New election system, no electoral bonds in CPI(M)’s poll manifesto
Among the new promises, the CPI(M) wants electoral bonds to be scrapped; it wants a halt to “bulk surveillance by state agencies,” and “clear provisions and judicial supervision of any surveillance that violates citizens’ privacy.”Updated: Apr 08, 2019 15:58 IST
The Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s manifesto for the 2019 general election, released on Thursday, contained a few new statements of intent and toed a new tactical line to conform to contemporary political realities, but repeated most of the content of its 2014 charter.
The new tactical line the Marxist party has adopted is to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance, “to increase the strength of the CPIM and the Left in the Lok Sabha and ensure an alternative secular government.” In 2014, it was to reject the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance and at the same time, “defeat the BJP and its allies.”
Integration of economic growth with generation of jobs to create full employment , putting more money in the hands of people to boost demand, enlarging the resource base by taxing the rich and corporate profits and scrapping the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act and setting a minimum floor for social sector spending as a binding constraint on both the central and state governments were some points common to both manifestos.The CPI (M) also repeated its demand for the “introduction of proportional representation with a partial list system.”
The section Alternative Economic Policies repeated nearly all the points made by the 2014 manifesto and adds two new promises -- of restoring the Planning Commission, which was replaced by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with NITI Aayog -- and involving state governments in major economic decisions at the central level.
Both manifestos mention the word “rich” five times in context of wealthy people.
Among the new promises, the CPI(M) wants electoral bonds to be scrapped; it wants a halt to “bulk surveillance by state agencies,” and “clear provisions and judicial supervision of any surveillance that violates citizens’ privacy.” It has demanded data privacy laws for protection against appropriation/misuse of users’ private data for commercial use. It also sought curbing of “monopolies that use either telecom such as Jio/Airtel/Vodafone or internet service platforms such as Google, Facebook, etc.”
The CPIM called for an employment guarantee in urban areas, 200 assured days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, special packages to support labour-intensive industries in creating jobs, minimum monthly pension not less than 50% of the minimum wage or a monthly ₹6,000 to senior citizens, among other things.
The party’s new promises include passage of the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 to uphold the rights of all transgender persons and removing the lacunae that it claims is present in the current Transgender Persons Bill, 2018.
It supported “legal recognition and protection to same sex couples similar to marriage - ‘civil union’ /’same-sex-partnerships’, legislation/s on similar lines as Special Marriage Act, 1954 so that the partner can be listed as a dependent, for inheritance, alimony in case of divorce etc.”
The party favoured a comprehensive anti-discriminatory bill covering the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities and reservations for them in education and employment.
The chapter on resource mobilization repeated four old suggestions, and added, “Ensure all the loan defaulters who have fled India to avoid legal action are brought to book and the looted monies recovered with interest”. It said the Goods and Services Tax should be overhauled.
First Published: Mar 28, 2019 23:18 IST