Elections in India

June 9, 2014

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on June 7 and 8, 2014. It has issued the following review of Lok Sabha [lower house of Indian parliament] election.

The Central Committee discussed and adopted a review report of the Lok Sabha  election. The Central Committee conducted an in-depth discussion which critically assessed the poor performance of the Party.

The Politbureau and the Central leadership took the primary responsibility for the failure to expand the independent strength and the decline in the mass base of the Party which was reflected in the election results. The Central Committee discussed the review of the election results in West Bengal where the Party and the Left Front have suffered a serious reverse.

The Central Committee discussed the political and organisational steps to be taken so that the Party in West Bengal can reorient its work and forge close links with the people. The Party will take the lead in taking up the issues of the working people and conduct struggles and movements. Immediate steps should be taken to protect the Party cadres and supporters who are facing continuous attacks.

The Central Committee congratulated the Tripura State Committee for the unprecedented victory. The Party and the Left Front polled 64.4 per cent of the vote, winning the two seats with huge margins. The Central Committee decided to review the political line and the organisational functioning in order to take corrective measures.

The Party will go to the people, forge close links with the masses and will ceaselessly conduct struggles and movements to defend the livelihood interests of the people, secularism and democratic rights. The Central Committee is united in its resolve to face the challenges arising out of the new political situation in the country.

Trinamul Violence Condemned

The Central Committee condemned the continuing violence and attacks on its cadres and Left supporters by the Trinamul Congress in West Bengal. Ten CPI(M) members and supporters were killed during the election campaign and in the post-poll violence. The Central Committee called upon the Party and the Left forces to conduct solidarity campaigns all over the country in defence of democracy and against the violence in West Bengal.

New Government

With the Narendra Modi government taking office, the people are expecting that the acute problems they are facing will be addressed such as price rise, unemployment, agrarian distress and increasing crimes against women. However, the BJP-led government seems more interested in raising issues which are divisive. The talk of abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution by a minister has caused serious apprehensions. This can only lead to more alienation amongst the people in Kashmir. Nothing should be done that will undermine the special status accorded to Jammu & Kashmir which is a solemn commitment to the people at the time of the state's accession to the Indian Union. Moves are afoot to increase FDI [foreign direct investment ] entry into defence production and other sectors like insurance. The CPI(M) is opposed to such steps. There are also moves to grant environmental clearance to a large number of projects in the mining and power sectors which have serious implications for the environment and the rights of the tribal people in these areas. The Modi government should desist from taking such steps without taking into account the environmental factors and the rights of the tribal and local people.

Spate of Communal Incidents

Ever since the polling for the Lok Sabha elections ended and the new government assumed office there have been more than a dozen communal incidents across the country. Communal clashes have been reported from Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP, Karnataka and other places. There has been the brutal killing of a young Muslim IT professional by men belonging to the Hindu Rashtra Sena in Pune. It seems the mood of triumphalism has led to communal incidents often targeting the minority community. The Central Committee strongly condemned such attacks and resolved to work to protect the minority community while countering all forms of communalism.

Increasing Crimes Against Women

It is a matter of deep concern that sexual assaults against women and children continue to increase raising questions as to whether India is a country safe for its women. The lack of political will to take the necessary measures to curb assaults on women has been exemplified by the spate of horrific cases of rape and murder of the victims in Uttar Pradesh such as in Badaun. The state Government has failed to curb lawlessness including in its own police force. On the contrary statements by top leaders of the Samajwadi Party trivialize the crime of rape and encourage the callousness of the police and officials in dealing with such cases. There have also been a big increase in cases of sexual assault in Rajasthan including in the Chief Minister's own constituency where victims have been denied justice. The shocking statements by the Home Ministers in BJP-led [Bharatiya Janata Party] in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh display utter insensitivity and raise questions whether victims of sexual assault in these States can ever hope for justice. There is no respite from the growing attacks on women in West Bengal. The Central Committee demanded that the state governments concerned take firm and effective action in all such cases and send out a message that such crimes will not be tolerated.


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