(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 08 , 2008
Govt Must Quit, CPI(M) Demands
THE CPI(M) has demanded that the BJP's Vasundhara Raje government of Rajasthan must resign for the brutal repression of the ongoing Gujjar agitation in the state. Addressing a press conference at the Party headquarters in New Delhi on May 30, the Party's general secretary, Prakash Karat, described as “shocking” the murder of 41 persons in police firing in the very first two days of the agitation demanding the ST status for the Gujjar community. He said the chief minister must own up the moral responsibility for it and tender her resignation. Karat also said the BJP, which has not a bit of hesitation in demanding the promulgation of article 356 for dismissal of state governments led by other parties, must immediately change the chief minister of Rajasthan if it has an iota of regard for moral standards.
The CPI(M) leader also said that the Gujjar movement is a sensitive and complicated issue and a political solution to it must be evolved through cordial negotiations. But the BJP chief minister of Rajasthan thinks that to rule is her “God-given” right, and she responds to all kinds of agitations with force. Terming the Vasundhara Raje government as a “killer government,” Karat referred to the record of its repression. He reminded that, in the four and a half years of this government, its police force has resorted to firing as many as 50 times, killing more than 80 innocent people.
Briefing the media about the decisions of the CPI(M) central committee meeting on May 29 and 30, Karat said the committee had authorised the Polit Bureau to decide upon a countrywide agitation, in conjunction with other Left and non-Left secular parties, immediately if the central government announces a hike in the prices of petro products.
In reply to the queries made by some correspondents, the CPI(M) general secretary clarified that there was no discussion, nor is there the possibility of a discussion, with the UPA government on raising the prices of petro products. However, he categorically said, the Left is not going to accept any such hike as it would impose further burdens upon the people. Referring to the alternative steps suggested by the Left in this connection, he said the CPI(M) has already asked the Left Front governments of West Bengal and Kerala to consider a reduction in the sales tax on petro products, so as to give some relief to the people.
Karat informed that the central committee also considered the results of the recent polls to the three-tier panchayati raj system in West Bengal and some other issues. He termed as notable the Left Front victory in Panchayat bodies, with 54 per cent vote share. He also reminded that the Left Front had scored this victory vis-à-vis an alliance whose formation no one had even imagined earlier. He admitted that the Left had suffered a setback in some areas, adding that the CPI(M)'s West Bengal state committee is reviewing the results. Yet, Karat said, the initial review does indicate that some apprehensions about land acquisition for industrialisation had had a role in this setback. These apprehensions need to be allayed. This aspect has to be kept in view while planning industrialisation and all the people in the concerned areas taken into confidence before any acquisition of land.
The central committee's communiqué issued on the occasion follows.