The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday resolved to step up its fight against the ‘neo-liberal' economic policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and the communal politics practised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, while stressing an independent role and activities for itself.
“The UPA government is pursuing economic policies that are adversely affecting large sections of society and in the coming days we will take up people's issues and build up resistance to this unprecedented heightening of inequalities and the divide between the rich and the poor” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said at a press conference at the end of the four-day Extended Central Committee meeting here.
He said the meeting unanimously adopted a political resolution that asked the party to stress on its independent role and activities and redouble efforts to expand its base. It also said the party should work to strengthen Left unity and seek cooperation of those secular parties which were willing to take up people's issues together.
The CPI(M) would also work to strengthen coordination with Left-minded people in other parties, some of whom got alienated, and work to bring them back to the Left Front. As for West Bengal and Kerala, the effort would be to work on the mass base the party created in these two States by its work over the past few decades.
Starting September 12, the party will conduct a nation-wide campaign highlighting the situation in West Bengal, where the Trinamool Congress-Maoist combine “is attacking party members and supporters to isolate and weaken the CPI(M) and the Left.”
Dismissing the charge that the party was soft towards the Congress in West Bengal, Mr. Karat reiterated that the focus was on the Trinamool, which was spearheading the anti-Left movement with the Congress as its “junior partner.”
Viewing the developments in Jammu and Kashmir with concern, the party decided to send its leaders to the State to interact with all sections of people. It also decided to hold a separate discussion on the issue and take a comprehensive stand.
Adopting the political review report, the meeting, while endorsing the decision to withdraw support to the UPA-I government in June 2008, felt that the move should have been taken earlier.
“The review report has unanimously endorsed the June 2008 stand taken to withdraw support and considered it as correct and necessary. However, in a self-critical examination it concluded that the party should not have allowed the government to go to the International Atomic Energy Agency for talks on the safeguards agreement,” Mr. Karat said.
It also endorsed the electoral tactics adopted in the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as necessary to try and rally secular parties that were not with either the Congress or the BJP. It noted that in the given situation, the party could have an effective electoral understanding only in a few States and not the whole country.
On land acquisition, the meeting felt that though there was no acquisition in Nandigram, the campaign caused damage to the party's image. It decided that in future, any acquisition should have two facets — consent and adequate compensation and rehabilitation — as the present system did not do justice to those whose lands were taken away.
Rights of tribals
The party will wage a campaign and launch struggles for the rights of tribals, Dalits, minorities and women and other oppressed sections as part of a general democratic platform.
Asked for his reaction to the charge by the former Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, holding Mr. Karat responsible for the reverses in the 2009 general elections, the party general secretary said if Mr. Chatterjee had suggestions to improve the party, it would be considered.
On the Lalgarh rally, Mr. Karat re-emphasised that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should tell where the government stood since a member of his Cabinet was openly patronising Maoists. “There is enough documentary evidence … a person accused by the CBI in Gnaneshwari train sabotage was present,” he said.