(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 20, 2011
PRAKASH KARAT’S PRESS CONFERENCE
20th Party Congress to Decide Secretaries’ Tenure
THE Central Committee of the CPI(M) has proposed to limit the tenure of party committee secretaries at all levels to three terms. This was informed to the mediapersons by CPI(M) general secretary, Prakash Karat, at a press conference held at AKG Bhavan, the party’s headquarters, on November 13. Karat clarified that the Central Committee’s proposal would be presented, in the form of a constitution amendment, to the coming party congress in April 2012 for its consideration and would be applicable only if the party congress endorses it. In reply to the questions coming from the assembled mediapersons, Karat clarified that the system would not be applicable retrospectively. He also informed that the party leadership was deliberating on the idea since 2009.
mediapersons the decisions of the Central Committee that met in
Replying to the questions about the Jammu & Kashmir government’s demand for withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain areas of the state, Karat said the CPI(M) not only supports the state government’s demand but is in favour of repeal of the act itself. He said it is a repressive and draconian law that violates the fundamental rights of Indian citizens, and that the issue is relevant for states like Manipur as well. Insofar as Jammu & Kashmir is concerned, the CPI(M) general secretary reminded that one year has elapsed since the central government promised a review of this act. In the meantime, an all-party meeting and a parliamentary delegation to the state have backed up the idea that the act and the disturbed area declaration must be withdrawn from the areas of Jammu & Kashmir where extremist activities are not taking place and the army is not deployed.
to the queries concerning
Announcing the party’s firm opposition to any kind of financial assistance, subsidy or bailout package for the Kingfisher airlines, Karat pointed out that the government too has denied the chance of doling out any such package. He also clarified that the CPI(M) is totally against foreign direct investment in the aviation sector.
The CPI(M) leader stressed on the need of adopting an effective Lok Pal legislation in the coming winter session itself of parliament. Replying to questions regarding the “right to reject” and other such demands, he said the CPI(M) stood for electoral reforms in totality, and these include a switchover to the proportional representation system with a partial list. He also said that by not coming out to cast their votes the people do express their rejection of all the candidates in an election, and therefore the CPI(M) is not very enthusiastic about the proposal of adding a “None of the Above” button in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).