Even as the West Bengal government is battling the Maoist menace, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to counter them politically and ideologically.

“We have decided to conduct a vigorous campaign against Maoists whom we do not consider a Left trend or organisation. We will fight politically and ideologically to isolate Maoists,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said at the end of the Central Committee meeting here on Sunday.

On the release of some tribal women for the release of an abducted police officer by the West Bengal government, he said the government had exercised its judgment. In any case, those released on bail were not important cadre but ordinary people mobilised by Maoists.

Mr. Karat said the situation in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were far more serious. The problem of backwardness in remote tribal areas was neglected for long.

“The Central and State governments will have to develop a package to deal with Maoists in all aspects,” he said, demanding that the armed forces not be involved in the task.

Mr. Karat said the Central Committee felt that the UPA government, in its second term too, was bent upon pursuing neo-liberal policies, including disinvestment in public sector undertakings and a $2-billion loan to recapitalise some public sector banks. It decided to back the protest called by trade unions for October 28.

The Union government was making promises that prices would come down in future, but India now had one of the highest consumer price inflation rates in the world. “The inaction of the government on the price front has resulted in increased suffering for the ordinary people,” the Central Committee said.

Autonomy for Tamil-speaking areas

The meeting asked the government to make efforts to ensure the speedy return of all displaced people to their homes in Sri Lanka, and their rehabilitation. It urged the Sri Lanka government to provide full autonomy to the Tamil-speaking areas.

As for the India-China relations, Mr. Karat said the talk about tensions between the two countries was now clear at the highest level, and as for Arunachal Pradesh, India’s stand is that the State is its integral part. He hoped both countries would make progress in the border talks.

Adopts document

The Central Committee also adopted a rectification campaign document. The first phase of the campaign will be implemented by June next. “Contrary to speculation, this is not to carry out a purge,” Mr. Karat said.

The document sets forth guidelines to correct the party’s political orientation, revitalise the Marxist ideology and check the wrong trends that had crept into the party. It would cover all levels of the party.

As for setting limits on the term for office-bearers, Mr. Karat said the matter was not yet discussed.

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