Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CPI(M)-CPI Joint Statement

August 18, 2015

Press Statement

Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, CPI(M) and Sudhakar Reddy, General
Secretary, CPI have issued the following statement:

The BJP and the Prime Minister have threatened to go to all the Left
constituencies protesting against the Left parties role in the so-called
"disruption" of the parliament, particularly the Rajya Sabha. Official
statistics report that the Rajya Sabha worked for a barely nine per cent of
the allotted time. The BJP displays selective amnesia by forgetting that the
Rajya Sabha functioned for just two per cent of the time in the 2010 winter
session. The BJP then led the disruption demanding action against those
involved in corruption belonging to the then UPA government led by Dr.
Manmohan Singh. "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" is
wisdom of an old saying that the BJP refuses to learn from.

However, two wrongs never make a right.

Who Caused the Disruption?: The Left parties had demanded that the serious
allegations of corruption against the External Affairs minister and Chief
Ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh be probed and until investigations
are completed the concerned individuals should either demit office or be
removed. It was the Prime Minister who declared to the Nation from the Red
Fort in 2014 that he will not be Pradhan Mantri but the Pradhan Sevak. The
Left parties were asking the Prime Minister to apply the same rules that
apply to all government employees in the country that till investigations
into allegations are completed the person concerned demits office. The
parliament was disrupted because the BJP refused to accede to this accepted
procedure. Therefore it is BJP's arrogance and obduracy in implementing this
procedure that caused the disruption of parliament. Thus, they are
singularly responsible.

Left Parties Role in Parliament: The Parliament's responsibility as
constitutionally mandated is to legislate; raise issues of public importance
forcing the government to act and importantly to make the government
accountable for its actions or inactions. The Left parties MPs were
discharging and shall discharge in the future these responsibilities in the
parliament. It is the Modi government, which is seeking to avoid being
accountable that has led to this wash out of the Monsoon session of

BJP's Contempt for Parliament: By now it is clear that the BJP is seeking to
undermine parliamentary procedures. In over a year not a single Bill has
been referred to the parliamentary standing committees for scrutiny. This
undermines an important function of parliamentary democracy. The Modi
government is seeking to bypass the Rajya Sabha, where it does not have a
majority and steamroll its legislative proposals through the 'tyranny of
majority' that it demonstrates in the Lok Sabha. Further, it is seeking to
misuse the constitutional provision of the declaration of legislative
business as "Money Bills" on which the Rajya Sabha does not have any
decisive say. These are very dangerous authoritarian tendencies that the
Left parties will relentlessly oppose.

Left Parties Preventing Economic Development: The BJP campaigns that
parliamentary disruption has prevented the legislation of the Goods and
Services Taxes (GST) and the promulgation of the new Land Acquisition Act.
This, according to the BJP, is preventing economic growth and development in
the country.

This is a complete fallacy. The GST Bill is a constitutional amendment that
has to be mandatorily approved by a two-thirds majority of MPs present and
voting in both the Houses. Even after this, the Bill has to be adopted by a
majority of the state assemblies, with two-third of the MLAs present and
voting. Only then can the GST be enacted legally. It is an illusion to
suggest that once the Rajya Sabha passes it, economic growth will blossom
from the next day. Further, there are serious issues involved regarding
Centre-State relations, a fundamental feature of our Constitution, regarding
the rights of the states to raise resources. These need to be settled
through a consensus amongst the central and state governments. For six long
years it was the BJP that prevented this legislation from coming into force
through its state governments.

The real story lies elsewhere. The BJP in search for alliances is seriously
wooing the AIADMK. The Tamilnadu government has expressed serious
reservations on this Bill. The BJP, in order not to antagonize the AIADMK,
has allowed the GST Bill not to be passed. It uses the parliamentary
disruption as an excuse for this. It is BJP's  obduracy that in the first
place has caused this disruption.

The new Land Acquisition legislation proposed by this BJP government is
before a Joint Parliamentary Committee whose report was to be presented in
the last session. This committee is headed by a senior BJP MP. This
committee did not submit its report and has now sought extension of time.
With a majority in the JPC and a BJP chairman, the Modi government ensured
that the unprecedented third ordinance it has issued promulgating the new
land Bill lapses. This most likely has been done keeping the forthcoming
elections to the Bihar assembly in mind where the BJP does not want to
antagonize the Bihar kisans before the elections. This has happened because
of the BJP's crass electoral opportunism. Now it blames the opposition,
particularly the Left.

The BJP's call for campaigns in the Left constituencies in the country is an
open declaration by the PM and the RSS urging its cadres to sharpen communal
polarisation in these areas. This in fact has been the only agenda that this
Modi government is assiduously pursuing. After disrupting the parliament the
RSS/BJP are now declaring that they will disrupt communal harmony and peace
in those constituencies that have elected Left MPs.

Further, the BJP and the Modi government are targeting the Left parties
because they consistently advocate pro-people economic policies and
relentlessly oppose anti-people policies. Also because the Left parties are
the most consistent and steadfast upholders of communal harmony in the

Left parties declare that they will openly meet this RSS/BJP's challenge all
over the country. Communal polarisation in pursuance of the worst vote bank
politics by the RSS/BJP will be defeated amongst the people by the Left

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