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CPI (ML) Red Star CC Resolution: On Modi led BJP and NDA’s Sweep in the 17th Lok Sabha Elections and our tasks in the new situation of intensifying fascistization.

14 June 2019

Resolution adopted by the June, 2019, CC Meeting of CPI (ML) Red Star:

What happened from the beginning of this year, especially after the election schedule was declared by the Election Commission, was a feverish and acrimonious election campaign for the 17th Lok Sabha, with the BJP trying to gain initiative right from the beginning utilizing the state machinery and all Constitutional institutions nakedly and based on its majoritarian Hindutua communal polarization strategy.  The result of these elections, giving almost a two third majority to NDA in the new Lok Sabha, has surprised not only the mainstream opposition parties, but all the progressive, democratic, struggling people’s forces, who were leading numerous struggles against the Modi rule during last five years and campaigning vigorously against it.

If Modi led BJP had won the 2014 elections with the slogan of Sub ke Sath Sab ka Vikas, during the last five years all the major initiatives his government took including demonetization, GST,  intensification of corporatization of all sectors etc had led to highest rates of unemployment during last 45 years, acute distress in farm sector leading to suicides by hundreds of farmers in many states, serious slow down of the economy and growing ecological destruction making the climate change like phenomena severe day by day, to mention a few of the serious consequences its policies. Pursuing aggressive saffronization, spreading politics of hatred, targeting the religious minorities and dalits, increasing gender inequality etc, majoritarian divide and rule politics was taken to extreme levels. In this situation the resistance against Modi rule went on increasing, first through numerous people’s struggles and then, as reflected in electoral reverses, especially in the defeat of BJP led state governments in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh six months before. All these factors had pointed towards possible defeat of Modi government in the 2019 elections.

The mainstream opposition parties, though none of them had led any major campaigns or struggles against the Modi rule during the last five years, were expected to pick up these issues and the failure of Modi rule in implementing any of its major promises of 2014 for defeating Modi, by forging unity among themselves in the elections, and replacing it with their alliance after the elections.

But as the campaign was starting the BJP leadership, utilizing the terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy at Pulwama and the Balakot air strike inside Pakistan turned the possible anti-incumbency against it by projecting the national security matters and mascular nationalism targeting Pakistan, the Muslim minorities through a protracted, colourful and extremely expensive sectarian political campaign, with the slogan: We will enter your house and kill you, This is New India.  Modi, Amit Shaw and other leaders, blatantly violating the Model Code of Conduct of the Election Commission, were openly asking the people to vote for BJP in the name of the Pulwama martyrs, for the Balakot ‘surgical’ strike, for Modi’s army! The first accused in Malegaon terrorist attack, Pragya Thakur was fielded as candidate, further intensifying the saffron campaign. In this process, the identity politics of the caste based parties were, in the main, submerged by the frenzied majoritarian saffronization campaign of the RSS parivar.

 Surprising its opponents, the BJP and its NDA allies led a presidential style campaign, appealing for each vote to their candidates as a vote for Modi, projecting the election as a referendum for him. It was turned in to a jingoistic campaign with an anti-Muslim political narrative.  The opposition parties, especially, the Congress, could not or failed to expose this sinister BJP campaign organized with the connivance of a majority in the EC. Besides, while the BJP even made concessions to forge unity of the NDA parties, the opposition, mainly Congress, failed to forge unity among the main opposition parties, or to put forward a unified minimum programmatic approach. Legalizing corporate funding of election, BJP amassed and utilized huge corporate funds, reportedly Rs 27,000 crores. The corporate forces and the mainstream media once again campaigned for it extensively. Compared to other parties, its planned use of social media was far superior, resorting to spreading of communally loaded false news  It blatantly utilized the EC, which went to the extent of planning the seven phase elections to suit Modi’s public meetings and road shows, refusing to take any action against Modi and Shaw who nakedly violated the MCC, and to allowing him to stage a sort of ‘road show’ at Kedarnth and Badrinath on 18th and 19th May, on the day of silent campaign and the last polling day. Along with the state machinery, it used the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to intimidate the opposition. In short, it was a no holds barred campaign by the Modi gang, further communalizing, criminalizing and corrupting the election process. And, with the connivance of the EC and utilizing loop holes in the present electoral system, including the use of EVMs against which criticism are increasing day by day and for replacing it with the ballot system the demand was raised by the opposition parties though belatedly, Modi could outsmart and defeat the divided opposition easily.

The disunited opposition parties who have no alternate vision about the corporatization speeded by Modi, who pursue caste based politics compromising with Hindutva ideology, easily crumbled before the Modi-Shaw juggernaut, helping BJP led NDA to a massive victory, polling more than 50% of votes in 17 states and spreading menacingly to W. Bengal, Odisha, Telengana like states also. As far as the traditional left, the ‘Left Front’ parties, are concerned, they had refused to take lessons from their hitherto debacle due to pursuing neoliberal policies. So, even after getting unseated in W. Bengal and Tripura, they repeat same mistakes in their last resort, Kerala. In front of Modi- Shaw offensive, their ideological-political bankruptcy got further exposed with large sections who were voting for them in Bengal and Tripura shifting their loyalty to BJP and they were swept away in Bengal and Tripura, and severely mauled in Kerala.

As far as the communist revolutionary forces who uphold the Naxalbari Uprising are concerned, while some of these organizations deviated to the side of CPI(M) led Left Front, the CPI(Maoist)  is alienating itself from the masses due to its sectarian actions. Since uniting the struggling left and democratic forces who uncompromisingly oppose the neoliberal/corporate- neo-fascist policies of Modi rule is still in the formative stage, their electoral gains, including our party’s was nominal, even after we waged an intensive campaign with the slogan: Defeat BJP, Build people’s Alternative, fielding 29 candidates.

The coming to power of Modi for another five years with added strength poses a serious challenge before the toiling and oppressed masses. Already, reports are coming out every day about how the serious economic slow-down is taking place in all fields. The details of these were concealed from the people. Besides, Modi’s surrender before Trump’s sanctions against purchasing the cheap petroleum from Venezuela and Iran, its order blocking purchase of weapons and missiles from Russia, its efforts to make India subservient to its trade war with China etc, even while it boasts about its nationalist credentials, are aggravating this economic slow-down. Instead of addressing these, Modi-2 is trying to intensify the economic reforms further as demanded by US and its allies. Remaining public sector units are threatened with privatization soon. It is planning informalization of education, healthcare like sectors. All labour laws are going to be changed to please the corporates. It has no answers to increasing rate of unemployment or farmers’ distress. It is totally neglecting the increasing ‘climate change and its consequences. Modi-2 is going to further speed up all neo-liberal/corporatization policies.

Soon after Modi-2 took over, there are reports of spurt in mob lynchings, attacks on Muslims and dalits, on journalists. Fascistization of all fields are taking place more aggressively. The RSS parivar is on the offensive to transform India in to a Hindurashtra by 2024.

As far as the opposition parties are concerned, the Congress is total disarray. So is the condition of other mainstream parties even when BJP is on the offensive in W. Bengal and elsewhere to de-stabilize the existing non-BJP state governments.  But like what happened during 2014-19, once again sporadic resistance against the corporate-fascist offensive of Modi-2 is visible. Along with all secular democratic forces we should join them, strengthen them and try to provide correct orientation to them.

To combat this all round intensification of neoliberal/corporatization policies and fascistization of all fields, the Central Committee calls for: Firstly, take up the party building as the first and foremost task, trying to merge all genuine communists and streamlining the party committees at all levels; strengthen class/mass organizations, and develop people’s movements in all fields and at all levels according to the concrete situation;

Secondly, draft common minimum program at state level focussing on present demands and try to launch mass political forums based on it uniting the struggling left and democratic forces  to wage people’s struggles and parliamentary struggles;

Thirdly, at central level, start discussions with struggling left and democratic forces with the aim of launching a nationwide mass political platform. In order to facilitate this, focussing on the present grave situation and urgent democratic tasks, organize  open dialogue among the left forces as early as possible leading to drafting a people’s manifesto as the basis of this initiative.

KN Ramachandran,

General Secretary,

CPI(ML) Red Star

13th June 2019

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.