politicians in positions of power such as two ministers of the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh who blamed the victims. The highly condemnable statement of the Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal who threatened to send his men to rape CPI(M) women deserve immediate prosecution of the culprit and suspension from Parliament. Instead, the shameless TMC state government of West Bengal is spending public money to defend the accused appealing against the High Court verdict to file an FIR against him. It is high time that Parliament and state assemblies adopt a code of conduct for their members regarding derogative statements about women, the violation of which will invite punishment.
Israeli Aggression in Gaza
The Central Committee condemned in the strongest terms the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza which has lasted for over a month. 1,869 people were killed in the aerial and ground attack. The fact that 429 children were killed makes this attack a war crime. Not only should Israel stop resorting to such violence, but it should lift the blockade and siege of the Gaza strip which is illegal and against all humanitarian norms.
The Central Committee strongly criticized the BJP government for refusing to categorically condemn the Israeli aggression when it was raised in Parliament.
The Central Committee welcomed the decision of the BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil to set-up a New Development Bank and a Contingent Reserve Arrangement. As India is a founding partner of the Bank, the Modi government should adopt such policies which will help the Bank and the CRA to function in a manner which will be in the interests of the developing countries eschewing the approach adopted by the IMF and the World Bank.
50th Anniversary of the Foundation of CPI(M)
The Central Committee decided to observe the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the CPI(M) which falls in November this year. A month-long campaign will be observed to popularize the ideology and Programme of the Party.
Call for Campaign
The Central Committee called upon the entire Party to conduct a campaign on the following issues: (i) against FDI in railways, insurance and defence production; (ii) against disinvestment in public sector shares; and (iii) against dilution of labour laws.
The party will take up a political and ideological campaign against the offensive of the Hindutva forces and all forms of communalism and the efforts to communalise the education system and text books. All secular and democratic forces should be mobilized for this purpose.
The party will mobilize people for the full implementation of the MGNREGA programme and to oppose any curtailment of the scheme. The Party will launch struggles against price rise of essential commodities; demanding universalisation of the PDS and curb on futures trading in food items and essential commodities. The Party will work to widen and strengthen Left unity and work for the emergence of a broad Left platform to fight against neo-liberal policies, communalism and imperialism.
The Central Committee decided to hold the 21st Congress of the Party in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh in April 2015.
The Central Committee decided on the timetable to hold the Party conferences at all levels in the run-up to the Congress.