CPI(ML) (Liberation) Manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

Towards an India of Bhagat Singh and Ambedkar's Dreams!

Rescue India!

Rebuild and Strengthen India's Democracy!

CPI(ML) (Liberation) Manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

Dear fellow Indians,

The 2019 elections are a watershed moment in India’s history. At stake is the very constitutional framework of our democratic republic. We join this battle with a profound sense of the enormity of these elections and appeal to every citizen to wisely exercise his or her franchise to vote out the Modi government and reclaim the republic by defeating the fascist danger.

In the past five years since 2014, the country has been dragged by the Modi Government and the RSS closer and closer towards a fascist state. An epidemic of organised mob-lynching of India’s minorities, escalating brutal  attacks on Dalits, rallies held by the ruling BJP for rapists, ugly abuse, threats, arrests and even assassinations of journalists and activists, the intimidation and silencing of all but a small section of the media, have become the ‘new normal’. The autonomy and credibility of all institutions from CBI to RBI to Courts is under attack. The PM has not held a single press conference in five years. 

The lives and livelihoods of the poor have been hit with the sledge-hammer of demonetisation. Farmers, and adivasis have received bullets when they sought to defend their rights. Workers, women, Dalits, students and youth, intellectuals have all faced repression simply for speaking truth to power.
Further, under the Modi Raj, India faces

  • the worst unemployment in 45 years;

  • the steepest fuel and food prices;

  • the lowest farm income growth in 14 years

  • stagnant wages for agricultural workers

  • continuing farmers’ suicides

  • intensified state repression and slapping of cases under draconian laws on protesting farmers, workers, job-seekers, students, Dalits, Adivasis, religious minorities, women and dissenting citizens;

  • the worst-ever corruption and cronyism scandals to hit a Prime Minister’s office;  

  • the revival of suicide bombing in the Kashmir Valley after several decades

  • failure to prevent multiple terrorist attacks at Uri, Pathankot, Pulwama

  • Warmongering jingoistic rhetoric used cynically for electoral gain leading the country to the brink of a devastating war with Pakistan.

Already, BJP MPs are openly boasting of their intention to tamper with India’s Constitution and declaring that 2019 will be India’s last election.  

Just as the 1977 elections were crucial to save India’s democracy and punish a tyrant for the Emergency, it is absolutely crucial for the common people of India to unite in the 2019 elections to rescue India’s democracy from the Modi disaster, and rebuild it anew with a fresh vision and commitment.

In this backdrop, CPI(ML) (Liberation)’s Charter of Struggle outlines the key issues which we are committed to struggling for, in order to secure people’s rights, rebuild India’s democracy so that it can recover from the disaster, and strengthen it so that it can never again be vulnerable to fascists and tyrants. Members of Parliament elected from the CPI(ML) (Liberation) platform will struggle inside Parliament and on the streets to achieve these goals.   

1.    End The Corrupt Corporate Raj:

Inequality has risen sharply in Modi Raj - in 2017, the year that lakhs of Indians lost jobs, lost savings, suffered wage cuts and struggled to survive thanks to demonetisation, Adani’s net worth soared fastest and Mukesh Ambani and Radhakishan Damani swelled their net worth by 80%. The Oxfam survey showed that in 2018, the top 1% of the country’s richest got richer by 39% as against 3% increase in wealth for the bottom half of the population. Today the wealth of the top 9 billionaires is equal to the wealth of the bottom 50% of our population. If the men heading these corporate parivars (dynasties) pay just 0.5% extra tax on their wealth, the government can increase spending on health by 50%.  

Modi says he has no family so he can't be corrupt, but he has benefited his crony corporate families! Modi’s PMO has actively worked to help his cronies corner deals in defence (Rafale, Anil Ambani), power, oil, and gas (Mukesh Ambani), coal and airports (Adani), as well as education (Jio, Mukesh Ambani). In return these corporate dynasties can secretly pay the BJP crores in funding thanks to the electoral bonds scheme! This is why we stand for:

  1. a wealth and inheritance tax on the super-rich 1%;
  2. end tax and loan waivers for corporate heads;
  3. take action against those on Raghuram Rajan’s list of bank loan defaulters;
  4. scrap the Modi Government’s Electoral Bond scheme which helps to hide cronyism corruption, ensure transparency in political funding

2.    Pro-people Shift in Economic Policies:

Policies of weakening and selling out profit-making PSUs to allow corporate plunder have been speeded up under the Modi Government. The 59-minute loan scheme for MSMEs (micro, small, and medium industries) turned out to be a fraud. In fact MSMEs were badly hit by demonetisation. The BJP and Modi did a U-turn on FDI in retail. These policies dealt a deadly blow to employment generation. The Modi Government also slashed spending on health, education and underfunded social welfare. A thorough change in direction is needed to rejuvenate India’s economy - focusing on generating jobs, boosting demand, and prioritising social spending. We stand for:

  1. Stop privatisation of key infrastructure and financial sectors and bring key resources like oil and gas and minerals under public control;
  2. Stop privatisation of PSUs and mergers of public sector banks and insurance companies;
  3. No FDI in retail and strategic sectors, protection of all labour-intensive sectors from adverse foreign competition;
  4. Greater emphasis on small and medium enterprises to strengthen domestic manufacturing;
  5. Increased public investment in health, education, housing and scientific research;
  6. Increase minimum wages to Rs 18000 per month and punish non-payment of minimum wages

3.    Policies To Prevent And Punish Corruption:

The biggest scams in India are linked to cronyism - where the Government tweaks policies and uses its power to benefit corporate cronies. If the 2G scam was a UPA-era instance of cronyism, the Modi PMO has emerged as the King of Cronyism. The Rafale scam is the most brazen cronyism by an Indian Prime Minister to get a lucrative defence deal away from a PSU to an unqualified and bankrupt crony Anil Ambani. The NPA bank loans scam is huge - and the Modi Government refused to act on Raghuram Rajan’s list of defaulters. The entire Modi tenure is riddled with scams which have benefited the sons of Amit Shah and Ajit Doval, Minister Piyush Goyal and others. Several scams involve various state governments (Vyapam, Srijan, Saradha for e.g.). To top it all, the Modi Government interfered in the autonomy of CBI, NSA, ED, CIC, CVC; diluted the Prevention of Corruption Act; delayed appointing a Lokpal and then, on the eve of 2019 polls, appointed a Lokpal violating all procedures to ensure fairness. To prevent and punish corruption, we will:

  1. ensure autonomy of the CBI, NSA, ED, CIC, CVC and other investigative and oversight agencies;
  2. Set up a strong Lokpal;
  3. Roll back the dilutions of the Prevention of Corruption Act;
  4. Enact a law against Conflict of Interest;
  5. Probe and punish those guilty for  Rafale Scam, Note Ban Scam, scams in which Jay Shah, Vivek Doval and Piyush Goyal are implicated, PNB Scam, Srijan, Saradha and Vyapam scams, Rose Valley Scam, end NPA Scam - take exemplary action against all the defaulters on Rajan’s list of bank loan defaulters

4.    Strengthen People’s Fundamental Rights and Entitlements:

The Modi Government led an assault on fundamental rights and entitlements of common Indians in many ways. PM Modi himself derided entitlements such as employment guarantees as charity; and slashed funding for MNREGA and ICDS (Anganwadi). Aadhaar linkage resulted in deaths of dozens of poor people, including the elderly and children deprived of food rations and pensions. India ranks a dismal 103 out of 119 countries in the Global Hunger Index. The Modi Government has not delivered on promises of rural electrification and housing for all. Swacch Bharat has spent on advertising but not on making available clean water for drinking and washing.

It is hardly surprising then that India's ranking has slipped from 118 to 140 in the World Happiness Index during Modi’s tenure - a very far cry from his ‘Acche Din’ promise.
For India to flourish, its people must be assured of basic rights and services. So we stand for:      

  1. Amend the Constitution to recognise the Right to Work, Right to Food and Nutrition, Right to Health, Right To Housing, Right to Education as fundamental rights.
  2. Universalise PDS with at least 50 kg food grains per family per month, pulses and edible oil;
  3. Social security pension of at least Rs 3000 per month for all elderly, specially abled, single women and members of particularly vulnerable tribal groups;
  4. Free cooking gas and power connections to rural households, ensuring that the prices of cooking gas and power are kept low     
  5. scrap Aadhaar Act and remove Aadhaar requirement from all welfare services;
  6. ensure potable water and clean water supply for all;
  7. lower and standardise land ceiling;
  8. achieve land, tenancy and other pro-peasant agrarian reforms on war-footing;
  9. Rural electrification and 24x7 supply of electricity at subsidised rates for rural and urban poor and for small enterprises, shops and agriculture

5.    Jobs For All:

Latest NSSO data on employment that the Government tried to suppress reveals that unemployment is at a 45-year high in 2017-18. Unemployment rates have jumped from around 2-2.5 per cent, to above 6 per cent. Unemployment is worst for young men and women between 15-29 years of age: 13-17 out of every 100 rural youth, and 18-27 out of every 100 urban youth are unemployed. More than 1 crore jobs were lost due to demonetisation, and 88 lakh of these were women’s jobs. We will:

  1. Expand MNREGA to ensure a minimum 250 days employment
  2. enact Employment Guarantee Act to urban areas, ensure unemployment benefits to every unemployed Indian  
  3. Fill all vacancies in Government jobs
  4. End the regime of Paper Leaks and Corruption in recruitment

6.    Housing For All:

We will:

  1. Enact and implement a Right to Adequate Housing And Land law
  2. Ban forced evictions of slum-dwellers and rural/forest-dwelling communities
  3. A National Tribunal to investigate violations of housing and land rights, and take action towards reparations
  4. Implement progressive court judgements on housing and develop monitoring mechanisms for their implementation
  5. ensure homestead land for the labouring people in agriculture and plantation sectors
  6. End homelessness
  7. Promote access to legal aid for low-income groups, women, and marginalized communities  
  8. Amend laws/policies to address housing and other needs of persons with disabilities. Ensure that the Building Bye-laws 2016 protect their rights  

7.    Ensure Dignity and Rights For All Workers:

To hide its shocking record on jobs, the Modi Government has tried to pass off disguised unemployment - street vending, selling pakoras, security guards’ work etc - as ‘jobs’. Moreover in the name of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and 'Make in India’ it is weakening labour laws to make workers’ jobs more insecure, unsafe and exploitative. 82% men and 92% women in India are earning even less than Rs. 10000 per month; manual scavengers continue to die in sewers; minimum wages are extremely low and even these are not fully paid; workers are routinely sacked for exercising their right to form a union; women workers are subjected to humiliations and abuse; laws against sexual harassment are not upheld.

We will:

  1. Strengthen and strictly implement labour laws including minimum wages and the right to unionise;
  2. withdraw Labour Code Bill;
  3. ensure job security, end contractualisation, regularise contract workers;
  4. universal social security for all workers; ensure minimum wages of Rs 18000 pm;
  5. recognise ASHA, anganwadi, mid-day meal and all scheme workers as Government employees;
  6. recognise domestic and home-based workers as workers and enact a law as well as a welfare board to protect them;
  7. introduce a single identity card to artisans, craftspersons, self-employed and unorganised sector workers to allow them to avail benefits in housing, health and education;
  8. end caste-based assignment of occupations, implement the Manual Scavenging Act;
  9. ensure maternity benefits for women workers in all sectors; ensure childcare facilities at all workplaces;
  10. end all undignified workplace practices including restrictions on the use of toilets, ban on mobile phones;
  11. protect all migrant workers from xenophobic violence;
  12. exempt handloom and handicrafts sector from GST;
  13. revert to Old Pension Scheme for central and state govt employees

8.    Ensure Universal Right To Health:

India is worse than Bhutan, Bangladesh in healthcare, ranking 145th in the world on healthcare access and quality rankings. India has some of the worst rates of stunting and maternal and infant mortality in the world. The National Health Profile 2018, an annual report released recently by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI), found that the Government of India spends just 1.3 per cent of the GDP for public healthcare, way less than the global average of 6 per cent. The per capita public expenditure by the government on health stands at Rs 1,112 - which amounts to a pitiful Rs 3 per day! India spends less on healthcare than Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. There is an acute shortage of health specialists in rural areas. According to the CBHI report, one allopathic government doctor in India, on an average, attends to a population of 11,082, which is 10 times more than the WHO recommended a doctor-population ratio of 1:1,000. The situation is worst in Bihar where one doctor serves a population of 28,391 people. Uttar Pradesh is ranked second with 19,962 patients per doctor, which is followed by Jharkhand (18,518).

Yet the BJP which rules these states as well as at the Centre, focuses on polarising talk of temples vs mosques rather than on hospitals and health centres! They are promoting “health insurance” schemes which have failed the world over and will only benefit health companies’ profits while babies die due to lack of oxygen in hospitals in Yogi Raj.

We will:

  1. Ensure free and best healthcare for all through a strong public health network comprising excellent quality Government hospitals, health centres and PHCs in every block, and disease/epidemic prevention programmes;
  2. Maternity benefits for all pregnant women without any conditions;  
  3. Implement the demands of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan People’s Health Manifesto
  4. Scrap Ayushman Bharat and health insurance schemes
  5. Instead enact A Right to Healthcare law at Centre and State levels providing Universal Healthcare for every Indian by expanding and strengthening freely available public healthcare services  
  6. Nutrition be seen as an essential component of health and disease prevention, and PDS rations be universalised.    
  7. Recognise ASHAs and ANMs as permanent, skilled government employees and ensure they get thorough training, remuneration, and other benefits accordingly   
  8. Provide publicly funded de-addiction and rehabilitation centres for all, incentivise addicts to seek treatment by offering paid leave for the duration of treatment
  9. Publicly funded health and rehabilitation services, as well as full access to all public spaces and transport for persons with disabilities

9.    Educational Reforms:

According to the 2011 census 8.4 crore children in the age bracket of 5-17 are outside the ambit of school education: mainly because of privatisation of our school education. In his election campaign Modi had promised to spend 6% of the GDP on education. But in the first Budget itself there was a cut of 23% in allocation for primary education. Now, just 3.5% of the GDP is being spent on education, 65% of this expenditure is made out of the collections from the Education Cess! The Right to Education Act in being implemented only in about 12% of schools across the country. More than 2 lakh government schools have been closed down in the country.

In higher education, fund cuts, seat cuts, cuts in scholarships, cuts in reservations in student admissions and faculty positions have all been boosted to benefit Ambani’s ‘Jio’ model of school and higher education. Seats in colleges are now at a 9-year low. Student-teacher ratio declined to 1 teacher per 34 students in 2017-18; and the share of private colleges and universities soared. Over 2 lakh teaching posts are vacant. Reservations in admissions and faculty positions are under relentless attack on one pretext or another. 26,500 students committed suicide between 2014-2016 alone.

In both schools and higher education, social sciences and sciences - saffronisation and obscurantism are being promoted at the cost of facts. Campus democracy and freedom of expression is under attack, GSCASH bodies have been dismantled while BJP-backed professors accused of sexual harassment are protected.   

We will:

  1. Spend 10% of GDP on education
  2. Introduce a common school system ensuring schooling of a uniformly excellent quality for every child in their own neighbourhood
  3. free education from KG to PG
  4. stop closure/merger/amalgamation of government schools
  5. restore 200-point roster in faculty reservations
  6. regulate private educational institutions and coaching centres; implement reservations faithfully
  7. ensure campus democracy
  8. set up GSCASH bodies, end curfews and gender discriminatory rules in women’s hostels
  9. scientific, rational content in syllabi and reversal of saffronised textbooks that promote obscurantism and hate
  10. ensure enough and affordable higher education institutions to end the competition over scarce seats
  11. Fill all reserved positions
  12. Absorb/Regularise all adhoc, temporary, contractual, part-time, consolidated, block-grant appointed teachers and staff.
  13. Make permanent appointments against all substantive teaching and non-teaching posts with equal pay for equal work.
  14. Give Regular and Assured Time-Bound Promotions to retain talent in Education and Resolve all existing Pay-Related Anomalies.
  15. Release pension for all retired teachers and non-teaching employees. Withdraw SLP against Category 1 and 2.
  16. Abolish NEET and Other Centralized Tests that Deny the Concurrent Role of the States in Education and undermine the federal structure of the Constitution.    
  17. Withdraw National Medical Council Bill, 2017.    
  18. Maintain healthy Pupil-Teacher Ratios across institutions and levels of Education.
  19. Extend UGC Pay-scales and Service Conditions to all teachers and employees of grant-in-aid institutions of the State.

10.    Ensure Security and Sustainability for Farmers:

The Modi Government has shown utter contempt and cruelty towards struggling farmers. In its last budget, the Government introduced a scheme of “respect” for farmers amounting to a mere Rs 3.30/-per day for every member of a farmer's family. Instead we stand for:   

  1. Holding a Special Session of Parliament on the agrarian crisis and farmers’ issues and passing the two Bills as proposed by the Kisan Sansad held by Kisan Mukti March on 30 November 2018 in Delhi: the “Farmers' (Right to Assured Price for Agricultural Produce) Bill, 2017” to guarantee remunerative price of 50% above cost of production to all crops; and “The Farmers' Freedom from Debt Bill 2017”  to waive all institutional and non-institutional outstanding crop loans of farmers. 
  2. moratorium on debt recovery, including loans from non-institutional sources, and waiver of interest on loans in distress hotspots and during calamities, till capability is restored;
  3. passing a specific farmers’ budget in every Budget session;
  4. implementing pro- recommendations of the National Farmers’ Commission;
  5. distributing ceiling-surplus, bhoodan and waste lands;
  6. preventing diversion of prime agricultural land and forests to corporate sector for non-agricultural purposes;
  7. investing in irrigation to ensure farmers’ sustained and equitable access to water;
  8. ensuring interest free, institutional credit for agriculture to all peasant households;
  9. recognising sharecroppers and women farmers as ‘farmers’ to enable them to claim all benefits;
  10. withdrawing the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2015 from the Parliament,
  11. scrapping all state-level land acquisition laws that are at odds with the Right to fair compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act, 2013 and enact an agricultural land protection act;
  12. stopping/reversing all forcible land acquisition; no corporatization of agriculture,
  13. ensuring farmers’ sovereignty over seeds; provide modern agricultural inputs including agro-processing, cold storage, irrigation and marketing networks;
  14. withdrawing the anti-farmer notification of the Central Government banning cattle trade in the cattle market, scrap “cow protection” laws which are leading to devastation of dairy farmers as well as agriculturalists and are being used as pretexts to persecute and kill Muslim minorities.
  15. Withdraw the Modi Government's proposed amendments to Indian Forest Act 1927 which would turn this law into an AFSPA for forest areas. Scrap Indian Forests Act 1927 and replace it with a new law which is in line with the Forest Rights Act and respects the rights of adivasi and forest dwelling communities to forests.

11.    Protect The Constitutional Rights, Liberties, and Equality of Women:

We are witnessing an all-out war on women’s rights, with Sanghi groups terrorising women in inter-faith relationships, BJP holding rallies for rapists, girls and boys in shelter homes suffering systematic sexual abuse with the collusion of governments of Bihar and UP.

We stand for:

  1. State-funded shelters run in a transparent and gender-sensitive manner for women facing domestic violence;
  2. Regular social audits of all shelters; allocate funds to increase the number of judges and courts in proportion with India’s population, to ensure speedier trials;
  3. reverse dilution of 498A;
  4. strictly implement PCPNDT Act;
  5. pass the ‘Women’s Reservation Bill’ for 33% reservation for women in Assemblies and Parliament;
  6. enact law and take strict action against all outfits indulging in moral policing and organised hatred and violence against women’s autonomy, inter-caste and inter-faith marriages, and same-sex relationships;
  7. Amend Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 to get rid of intimidating clause threatening women with punishment for “false complaints”;
  8. Implement the recommendations of the High Level Committee on the Status of Women to reform diverse personal laws relating to marriage, divorce, and inheritance and bring them in line with women’s Constitutional rights;
  9. Scrap the law criminalising Instant Triple Talaq, instead cancel registration of religious bodies and authorities who illegally recognise Instant Triple Talaq as divorce;
  10. End any existing bans on entry of women into religious establishments; ensure equal pay for equal work for women;
  11. Secure, dignified, remunerative employment must be ensured for women;
  12. Access to clean toilets and regular, safe public transport for all women

12.    Uphold Dalits’ Rights:

Physical attacks on Dalits, as well as policy attacks on the hard-won rights of Dalits have intensified under Modi Raj. The institutional murder of Rohith Vemula, the stripping and beating of Dalits at Una on the pretext of ‘cow protection’, NSA being invoked against Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, the systematic erosion of SC/ST scholarships and reservations, the unconstitutional 10% reservations for economically weaker sections of general category, the attempted dilution of the Prevention of Atrocities Act and jailing of Dalits protesting the dilution, arrest of Dalit intellectuals and activists in Bhima Koregaon case, not to mention repeated instances of abusive statements against Dalits and against the Constitution and reservations by Modi’s Ministers and prominent BJP and RSS leaders are all instances of this. We will:  

  1. Implement the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 2018, punish police officials for failing to file FIRs/record evidence;
  2. increase funding, and utilise all funds allocated for scholarships and schemes for SCs;
  3. enact a law (Rohith Act) against caste discrimination in educational institutions;
  4. demand that the Central Government approach the Supreme Court to fast-track pending appeals against acquittals in Dalit massacre cases of Bihar and other states
  5. Eradicate manual scavenging, implement the law prohibiting manual scavenging strictly, ensure wages, security and dignity for Dalit sanitation workers  
  6. Ensure that Dalits and supporters of Dalit movements arrested for democratic agitations (Bhima Koregaon case in Maharashtra, against SC/ST Act dilution in MP or under NSA in UP) and released and cases against them withdrawn

13.    Uphold Adivasis’ Rights:

The Modi Government has led a concerted assault on adivasis’ rights. It’s silence in Court led to a draconian SC verdict ordering the eviction of 20 lakh adivasi and forest-dweller households from forest areas. Following massive protests, the Modi Government filed a review petition which is now being heard as the order stands stayed. But the Modi Government has recently sent all States a proposal for draconian AFSPA-type amendments to the Indian Forest Act to allow forest officials the power to shoot people without any liability and find persons guilty of crimes based on material found with them.

We will

  1. Implement Samta judgement, Fifth Schedule, PESA, CNT and SPT Acts in letter and spirit;
  2. formulate rules for PESA;
  3. enforce Forest Rights Act, accept all community and individual claims;
  4. release the thousands of adivasi undertrial prisoners languishing in jails on false charges, especially in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana;
  5. recognise adivasi faiths, use adivasi languages in official communications and introduce these languages in schools;
  6. increase funding, and utilise all funds allocated for scholarships and schemes for STs.  


14.    Social Justice For Vulnerable Communities and Minorities:

We will:

  1. Fill all reserved SC/ST/OBC positions in government jobs which remain vacant;
  2. ensure reservation or Adivasis, Dalits, and OBCs in promotion in government jobs;
  3. introduce SC/ST/OBC reservations in private sector education and employment;
  4. implement the Sachar Committee and Ranganath Misra Commission recommendations in full
  5. Increased political representation of minorities in general and Muslims in particular.
  6. Implement Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) fullfledgedly.
  7. Implement the UPA-era Prime Minister's 15 Point Programme for the Welfare Minorities in toto, including educational, employment and health entitlements for minorities.

15.    Protect LGBTQ Rights:

We will

  1. Implement the Supreme Court’s recommendation of recognition and welfare measures for transgender people - withdraw Transgender Bill 2018 and introduce a new bill that recognises the rights of trans persons to self-identification,
  2. introduce a helpline and support centre providing legal and other aid and resources for LGBTQ persons facing discrimination and violence.   

16.    Comprehensive Policies To Prevent and Punish Hate Crimes and Communal Violence:

We stand for:

  1. Enact The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) law;
  2. enact a law against discrimination, hate crimes and atrocities against religious, ethnic and racial minorities;
  3. Special Tribunals to make sure that the guilty of all lynchings, caste massacres, communal riots, ethnic killings and extra-judicial killings are brought to book;
  4. scrap all ‘cow protection’ and ‘anti-conversion’ laws;
  5. enact law against ‘honour’ crimes and for protection of inter-caste, inter-faith and same-gotra couples;
  6. set up a Task Force specifically to counter and dismantle communal and far-right terror groups;

17.     Safeguard The Rights And Dignity of Persons With Disabilities:

We will:

  1. Strictly implement the Rights to Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016
  2. Urgent steps to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities to public spaces, transport, education and public health
  3. an additional 0.5% interest per annum for deposits by persons with disabilities in public sector banks
  4. eliminate taxes for assistive devices and their spare parts
  5. better representation for PwDs, especially in the local bodies  

18.    Safeguard Children's Rights:

We stand for:

  1. Urgent and time-bound measures to end child malnutrition, reverse budget cuts to anganwadis;
  2. mandatorily provide meat, fish, and eggs in school mid-day meals; Budgetary provision for national action plan for safety of children;
  3. free and compulsory education until 12th class;
  4. Crisis centres in every district for children in distress; specially trained police force dedicated to dealing with child victims of crimes, as well as children in conflict with the law;
  5. reverse retrograde amendments to the law protecting children from child labour, ensure economic rehabilitation of the families of children rescued from child labour;
  6. reverse amendments to the JJ Act which allow children accused of certain crimes to be treated as adults;
  7. social audit of JJ homes; special courts for speedy trial of matters related to children

19.    Reforms to Protect Civil Liberties and Democratic Rights:

We stand for:

  1. Scrap all draconian laws including Sections124A (sedition), 499 (criminal defamation), Unlawful Activities (Preventions) Act (UAPA), National Security Act (NSA), Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), free all prisoners arrested under these and older draconian laws like TADA;
  2. Set up a Supreme Court monitored high-powered tribunal to look into countrywide cases of custodial torture and killings;
  3. enact police reforms to ensure the police force is held accountable to the Constitution and FIR is registered in every encounter, every custodial violence;
  4. public apology and compensation for every Muslim and Adivasi person falsely framed and jailed;
  5. Make NIA and IB accountable to Parliament;
  6. update and strictly enforce jail manual;
  7. bail must be made the norm to stop overcrowding in jails and make sure that people do not spend years in jail without conviction; scrap death penalty
  8. end militarisation of civilian areas in Kashmir, North East and Bastar;
  9. ensure a political resolution of the Kashmir problem in keeping with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir;
  10. resist attempts to use NRC as a tool of exclusion and hate-mongering;
  11. end detention camps for “suspected illegal immigrants” in all states

20.    Uphold Press Freedom

India’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index fell to an all-time low of 138 out of 180 countries. Death and rape threats and defamation cases against journalists running investigative stories on the Modi Government, arrests of journalists (such as Kishorchandra Wangkhem arrested in Manipur, and Somaru Nag and Santosh Yadav, arrested and tortured in Chhattisgarh); and even the assassination of journalist Gauri Lankesh have marked the past 5 years. To top it all, a very large part of corporate-owned TV News has turned into fascist propaganda - spreading false and hate-filled narratives and suppressing or distracting from any real news.  

We will:

  1. Scrap the Defamation Act and Official Secrets Act
  2. Strengthen the RTI Act, roll back dilutions
  3. Enact law to protect whistleblowers
  4. Strengthen legal protections for free speech   
  5. Time-bound prosecution and punishment for those who kill, torture, or threaten journalists

21.    Promote Constitutional Morality and Reason:

We will:

  1. Enact a national Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman Practices Law to curb exploitation and violence in the name of superstitions and “black magic”
  2. Mandate every Central and State Government to allocate adequate resources for public education campaigns to spread an understanding and appreciation of constitutional morality, especially against discrimination based on caste, gender and sexual orientation, communalism, racism, and disabilities; and to promote a respect for India’s linguistic and cultural diversity and for the principles of rationality
  3. introduce compulsory classes/courses on constitutional morality in every school and college   
  4. Ensure that qualifying tests in constitutional morality are a must for every recruit in police and judiciary, and these tests must also be periodically held over the course of the person’s tenure of work   
  5. Introduce a ‘No Tolerance Policy’ for persons holding public positions (in police, Armed Forces, judiciary, or elected representatives) who perpetuate prejudices or caste/gender/communal bigotry that go against constitutional morality.  

22.    Environmental Rights and Protections:  

The Modi Government has systematically diluted all environmental regulations. It has also just given environmental clearance for open cast coal mining in Parsa in 170,000 hectares of Chhattisgarh’s dense Hasdeo Arand forests, to be operated by Rajasthan Collieries Limited (RCL), a unit of Adani Enterprises Limited.

We stand for:

  1. Stop destruction of forests and the environment, roll back dilutions of Environmental Regulations and Forest Rights Act;
  2. Scrap environmental clearances given through dilution or violation of environment and forest protection laws
  3. Promote sustainable development
  4. heed the demands of ongoing peoples’ struggles against nuclear projects, big dams and other anti-people projects;
  5. stop dilution of nuclear suppliers’ liability and expansion of nuclear power;
  6. Invest in sustainable energy alternatives
  7. stop work on ‘all weather roads’ in hill areas till a comprehensive review of their environmental impact by a panel of experts
  8. clean-up of India’s all polluted big rivers including the Ganga
  9. protect the urban environment: stop cutting trees, protect lakes and other urban water bodies, urgent and comprehensive measures to curb urban pollution

23.    Electoral Reforms

We stand for:

  1. Shift to proportionate representation rather than “First Past the Post” in elections
  2. revert back to paper ballots given widespread apprehensions about EVM-tampering  
  3. reverse the Electoral Bond scheme, ensure full transparency in electoral funding, bring electoral funding under the RTI Act;
  4. Public platform provided by Election Commission to each candidate to propagate their election manifesto and agenda
  5. introduce “Right to Recall” elected representatives who betray their mandate  

24.    Strengthen Federalism, Federal Restructuring and Reorganisation of States:

  1. End the post of Governor which is repeatedly misused to undermine federalism     
  2. Backward states and regions must be granted special status and provided with all kinds of institutional support to end regional disparity;
  3. Set up Second States Reorganisation Commission for sympathetic and holistic consideration of various statehood demands;
  4. Implement Article 244 A to ensure Autonomous State status for Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao district
  5. Ensure full statehood for Delhi and Puducherry  

25.    Reorient India’s Foreign Policy Ensuring Independence and Friendly Relations:

We stand for:

  1. Indian foreign policy must be freed from the interests and priorities of US foreign policy;
  2. India must have friendly relations and close cooperation with all neighbouring countries, big or small;
  3. India must play a pro-active role to bring all perpetrators of war crimes to justice;
  4. India must grant refugee status to Rohingya refugees, and put pressure on Myanmar to ensure citizenship and security for the Rohingya people  
  5. India must work relentlessly for removal of all foreign military bases in the world;
  6. India must work to end the occupation of Palestine and do away with military and trade deals with the apartheid state of Israel

 

The CPI(ML) (Liberation) appeals to each and every Indian citizen to vote to safeguard India’s democracy, defeat the fascist BJP, and strengthen the presence of the Left and CPI(ML)(Liberation) in Parliament. Members of Parliament elected on CPI(ML)(Liberation) ticket will explore and support every possibility of formation of a non-NDA government and serve as a bold voice of people's movements and consistent champion of the interests of the people.