People's Democracy

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


No. 29

July 18, 2010



CPI(M) will Defeat

Efforts to Weaken Left

N S Arjun


THE challenge before the Left now, particularly the CPI(M), is to adopt tactics that would overcome the systematic efforts of both the ruling classes and imperialism to weaken it and prevent the emergence of a political alternative to the neo-liberal dispensations. The upcoming extended meeting of the Central Committee in Vijayawada would deliberate on this and evolve such tactics, stated CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury.


He was addressing a seminar on “The Anti-People Policies of Central Government and Alternatives” in Vijayawada on July 9. The auditorium was jampacked with people from all walks of life attending this seminar that was held in the run-up to the extended meeting of the Central Committee, scheduled to be held in the city during August 7 - 10, 2010.


Yechury explained that normally the political line of the Party is decided by the Party Congress, which is due next year. But since elections to Bengal and Kerala are set to take place next year, the Congress would be postponed. In view of the political change that occurred after the Coimbatore Congress of the Party – where the Left is now no longer supporting the UPA government –  this extended meeting of the CC would chalk out the political line to be adopted till the next Congress.


Utilising the situation where the Left is no longer needed for the survival of the government, the UPA-II government has intensified its attacks on the people while simultaneously becoming more and more a junior partner to US imperialism. In the backdrop of the global economic crisis, which is intensifying in some nations while some other nations are able to wriggle out, these attacks on the people worldwide are becoming more blatant. Big private corporations are being bailed out using public money while the people are being hit through cuts in public expenditure. He said around $11.7 trillion debt has been raised worlwide to help these corporations. This money can be recouped only through intensified attacks on people, particularly the working class.


The UPA-II government is following on a similar path – giving big concessions to the rich and helping their profits soar while squeezing the aam admi. “There seem to be two Indias in the making, one an IPL India and another BPL India. While the government keeps focussing on 9 per cent growth rate, 77 per cent of the people are living earning less than Rs 20 per day. The government's approach seems to be to give maximum concessions to the rich so that they will spend and help in growth of economy.” Yechury said the finance minister has doled out around Rs 2 lakh crore of money to private corporations in the form of taxes foregone in the last two years itself. Maybe, this amount helped in the growth of economy. But growth for whom, he questioned and answered that it was only the billionaires who benefited and whose number doubled in our country from 26 to 52. If only the government had not foregone this amount and instead invested it in development of nation's infrastructure, there would have been more income for the common people in the form of increased jobs. This is the alternative which CPI(M) had been consistently advocating  but the government refuses to implement. It is only people's movements that can force it to heed such advice, stressed Yechury.




The CPI(M) leader charged that this Rs 2 lakh crore incentive to the corporates has fuelled the unprecedented price rise in the country, as much of this money has been funnelled into speculative futures trading in commodities. The futures trading grew by around 170 per cent in the last two years, underlining how profitable this speculation is. He demanded immediate ban on futures trading in order to bring down the prices of essential commodities. But the government would not do this as it would hurt the profits of private companies. Similarly about the recent petro hike, Yechury demanded that the government reduce the tax duties on these products to zero. He asked why is the government taxing the imports of petroleum products that are so crucial for the economy of the country. The government collected Rs 1.2 lakh crore as taxes last year – this was nothing but burdening the common people. He attacked the government for couching its concessions to the rich in positive terms as “incentives” that are good for growth of economy while the concessions to the poor are put in negative terms as “subsidies” that are harmful to the economy. This shows the class bias of the ruling classes and its government. He underlined that it is only the CPI(M) and the Left that has consistently stood in opposition to such price hikes while both the Congress and the BJP took divergent stands depending on whether they were in power or in opposition.


Only by adopting alternative economic policies is it possible to realise the actual potential of our nation and reduce the burdens on the people. And this can be done by mounting pressure on the government through people's movements. The government's economic policies can be changed only when a political alternative is established. However such an alternative cannot be a cut and paste job. There is possibility and scope for formation of such an alternative and the CPI(M) is engaged in it, he asserted.


The ruling classes and imperialism realise the dangers of such an alternative emerging and to prevent this have jointly mounted attack on the CPI(M) in order to weaken it. This is most clearly evident in Bengal where the entire range of reactionary forces have ganged up to weaken the Party. Over 250 comrades have been killed post Lok Sabha elections in the state. What is happening in Bengal is nothing but a serious class struggle to weaken the poeple's movement. The challenge before the Party across the country and particularly in Bengal is to sharpen this class struggle in favour of people, underlined Yechury.


CPI(M) Vijayawada city secretary, R Raghu, presided over the meeting while Krishna district secretary of the Party, Uma Maheswar Rao, and floor leader in the corporation and secretary of the Reception Committee, Ch Babu Rao, were present on the dais.