Change Policies, Change the Regime,
Ensure People’s Voice in Parliament!
CPI(ML)’s Appeal for Lok Sabha Elections 2014
The Lok Sabha 2014 elections are being held at a time when the country is in a severe crisis. Two decades of pro-corporate, anti-people economic policies have resulted in steeply spiralling prices, hunger, joblessness, farmers’ suicides, and plunder of land and natural resources by corporations, leading to mega scams and forcible eviction of the poor. Education, health, nutritious food, housing and other necessities of a dignified life have all gone out of reach, even as Governments have washed their hands off responsibilities and left people to the mercy of the corporate-dominated market. People’s movements are faced with severe repression, communal and caste massacres go unpunished. Women are deprived of freedom, equality, and dignity. The fundamental interests and rights of the common people are being denied and truncated on every front.
The Congress-led UPA Government that has been in power for two successive terms is squarely responsible for this state of affairs. It had come to power in 2004 and again in 2009 promising to improve the lot of the common people, but did just the opposite. The people are therefore eagerly looking for an end to the corrupt rule of the Congress and the BJP is desperately trying to step into this vacuum. But going by the BJP’s track record at the Centre during 1998-2004 and in the states it has ruled, whether Gujarat and Chhattisgarh where it has been ruling for more than a decade, or Bihar and Jharkhand where it was in power till recently, choosing BJP in place of the Congress can only be like jumping from the frying pan into fire.
It is important to remember that in 2004 there were two big reasons for the BJP-led NDA’s stunning defeat. Firstly, the people were angry with the NDA Govt’s tall claims of ‘India Shining’, which was a cruel joke on farmers’ suicides, rising unemployment, steep prices and growing misery experienced by the people. And the other equally important reason was the 2002 Gujarat genocide presided over by the BJP government in the state led by none other than Narendra Modi, who is today declared as the prime ministerial nominee of the BJP.
The bid to foist Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister is backed not just by the Sangh parivar, but unmistakably enough also by all major corporate houses even as it enjoys the blessings of America as already indicated by several American overtures including the visit of Nancy Powell, US Ambassador in India, to Ahmedabad.
The hope for freedom from the all-pervasive crisis lies in the people’s struggles for an alternative! Clearly there is no readymade alternative; we have to build one through sustained democratic assertion of the people. In 2014, let us vote to change the economic policies that have brought us corruption and misery; let us vote to secure our rights and end repression! Let us vote to kick out the corrupt and anti-people forces, and send the forces of genuine struggle into Parliament!
CPI(ML)’s Charter for Change
CPI(ML) has a glorious record of people’s struggles for transformation, and we reiterate our commitment that every MP elected from CPI(ML) will carry forward the people’s movement for the following Charter of Change.
1. Effect a pro-people shift in economic policies:
a) Enact a new law to protect farmland and stop all private acquisition of forest land, coastal areas and traditional fishing zones
b) Increased public investment in agriculture and all kinds of institutional support including debt-waivers to the crisis-ridden peasantry
c) Greater emphasis on small and medium enterprises to strengthen domestic manufacturing
d) No FDI in retail and strategic sectors, protection of all labour-intensive sectors from adverse foreign competition
e) Stop privatisation of key infrastructure and financial sectors and bring key resources like oil and gas and minerals under public control
f) Increase tax revenue by strengthening the system of corporate taxes and levying inheritance tax on the rich
g) Increased public investment and health, education and scientific research
2. Curbing price rise and improving the conditions of the toiling masses
a) Prices of essential commodities and services must not be allowed to escalate beyond the reach of the common people
b) Food Security Act must be strengthened to ensure monthly supply of at least 50 kg foodgrains for a family of five along with sugar, milk, pulses and edible oil
c) Provisions of MNREGA must be expanded to guarantee at least 200 days of work at a minimum daily wage of Rs 300, municipal areas must also be brought within the purview of the Act
d) BPL irregularities must be stopped – non tax-payers and landowners owning less than 5 acres of land must all be considered BPL for benefits meant for the poor
e) Land ceiling should be lowered and standardised and land, tenancy and other pro-peasant agrarian reforms must be accomplished on war-footing and homestead land should be guaranteed for the labouring people in agriculture and plantation sectors
3. Reorient Development Strategy to Guarantee People’s Rights and Protect Environment
a) Reorient the strategy of development, making distributive justice, people’s rights and environmental sustainability its three core principles
b) Stop forcible acquisition of land and return all acquired land that is lying unused to the original owners
c) Stop all projects that violate environmental norms
d) Stop nuclear projects and GM crops that pose a threat to public health and safety
e) Ensure 24×7 supply of electricity at subsidised rates for rural and urban poor and for small enterprises, shops and agriculture
f) Rural electrification
g) Ensure quality education and healthcare for all, education up to 12th standard must be free and imparted through the common school system
4. Equal pay for equal work, regularisation of contract labour and increase in minimum wages
a) Workers employed in work of perennial nature must be regularised, the principle of equal pay for equal work must be upheld in every field, women workers must get equal wages as their male counterparts,
b) ASHA, Anganwadi, mid-day meal workers must be treated as regular employees with proper pay scales
c) Minimum wages must be raised to Rs 15000 per month
5. Guarantee People’s Rights in Every Sphere
b) Educated unemployed youth must be given a minimum monthly allowance of Rs 5000 till they get proper employment
c) Implement the recommendations of Sachar Committee and Ranganath Misra Commission to improve the conditions of Muslims and other minority communities
6. Repeal of draconian, archaic and anti-people laws and Justice for all
a) UAPA, AFSPA, Sedition Law and Section 377 must be revoked
b) Operation Green Hunt and Salwa Judum must be stopped and all issues related to adivasi rights and development must be sorted out expeditiously
c) SEZ Act 2005 and Electricity Act 2003 must be repealed
e) Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act must be strengthened and law enacted to stop racism and attacks on minorities and migrant workers
f) Witch-hunt of Muslim and Adivasi youth must be stopped, trials must be expedited and those languishing in jail for years without conviction must be released and compensated for the damage caused to their life and reputation
7. Women’s Rights and Freedom
a) Secure, dignified, remunerative employment must be ensured for women
b) Access to clean toilets for all women, in homes as well as in public spaces, and access to regular, safe public transport must be ensured
c) One-stop, 24-hour crisis centres and safe shelters must be instituted in each police district for women survivors of violence
d) Compensation and rehabilitation be ensured for survivors of rape and acid attacks
e) Gender-sensitive police and prosecutorial procedures must be strictly followed, and the number of judges and courts expanded to ensure speedy justice in every case
g) Code of Conduct be adopted to disqualify electoral candidates who have committed offences of gender-related violence, end misogynist comments and behaviour in the Lok Sabha, and ensure zero tolerance of moral policing by State/non-State actors
h) Special Tribunals be set up to ensure justice in long-pending cases of custodial rapes
8. Federal Restructuring and Reorganisation of States
a) Backward states and regions must be granted special status and provided with all kinds of institutional support to end regional disparity
b) Set up Second States Reorganisation Commission for sympathetic and holistic consideration of various statehood demands
c) Implement Article 244 A to ensure Autonomous State status for Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts
9. Electoral, Legal and Police Reforms
a) Introduce proportional representation in elections, stop corporate funding and ensure level playing field for all parties and contestants
b) Strengthen RTI, enact Jan Lokpal legislation to provide for a powerful and autonomous anti-corruption watchdog, bringing all levels of the state including ministers, bureaucrats, the armed forces and the judiciary, corporate houses, media organisations and NGOs within its ambit
c) Withdraw the controversial ‘Aadhar’ scheme and ‘cash transfer’ plans
d) Policing must be thoroughly overhauled to stop human rights violations and atrocities on peaceful democratic activities and struggles
e) The NIA and IB must be made accountable to Parliament and the operation of all kinds of security forces and intelligence agencies must follow the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the tenets of the rule of law
f) The jail manual must be updated and strictly enforced, bails should be made the norm to stop overcrowding in jails and make sure that people do not spend years in jail without conviction
g) Death penalty should be done away with, and life imprisonment declared as the highest degree of punishment
10. Reorient India’s Foreign Policy Ensuring Independence and Friendly Relations
a) Indian foreign policy must be freed from the interests and priorities of US foreign policy
b) India must have friendly relations and close cooperation with all neighbouring countries, big or small
c) India must play a pro-active role to bring all perpetrators of war crimes to justice
d) India must work relentlessly for removal of all foreign military bases in the world
We appeal to you to vote for CPI(ML) candidates in the 2014 LS polls, to ensure that the voices of people’s resistance can resound in Parliament, and challenge the regime of plunder and corruption. Resist the devious design of the forces of corporate and communal fascism, and strengthen the democratic unity and struggles of the people by all means for a better tomorrow.
– CPI(ML) Liberation
Fix Prices, Ensure Work, Ensure Full Wages for Work!
Change the Regime and Rule of Corruption and Plunder!
Down With Communal Poison, Ensure Peace and Justice!
Save Farmland, Agriculture, Farmers, End the Regime of Corporate Loot!
Half the Population Demands – Safety, Dignity, and Freedom!
We Want Employment and Electricity, Rations and Housing, Not Liquor!