CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy issued the following press communiqué at a press meet in New Delhi on March 8, 2019 after the conclusion of the two-day National Executive meeting held in New Delhi on March 6 and 7:
The National Executive discussed in detail the present economic and political situation in the country as well as the role of the secular, democratic forces in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections of 2019. The meeting unanimously underlined the need for ousting the anti-people, anti-working class, divisive and communal RSS-BJP controlled NDA government led by Narendra Modi. The meeting also noted in unequivocal terms the urgent need to save the Indian economy which is in deep crisis and save our Constitution from the clutches of the fascistic forces which have surrendered the economy and the country to the forces of neo-liberalism and anti-nationalism. The meeting held that uprooting of the Modi government, replacing it with a secular democratic progressive government in which the Left has an enhanced say is the need of the hour. Swapan Banerjee presided over the National Executive meeting of the CPI.
In order to achieve the above urgent need, the CPI which has party units in 29 states will put up candidates in 24 states. The National Executive identified 55 constituencies and finalized the names of candidates for 17 constituencies as part of the first round. As the negotiations for seat adjustments are still going on this number may change. The constituencies identified are Vijayawada or Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh; Nagaon, Jorhat, North Lakinpur in Assam; Begusarai, Khagaria, Motihari, Madhubani, Banka, Gaya in Bihar; Bastar (South) in Chhattisgarh, one seat in Delhi; one seat in Goa; Surat in Gujarat; Ambala in Haryana; Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh; Hazaribagh, Dumka in Jharkhand; Kathua (Jammu) in J&K; Tumakuru in Karnataka; Mavelikkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Wayanad in Kerala; Bhopal, Khargone, Shahdol, Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh; Parbhani, Gadchiroli (Tribal), Ramtek (Reserved in Nagpur district), Shridi (Reserved in Ahmednagar District) in Maharashtra; Inner Manipur in Manipur; Shillong in Meghalaya; Aska in Odisha; Firozpur in Punjab; Sri Ganganagar, Udaipur, Chittorgarh in Rajasthan; two seats in Tamil Nadu; Bhongir or Khammam in Telangana; Ghosi, Robertsganj SC, Band, Hardoi SC, Gazipur, Aonla, Jaunpur, Allahabad, Mirzapur, Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh; Basirhat, Ghatal, Midnapore in West Bengal.
The candidates cleared are Ramu Ram Maurya (Bastar South), Pravesh Chandel (Hamirpur), Dev Raj (Kathua – Jammu), Bhubaneshwar Prasad Mehta (Hazaribagh), Senapathi Mumu (Dumka), N. Shivanna (Tumakuru), Chittayam Gopakumar (Mavelikkara), C. Divakaran (Thiruvananthapuram), Rajaji Mathew Thomas (Thrissur), P.P. Suneer (Wayanad), Rajen Kshirsagar (Parbhani), Bansi Satupute (Shirdi), Dr. Nara Singh (Inner Manipur), Ramakrushna Panda (Aska), Revataram Naik (Sri Ganganagar), Ghanshyam Thawad (Udaipur), Radha Bhandari (Chittorgarh).
The National Executive also set up an eleven-member Election Manifesto Committee with party national council secretary D Raja as convener. Other members of the committee are national council secretaries Atul Kumar Anjaan, Amarjeet Kaur, Dr B K Kango, Binoy Viswam, national executive members Nagendranath Ojha, Annie Raja, C R Bakshi, national council members C H Venkatachalam, R Thirumalai, and Vicky Mahesari. National Council secretaries D Raja and Dr K Narayana were also present in the press meet.
The meeting severely condemned the anti-people divisive moves of the Narendra Modi government to polarise the voters somehow and to come back to power after the elections. The Citizenship Amendment Bill granting citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, who are Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis if they entered the country before 2014 is out and out is a discrimination against Muslims. This bill was opposed by the Left, Congress and other secular opposition parties. There was a widespread agitation against it, in North eastern states of Manipur, Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and other states. Assam Gana Parishad withdrew from BJP led government in Assam. Some small parties also left NDA in northeast. People are angry as this will be a challenge to local population. The intention of the government is to change the demography of some states to reduce Muslim population in artificial methods.
Similarly, after the defeat of elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, BJP got worried about attaining majority in 2019 Parliament election. They understood Modi charishma is not enough to win the elections. Besides some concessions to peasants and middle class brought a bill for 10 per cent reservation to economically backward category of upper castes, in education and employment, with a view to manipulate upper caste votes in the elections. Employment opportunities are very limited. Lakhs of government jobs are unfulfilled and 10 per cent reservation may not help EBCs to get employment. This is an election jumla.
Pulwama and Later Developments: On February 14, the attack of terrorists suicide cadre on the convoy of 78 buses carrying soldiers to Srinagar 49 of them died at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. The incident shocked the entire nation and naturally there was anger among the people.
The Indian Air Force carried an ariel strike, on a training centre run by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot in Pakistan. It is deep 70km inside Pakistan. The Air strike destroyed the training centre in which it is claimed to be having 350 people. It is speculation how many of the terrorists and their recruits were killed. According to analysts, it is difficult to count, while Pakistan is refusing to accept that there was any damage. This is a peculiar reaction. This air strikes have sent a strong message that cross-border terrorism will not be tolerated.
Next day Pakistan tried to attack by crossing the LOC through air strike and India retaliated. Both the countries lost one plane each. The Indian pilot of MIG-21Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan security forces. He was released as a peace gesture as claimed by Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on March 2 which is a big relief. This reduced tensions to some extent. If Pakistan is serious in its peace talks, they should take action on Jaish-e-Mohammad, ban terrorist activities in its territory. In Poonch sector there are violations of LOC and 3 civilians died simultaneously there was again encounter with terrorists in which 5 soldiers and two terrorists were killed. Now the next step should be de-escalation of the situation.
Meanwhile the BJP and Hindutva forces are rousing nationalism and trying to utilise it politically. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah is making cheap statements against opposition parties.
The meeting of opposition parties at Delhi on February 27 rightly condemned the politicisation of army sacrifices by the BJP and its allies for electoral purposes. Our security forces, their sacrifices are above the politics. This is the time for unity of the Nation. The entire nation should stand with our security forces. BJP is politicising this, as they miserably failed in implementing the promises they made to the people. Unemployment has gone up to 7.2 per cent poverty has increased. People are in misery. Dalits, Minorities are living in insecurity. Prices have gone up. There is anti-BJP feelings among the people. Hence a desperate attempt to politicise army sacrifices. People should see through the game.
CPI welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court on Ayodhya for adjudication. But people like Ravi Shankar may create hurdles in arriving at a consensus. Honest neutral personalities would have been of more help.