People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 40

October 05, 2003

 Restore Original Chargesheet In Babri Case: CPI(M)


TERMING the recent episode of Murli Manohar Joshi’s resignation and reinduction into the union cabinet as a drama, the CPI(M) has demanded that the original chargesheet in the Babri Masjid demolition case be restored. It has also demanded that all the 49 accused under the original chargesheet, filed by the CBI in the special court at Lucknow in 1997, must be tried in a unified case.


Addressing a packed press conference at the party headquarters, AKG Bhavan, on October 1, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat made these demands. He briefed the media on the deliberations of the September 28-30 meeting of the Central Committee in New Delhi. He informed that Harkishan Singh Surjeet, CPI(M) general secretary, had to leave for Kolkata to be with Jyoti Basu in his moment of grief due to the passing away of his wife.


Pointing out that the media have also not focussed on the real issue in regard to the Babri case during Joshi’s drama, Prakash charged the Vajpayee government with filing a diluted chargesheet in Rae Bareli court in a legal move to scuttle the case. He said the Central Committee was of the opinion that if the accused in this case were allowed to go scot-free, it would be a serious miscarriage of justice. He termed the recent VHP call for renewed agitation on the temple issue as “playing with fire” and said the CPI(M) was concerned about it. If communal tensions are roused due to this disruptive campaign, the Vajpayee government would be held responsible, he warned. The stand of all democratic forces in the country on this issue is that nothing less than a full judicial verdict will solve this problem, said Prakash Karat. He said the CPI(M) expects Mulayam Singh Yadav to do everything possible to prevent any mischief in regard to this issue.


Referring to the recent byelection results, Karat said they were a source of big satisfaction for the CPI(M) as it was the lone party to have wrested from the opposition both the seats it contested. Putting the Ernakulam victory in perspective, he pointed out that it was not a mere fight for a byelection but a struggle against the A K Antony government, which was the most repressive one Kerala had seen in recent times. To every popular agitation --- the Adivasi struggle, the student struggle against commercialisation --- the Antony government’s only answer had been the use of bullets, lathis and teargas. He labeled the UDF as an “unprincipled gang-up of all casteist and communal forces in Kerala.” A combination of the increasing struggles by the LDF against the Antony government’s policies and the growing discontent among the people has exacerbated the already institutionalised divisions within the Congress party, said Karat. Replying to a question, he made it clear that in case a situation arises that the Antony government may go due to these divisions, the Kerala unit of the CPI(M) has been authorised to take all necessary steps to make that happen. He said the party has not changed its charecterisation of the Muslim League in Kerala as a communal organisation. He also debunked the theory that Muslims have not voted for the UDF candidate at the Muslim League’s behest. “The Muslim community in Kerala is alienated from the UDF due to Antony’s blatant communal appeasement in Marad,” he pointed out.


The Supreme Court judgement in the Tamilnadu government employees banning the right to strike was agitating not only the government employees but the entire democratic sections. It was not in the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or the judiciary to ban the right to strike, said Prakash Karat. He announced the decision of the Central Committee to support the demands in this regard made by the two national conventions of the employees and the trade unions. “We will support any nationwide strike call to defend the right to strike,” he said.


On the coming elections in five states, Karat said the CPI(M)’s aim will be to ensure the BJP’s defeat, to expose the Congress party’s anti-people policies and ensure an increase in the presence of the Left in assemblies. He said the party would contest only in the constituencies where it can effectively intervene. He announced that the CPI(M) would contest 15 seats in Rajasthan, 10 in Madhya Pradesh, 6 in Chhattisgarh and 2 in Delhi. In all other constituencies it would concentrate on defeating the BJP and exposing the anti-people policies of the Congress. He said there would be an alliance with the CPI in all the states and with other secular parties in each state. He informed that the Central Committee has decided to take up the question of political-electoral tactics in its next meeting after the elections to the five state assemblies.