(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 25, 2012
Opportunities for Advance in the Present Situation
THE results of the assembly elections in the five states have had an impact on the national political situation. There have been a variety of analyses and views about the nature of the impact on the political situation. It is therefore necessary to set out how the CPI(M) views the situation.
The election results were
for both the Congress and the BJP. It is the result in Uttar Pradesh
been the most significant in this regard. The Congress could win only
and the BJP 47 seats out of a total of 403. If the Congress was ousted
In Uttar Pradesh, the decisive victory of the Samajwadi Party put paid to the hopes of the Congress that it could be in a balancing position and to leverage it to strengthen itself politically at the centre. The fact that the Congress could establish a lead in only one parliamentary constituency and that it lost in the traditional bailiwick of the Gandhi family should be a cause for worry.
The immediate impact of these elections has been to weaken the political authority of the UPA government and to deepen the difficulties of the Congress in running the government.
Prior to the elections,
between the Congress and the TMC had surfaced. On a number of issues,
had come out against the positions adopted by the UPA government. These
differences have got further aggravated now. The episode of railway
Dinesh Trivedi, having to resign after presenting the budget on the
Mamata Banerjee, is a stark reminder of how the drift and incoherence
the UPA government has deepened. This was also highlighted in the way
MPs including ministers walked out at the time of the adoption of the
thanks to the president’s address in both the houses of parliament. The
hypocrisy and double standards of Mamata Banerjee and her Party have
full display. Much of the drama enacted is being attributed to her
demand for a
special financial handout for
The prospects for the UPA government are dismal. It will be forced to live a hand to mouth existence. In the case of the president’s address, the role of the Samajwadi Party and the BSP proved crucial for the passage of the motion. This will become the pattern. Every time the government seeks the passage of an important legislation, it will have to negotiate and barter its way through.
The failure of the Congress and the BJP, the two big bourgeois parties, in the recent assembly polls, is a matter of satisfaction. It will make the pushing ahead of the neo-liberal agenda more difficult.
The Congress leadership is
of introspection and to realise that its neo-liberal policies are
greater opposition and resistance. The way Rahul Gandhi campaigned in
Pradesh in favour of opening retail trade to multinational companies
far removed the Congress leadership is from the reality. One of the
the Congress could not take advantage of the discontent against the
Dal-BJP government in
The BJP is not much different when it comes to pursuing right-wing economic policies and its nexus with high level corruption. The continuing troubles that the BJP is facing in Karnataka where its former chief minister Yeddyurappa who was forced to quit because of corruption charges is on the warpath, exemplify the same symptom that the Congress suffers from.
For the Left and democratic forces, this is a favourable time to advance the resistance to the neo-liberal policies. The Manmohan Singh government favoured legislations, for opening up the banks and insurance sector to more FDI, the Pensions Bill, the Foreign Education Institutions Bill etc – all need to be stopped and thrown out. The government should be forced to amend the Food Security Bill, the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill and the Lokpal Bill to make them more effective.
The CPI(M), the Left and other democratic forces should be able to mount a widespread movement against the cut in subsidies for fertilisers announced in the union budget. This is going to increase the prices of fertilisers which are already high and will damage the livelihood of the farmers. The CPI(M) will mount a countrywide movement with other forces, if the government goes ahead with FDI in multibrand retail. The magnificent response to the February 28 General Strike by the central trade unions and national federations should be a precursor to intensify and launch more united struggles of different sections of the working people.
A positive development in the recent period has been the defence of states rights and the assertion of the federal principle by various non-Congress chief ministers. The provisions of the National Counter Terrorism Centre directly intrude into the policing and the powers of the state. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act had already opened the way for such intrusion. Ten chief ministers have taken a stand opposing these provisions. Similarly, the proposed amendment to the Railway Protection Force Act, the BSF Act – all are meant to transfer police powers of the state to the central paramilitary forces. These have all been opposed by the non-Congress chief ministers including the Tripura chief minister. As the premier party of the big bourgeoisie, the Congress has always been hostile to federalism. It has already introduced legislation in the sphere of education which encroaches on the powers of the states in various ways. The opposition building up to such anti-federal measures is a welcome development. It is necessary to carry forward this opposition to build a broad-based understanding among the democratic forces so that there can be an effective restructuring of centre-state relations.
SUCCUMBING TO PRESSURE
While the country’s
been on the internal political developments, the UPA government has
quietly taking foreign policy positions which are in line with its
from an independent foreign policy. The latest instance is the vote in
Security Council where
The election results of
states particularly of Uttar Pradesh and
When caste appeal, rampant money power and use of media power and other resources have become the hallmark of politics under the neo-liberal order, it is only by developing struggles of the rural poor and the urban working people and consolidating them on an organisational basis that the Party can advance.
The Draft Political
will be discussed in the 20th Congress
stresses the importance of developing the independent role and strength
Party outside the strong states of
Without expanding the Party and strengthening Left unity by bringing all Left forces onto a common platform, it will not be possible to utilise the opportunities that exist in the present political situation.