• CPI National Council

CPI Press Communique

The following is the Press Communique issued by Communist Party of India general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy to the Media on July 21, 2019:

The National Council of the Communist Party of India vehemently criticised the move of the RSS-controlled Narendra Modi government to push the country towards extreme right. The meeting of the national council which was in session in Ajoy Bhavan, New Delhi on July 19, 20 and 21, 2019 pointed out the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is the blueprint towards total privatisation, selling off of public sector units including those in the sensitive areas like defence.

Despite the deepening crisis that is crippling the Indian economy, the Union Budget extends a huge tax relief for the corporate houses which will cover 99.3 per cent of the companies. Currently, the lower rate of 25 per cent is only applicable to companies having annual turnover up to 250 crore and this has been widened to include all companies having annual turnover up to 400 crore. All projects under start up will have tax holiday till 2021, the foreign investor companies also to get tax holiday till 2020. There will be no scrutiny or enquiry on these companies. In her budget statement she said that 44 laws would be converted into four codes to facilitate the employers to steamroll their wishes on the working sections even to the extent of denying hard-won rights of the working class.

Though the finance minister made an unusually long speech which is akin to reading an election manifesto, she seems to have ignored the budgetary arithmetic. The schemes proposed normally will have also the allocations tagged along with them. One fails to understand whether it is a slip or done purposefully to cover up the dwindling economy. Whatever may be the reason the worrying fact is that there is no adequate resource creation in the budget which will further drag back the dwindling economy. As there are more initiatives and schemes announced in the budget, the scarcity of resources will be very badly felt in their implementation.

The Modi government fully committed to its rightist ideology is blindly dependent on private sector investment. In reality the private investment growth has not been encouraging as there is a shortage of demand and capacity utilization. Demand shortage seems to be widespread and therefore the fresh investment is held back by the private sector. Also no visible measure is suggested in the budget to push up demand. Also for the 2018-19 financial year, IIP growth stood at 3.6 per cent, much lower than 4.4 per cent recorded in previous financial year. IIP growth has started falling while inflation has been inching upwards.

The government has already made a roadmap to sell the assets of PSUs including surplus land with them. The anti-people, anti-public sector and anti-worker Modi government can go to any extent to rob the people of even the existing facilities to please the rich and corporate sector. The labour laws are being changed in favour of hire and fire policy and exclusion of vast majority of workers from any protection. Seven rich persons gained one fifth of the money that market made during the last six months which is equivalent to Rs 1,40,000 crores.

On the general elctions and Modi’s coming back to power, the National Council noted that despite sincere efforts by the CPI for the last two years to unite all secular, democratic parties to defeat BJP, many parties which expressed that desire to unite, in practice miserably failed due to narrow petty interests of leaders and groups. Even broad understanding among the secular and Left parties, did not succeed in many states. There was a positive political atmosphere in the country a few months back. BJP was defeated in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. They were defeated in bye-elections to Parliament. Earlier they lost Karnataka also. But there was confusion as there was no uniform method of understanding among the secular and Left, except in Tamil Nadu where it yielded excellent results.

BJP could accommodate many small parties in different states. It is reported that BJP had understanding with 44 parties in different states. They forced AIADMK by misusing the state machinery and had understanding with it along with some other parties in Tamil Nadu. There are allegations that BJP spent huge amounts of money and even paid to allies to join the NDA. In Uttar Pradesh they accommodated many small parties and some of their candidates were forced to contest on BJP symbols. BJP could get huge amounts of money from corporates through electoral bonds. Eighty per cent of electoral bonds were in favour of BJP.

Election Commission’s failure in proving its impartiality and its failure to use its powers, made it to lose its credibility. There are wide spread doubts about EVMs. Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax raids were conducted against the opposition party leaders before and during elections to malign them and to terrorise and demoralise them. That is how AIADMK surrendered to BJP in Tamil Nadu, a few months before elections.

No doubt the victory of NDA led by BJP is a political challenge before us. Aggressive, muscular, chauvinistic cultural nationalism as advocated by RSS needs to be countered. This is a stupendous task as any alternative narrative must embrace the concept of unity in diversity considering caste, language, religious and other difference amongst the people and also present an alternative economic development vision of inclusive and sustainable development.

The meeting accepted that the Left defeat in this election is a very big setback. This is an unprecedented challenge to our party. Our Party could get representation only from Tamil Nadu in understanding with DMK under the leadership of Shri M.K. Stalin. CPI (M) also got two seats from Tamil Nadu and one seat in Kerala. The entire Left is reduced to five seats in the present Parliament. This is the lowest ever representation of Left after independence. The Left cadre and ranks are disappointed and unhappy. Victory and defeat are normal in elections but we are shocked with loss of vote share in big way. Traditional left vote erosion is very high in West Bengal. That is alarming. It reduced from 25 per cent to seven per cent in Bengal. In Kerala UDF got 47 per cent, LDF 35 per cent which is a big gap. It never used to be more than two per cent difference earlier. We need to introspect deeply why our vote share in strong bases also is eroding in such big way. This is more so in West Bengal. This is a big challenge. We shall face it and overcome.

In the coming period the fascist offensive in all likelihood will get intensified. There will be more misery to masses. The party should be reequipped to defend the Left and democratic movement in the country. Towards the meeting decided to hold a special organisation conference which should devote entirely on Party reorganisation. Such organisation, conferences may be held at all levels. Younger blood should be promoted into various levels of the party.

On the draft New Education Policy that has been circulated for discussion, the National Council is of the firm opinion that it reflects the pro-market, pro-corporate interests of the government and is clearly under WTO mandate. There was an attempt to impose Hindi under the guise of three language formula but after a strong opposition government made a hasty retreat. However through UGC circular another attempt is being made to impose Hindi in colleges and universities.

Co-option and Election of New Members

CPI co-opted Com. Krishna Jha, Candidate member to full member of CPI.

Com. Kanhaiya Kumar is elected to National Executive committee in the vacancy caused by the death of Com. Shameem Faizee. Com. Ramakrishna Panda (Odisha), Com. Manish Kunjam (Chhattisgarh) leader of All India Adivasi Mahasabha are co-opted as Invitees to National Executive Committee.

Elected New General Secretary

Com. Sudhakar Reddy has been relieved on his request from the post of General Secretary, and Com. D. Raja senior leader of the party is elected as new General Secretary of Communist Party of India.

The following resolutions were adopted. They are:

1. Resolution against privatisation of Railways

2. Resolution against the Proposed Move of the NDA Government to Corporatise the Ordnance Factories With the Ulterior Motive of Privatising the Defence Production Units

3. Resolution on Agriculture and Budget 2019-20

4. Resolution on CPI Condemns Attacks on Activities Like Aruna Roy by RSS

5. Resolution on Drought and Floods

6. Resolution on Muzaffarpur Riots Case

7. Resolution on National Investigation Agency

8. Resolution on Nationalisation of Banks

9. Resolution on the Amendment to RTI Act

10. Resolution on Tripura Panchayat Election

11. Resolution on Anti Worker Labour law changes


Office Secretary

Communist Party of India

National Council Meeting on 19, 20 and 21 July, 2019,

at Ajoy Bhavan, New Delhi

1. Resolution against Privatisation of Railways

(Adopted by NC)

The National Council of Communist Party of India expresses its deep concern over the made rush of the Modi government to hand over the invaluable assets of the country to private hands. Now in its 100 day action plan the government has included handing over running of some trains to private companies and corporation of production unit. Corporation is nothing but a first step towards privatisation.

The railway men are gearing up to protest action against the Modi government policy of privatisation of railways which is considered to be the life line of the country.

National Council denounces governments move.

National Council supports railway men struggle against privatisation of railways.

2. Resolution against the Proposed Move of the NDA Government to Corporatise the Ordnance Factories With the Ulterior Motive of Privatising the Defence Production Units

(Adopted by NC)

The meeting of the National Council of the Communist Party of India held at New Delhi from 19/7/2019 to 21/07/2019 has noted the serious concern that the nation stands at an hour of crisis for a move that would catapult to a situation that would see end of the road for the 218 years old Indian Ordnance Factories consisting of 41 production units manufacturing Arms Ammunitions, Weapons, Tanks, Clothing etc. will stand to get converted in to a Corporation with the ulterior motive of Privatizing the entire Defence Production process. The NDA – 2 Government has kept this proposal in their 100 day Agenda. The CPI is of firm view that the Ordnance Factories should continue as a Government Department since as an established National Policy Ordnance Factories are required to maintain idle capacities to take care of surge demand in emergent war situation. Ordnance Factories cannot be treated as commercial Organisation. Maintaining idle capacity would be not possible if the Ordnance Factories are converted in to a Corporation / PSU.

The Defence manufacturing Industry represents a genuine domain of the state, a domain based on Government Orders as to what to produce, what resources to use, what prices to charge and even to whom to sell and whom not to sell. Therefore, market principles cannot be applied in the case of Ordnance Factories. The previous NDA Government have already declared 286 products being manufactured in the Ordnance Factories as Non-Core and outsourced the same to private sector so that Ordnance Factories can become sick industry. The Communist Party of India urges upon the Government of India to withdraw the decision taken to corporatize the Ordnance Factories in the interest of National Security and empower the Ordnance Factories to function effectively as a Departmental Unit so that the Ordnance Factories can fulfill the task of achieving self-reliance in Defence.

The CPI extend all support to the employees of Ordnance Factories and their Trade Unions who are fighting against the move of the Government to Corporatize the Ordnance Factories, with the ulterior motive of total privatisation of the national assets.

3. Resolution on Agriculture and Budget 2019-20

(Adopted by NC)

The National Council of CPI, meeting in Delhi on 19, 20, and 21 July, 2019 has adopted the following resolution on Budget 2019-20 and its impact on Agriculture:

Budget of government of India for 2019-20 presented by finance minister Smt. Sitharaman is fraught with serious consequence for peasant farming to be replaced by company farming with proposals like solar energy at large scale, group farming, change land laws for introducing long term leasing, invitation to private capital in the name of new technologies of irrigation as drip and sprinkler irrigation by them after getting long leases of vast chunks of land. The slogan of zero budget farming is a hoax and a retrograde step.

CPI is of firm view that cooperatives be made vehicles for providing finances on long term bases and very cheap and subsided finance for this. Otherwise the government take upon itself to provide all infrastructure. The budget has not earmarked any funds for this very urgent necessity to save water. Water harvesting, recharging, creating and fighting pollution do not find due consideration and allotments in the budget.

Similarly there is least realization to make agricultural remunerative vocation instead of unprofitable occupation with increasing costs and denial of just prices in the market. There is no allocation to relieve farmers from debt of various types i.e. private, institutional and cooperative. It is government’s responsibility as it buyer and controller of markets of inputs as well outputs i.e. grain, pulses, oil seed, cotton and sugarcane. There is not any serious step to pay dues of sugarcane growers on the other hand budget has sharply increased import duty, prices of petrol and diesel, which in turn, will lead to higher import prices of fertilizers and chemicals. It has decreased real allocations on MGNREGA and other social expenditures as scholarships, health and education services etc.

Similarly employment has been totally ignored, though government has admitted unemployment has surpassed 45 years record. Budget also has no steps to ensure that peasants get the government declared price, but stress further advance of e-marketing and privatisation, that will further eat up peasants’ earning.

The party appealed to Agrarian working people to prepare for long drawn out struggles to save land get remunerative prices, fight for relief from debt and to end the 25 year era of inhuman and bankrupt neo-liberalism and corporate rule.

1.75 lakh earmarked as agricultural allocation is in reality for Prime Minister Kisan and some other such schemes as insurance e-marketing that do not add to well being of peasantry, agricultural development and earning. Food security and self reliance are under threat and imports will increase.

4. Resolution on CPI Condemns Attack on Activists like Aruna Roy by RSS

(Adopted by NC)

The National Council of Communist Party of India strongly condemns the mischievous and scurrilous attack on Aruna Roy, NFIW President and Nikhil Dey and others of NKSS by a RSS affiliate. Recently Vishvanath Samvad Kendra, a Rajasthan’s affiliated body of the RSS published a booklet titled “Koun Hai Urpan Naxal?”and circulated in the state of Rajasthan.

In the context of this publication, there is an urgent need to renew the campaign for all rights based laws, to make sure the young generation understands how much RTI, public monitoring and the rights based laws contribute to their well being. There is also an urgent need to launch a countrywide protest against this malicious attack on activists by RSS. Earlier RSS targeted five activists and well known professionals and they are now in jail. Among them is Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj.

5. Resolution on Drought and Floods

(Adopted by NC)

The Communist Party of India notes with great agony and pain that the country is reeling under severe drought and floods at present. The state of Assam and Bihar are worst effected due to floods and the states of South India are facing unimaginable drought conditions resulting in acute shortage of even drinking water. The farming activities are almost at halt in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry and Karnataka. Kerala State had monsoons one month late and metrological department is of the view that 20 per cent to 25 per cent less rains are expected and it depends on the air problems in sea and movement of clouds.

The existing drought like situation in absence of water the sowing in many states has not taken place. The saplings of paddy could not be planted in absence of rains and they are spoiled. The growing prices of diesel is out of reach for small poor and marginal farmers to use it for using the pumps. The water level has gone to low beyond the imagination and need of hour is to go on a war foot level for recharging without further delay.

In North India according the metrological department less than average rainfall is predicted. The drought situation in Vidharva and Marthwada region of Maharashtra and continued drought conditions in North East especially Manipur is very serious and lowering down of water level is very critical. The agriculture input cost will go very high, agri-production and productivity will be adversely effected.

The National Council of the Communist Party of India expresses its deep sympathies with flood affected families who are uprooted and lost their dear ones and heavy devastation they are facing. The people of drought affected areas are leaving the rural part in search of bread in big numbers in absence of help from government.

The CPI notes with concern that the floods in Assam and Bihar in many districts is not because of heavy rains but the dams which were planned decades ago could not constructed or half hoatedly planned and unfinished dams brings devastation every year and huge money is siphoned in a clandestine manner. The flood and continuous erosion of land in Assam should be declared as a national issue of paramount importance.

The CPI Demands:

· Urgent financial help by central government to all drought flood effected states. Centre teams be sent urgently to assess the damages.

· More National Disaster Management teams should be sent with adequate helping materials especially in Bihar, Assam and Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

· To bring down the agriculture input cost the central government must withdraw the increase in diesel, petrol prices which has been proposed in recent budget.

The CPI calls upon its units at various level to come forward to help drought and flood effected people with material support and requests to special organisation to help generously to effected people at large.

6. Resolution On Muzaffarnagar Riots Case

(Adopted by NC)

The National Council of CPI being held from 19 - 21 July 2019 at New Delhi expresses serious concern at the way the investigations were conducted in the cases of riots in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. Reacting to a report published in the Indian Express on 19 July 2019 that 40 of the 41 accused in the riots were acquitted because either the witnesses turned hostile or the case was poorly prepared by the police. The party requests Hon'ble Supreme Court to take Suo Moto cognizance of the report and reopen the cases. According to the report 5 witnesses took a U turn and deposed that they were not present when their relatives were killed even though the FIRs mentioned otherwise. The report also highlights that the police did not produce murder weapons in the court. Another serious negligence is that the prosecution never cross examined the police on these cases. As a result all the acquittals are in the case of attacks on Minorities. Only in one case there has been conviction where the accused is from a minority community. The whole case shows blatant communal bias.

7. Resolution on National Investigation Agency

(Adopted by NC)

The National Council of Communist Party of India reiterates its position that terrorism of all creeds need to be fought back uncompromisingly. The Party is of considered view that terrorism in India is nurtured by religious fundamentalism owing allegiance to various ideologies. They are instruments in the hands of exploiting classes to divide the unity of toiling masses by deviating their attention from burning socio-economic problems. Mobilising masses against terrorism through exposing their real character has become imperative today.

The Communist Party firmly believes that the recent amendments in the National Investigation Agency Act is not in line with the peoples commitment to fight terrorism. The BJP government through this move was trying to advance its majoritarian philosophy, in the pretext of fighting terrorism. The new amendments intend to extend the NIA operations outside the country also ,and to proclaim any court as ‘designated' to handle cases registered by the agency. On the face, it may seem harmless. But in the hands of a reactionary government Ied by fascist ideology, this will be used as a sharpened weapon against Dalits, minorities and human right activists.

Track record of NIA Proves that they are easily viable to the diktats of the political bosses who are in power. It is they who white washed the criminal conspiracy behind terrorist activities like Malegaon bomb blasts and Samjhota express blast. Under RSS Controlled BJP rule saffronised terrorism is depicted as acts of patriotism. Its exponents went to to the extent of praising Nathuram Godse, the Killer of the father of the Nation as great patriot!

NIA under BJP was ever vindictive towards Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis and human right activists. There is every likelihood, that the added sharpness to its tooth and nail would be used by the Government against its political opponents and ideological critics. It can be used to suppress the freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution.

Being aware of these facts the Communist Party call up on all democratic forces to be on the vigil against the possible misuse of added powers to NIA. The National Council urge all Party units to hold hands together with all those sections of people, who fight against authoritarian policies of the government, in defense of democracy, secularism and social justice.

8. Resolution on Nationalisation of Banks

(Adopted by NC)

19th July, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Bank nationalisation when 14 major banks were nationalised by the government. Nationalization of banks was a consistent demand of our party and our party had been campaigning both inside and outside the parliament. All India Bank Employees Association was also fighting on this demand through various struggles.

In 1969, in the background of acute famine and poverty in many states, Indira Gandhi decided to accept the demand of the Left to nationalise the banks. But Indira Gandhi was opposed by many leaders within the Congress. Our party extended total support to Indira Gandhi to go ahead with this decision and thus major banks were nationalised.

Since then, in the last 50 years, nationalised banks have made significant strides in opening thousands of branches in the rural areas, in augmenting the saving of the people and to deploy the same for important economic needs like agriculture, rural development, poverty reduction, employment generation, women empowerment, etc.

But when the need is to further strengthen these public sector banks to enable further broad-based economic development, the government is busy to weaken our public sector banks by pursuing measures like dilution of government’s equity, merger of banks, huge concessions to corporate defaulters, etc. The burden of bad loans is sought to be heaped on the shoulder of the poor masses.

While hailing the 50th anniversary of Bank nationalisation, the national council demands of the government to halt their policies of retrograde banking reforms and take all-out steps to ensure a vibrant public sector banking system.

9. Resolution on the Amendments to RTI Act

(Adopted by NC)

The National Council of the Communist Party of India which is in session strongly object the RTI Amendment Bill, 2019 introduced by the NDA government in the Lok Sabha on Friday (July 19, 2019). The proposed amendments are regressive and are aimed at undermining the independence of information commissions, thereby diluting India’s strongest and most widely used framework for transparency.

The bill seeks to amend the RTI Act in order to empower the Central Government to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners at the Centre and States. The RTI Act confers an autonomous status to Commissions to empower them to carry out their functions independently so as to enforce compliance of the highest offices with the provisions of the law. The NDA Government has done so by wilfully misrepresenting an amendment to a basic feature of the law, as a function of rule-making.

Enabling the Executive to govern the functioning of the Commissions will fundamentally weaken the institution of the Information Commissions as it will adversely impact their ability to function in an independent manner. Further, the Central government usurping for itself the power to decide even the tenure, salaries and allowances of information commissioners of the State Information Commissions violate the principles of federalism.

The NC of CPI demands that the proposed amendments to the RTI Act is withdrawn and maintain the independence of RTI commission.

10. Resolution on Tripura Panchayat Election

(Adopted by NC)

The BJP made a history by grabbing 85% of seats unopposed in three-tier panchayat elections which is to be held in Tripura on July 27, 2019 by not allowing Left Front and other opposition candidates even to present their nomination papers to the respective authorities.

From July 1 to 8 was the period for submitting nomination papers for three tier Panchyat election. But armed gangs of BJP were stationed before the election offices to prevent the opposition candidates reaching the election offices. At the same time BJP goons created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation throughout the state resulting even those who managed to submit their nomination was forced to withdraw their nomination papers.

After the last date of withdrawal, over 90 per cent of the seats in the panchayat samitis and gram panchayats have gone uncontested to the BJP. The Left Front have decided to contest the remaining seats in three tier election on July 27.

The National Council of Communist Party of India condemns the fascistic methods of terror and intimidation of BJP to win the elections and call upon the People of India in general and Particularly of Tripura to mobilse all anti-BJP forces to stop this onslaught on the democratic exercise of the people guaranteed by the Indian constitution.

11. Resolution On Anti Worker Labour law changes

(Adopted by NC)

This National Council meeting of the CPI being held in New Delhi on 19-21 July, notes with grave concern that the Government of India in the last few years has announced several far reaching changes in the labour laws in the name of reforms with a view to facilitate “Ease of doing business” in order to attract foreign and indigenous investment. It has proposed to consolidate the existing labour laws into four Labour Codes i.e IR Code, Code on wages, Code on Health and Safety, Code on Social Security, in spite of the vehement opposition by the working class including the 2 days nationwide massive strike on 8th & 9th January 2019. Only two of the proposed labour codes are being introduced in this session of Parliament. But the finance minister’s budget speech mentioned all the four codes giving an indication of the government’s intention.

A new labour law regime to govern small factories known as Small Factories Bill was introduced, besides several amendments to the Factories Act. Utilising the concurrent powers, the Governments of several states have also taken the initiative to effect changes in the Labour Laws, the forerunners being Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana.

On the other hand, the steep rise in informal employment including in the formal sector since the adoption of the New Economic Policy, the employers enjoy much more flexibility than the labour laws allow. The vested interests amongst the big business are the advisers to the Government of India on the so-called labour law reforms, as admitted in certain forum by the Prime Minister himself. These proposed changes undermine the workers’ and TU rights and are contrary to the constitutional values reflected in the Directive Principles of State Policy as well as international labour standards and will have the effect of pushing large number of workers out of the coverage of beneficial labour legislations. While it is necessary to simplify and harmonise the existing labour legislations, the steps by the Government is in the direction of depriving their hard won rights in the process.

The Government has been acting unilaterally and announcing these changes without any meaningful consultations with the Trade Unions. The Government has ignored the unanimous recommendations passed by the Indian Labour Conference such as Need based minimum wages and other long standing demands.

There is no tangible relief to the working class in the 2019 Budget placed in the Parliament and the several demands/depositions placed by the Central Trade Unions are simply ignored.

This meeting of the National Council salutes the working class for already having challenged these anti-worker policies under the banner of the AITUC on 15-16-17 July, 2019 by nation-wide demonstrations and stands in solidarity with their struggles.

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