“Congress' performance in recent polls indicates people's discontent over Centre's policies”
With the Budget session of Parliament scheduled to start on Monday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday asked the Manmohan Singh government to stop adopting measures that were detrimental to the people's interests and to learn lessons from the Congress' poor performance in the recent Assembly elections.
The Polit Bureau said the Congress' performance in these elections “indicates the people's discontent over the policies of the UPA government at the Centre, especially its failure to curb price rise and high-level corruption. In such a situation, the Manmohan Singh government should stop adopting measures which are detrimental to the interests of the people and the country.”
The people were looking for immediate relief and the government should not adopt measures in the Union Budget which would further burden them.
At the end of its two-day meeting, the Polit Bureau said the UPA government should give up its efforts to allow Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail trade, halt the disinvestment of shares in the public sector enterprises as “the bungling” in the disinvestment of Oil and Natural Gas Commission shares “underlines the folly” of this approach.
The government should ensure that the Lokpal Bill was suitably amended and adopted in Parliament so that an effective Lokpal was set up. The Food Security Bill should be amended to provide for a universal public distribution system which did not encroach on the States' rights.
Supporting the stand taken by many Chief Ministers against certain provisions of the National Counter Terrorism Centre, the Polit Bureau said similarly, some of the State governments had rightly come out against the proposed amendment in the Railway Protection Force Act which would confer the powers of State police offices on the RPF. This was in violation of the constitutional division of powers between the Centre and the States.
“The assertion of the federal principle against the growing encroachment of the Centre on States' rights is a positive trend. The CPI (M) calls upon all democratic political forces to come to a broad understanding on the need to restructure Centre-State relations.”
It criticised the Centre for filing a review petition against the Supreme Court judgment which struck down the allocation of 2G licences to 122 companies on the first-come first-served policy. The historic judgment had laid down correct guidelines about allocation of scarce natural resources through the auction route or based on market evaluations.
Instead of accepting this “eminently reasonable” verdict, the Manmohan Singh government was seeking a review of this decision. Further it was contemplating a presidential reference to the Supreme Court on the issue.
“All this shows how the government is bent upon protecting vested interests and those who have indulged in wrong-doing. The government wants to retain discretionary powers in the hands of the executive in the name of non-encroachment by the judiciary on the policy-making powers of the executive. The stance adopted further exposes the complicity of the Manmohan Singh government in the 2G spectrum allocation. The defence put up by the government for the first-come first-served policy shows that it was not just A. Raja but the then Finance Minister and the Prime Minister who are also responsible for allowing the loot of scarce spectrum resources.”
The Polit Bureau finalised the draft of the Political-Organisational Report for the 20th Congress to be held at Kozhikode next month. The draft will now be placed before the Central Committee for discussions and approval, at its March 17 to 19 meeting.
“Give up efforts to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade”
Accuses government of protecting vested interests