Vol. XLIII No. 05 February 03, 2019

Withdraw Citizenship (Amendment) Bill – All India Protest on February 4, 2019

CPI(M) Polit Bureau has issued the  following statements on January 25, 2019

THE Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses its deep anguish over the growing sense of disquiet and agitation of the people across the North East of the country over the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which has been passed by the Lok Sabha and awaits the passage in the Rajya Sabha. 

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill infringes on the basic premise of our constitution of common citizenship regardless of diversities of caste, creed, gender, ethnicity and culture.  The idea of unity in diversity stands threatened with this proposal which exclusively recognises religious identity as the basis for citizenship. 

North East is one of those regions of the country which has a very rich diversity across the people and sensitivities based on cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic pluralism.  There is also a sense of insecurity over the sustenance of the distinct identities of the communities residing in the region.  Relative peace had come to prevail in this region in the recent times.  But, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is disrupting stability. 

Wide sections of the people have come out on the streets protesting the legislative proposal in Assam and most of other states of the North East.  It is extremely urgent to appreciate the sense of heightened insecurity and disquiet of the people and withdraw the proposed amendment. 

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) urges the government not to proceed further with the legislative proposal and withdraw it altogether. 

The Polit Bureau calls for protest actions by the CPI(M) units all over the country demanding the withdrawal of this proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill  on February 4, 2019. 

The Polit Bureau appeals to all parties, groups and citizens who believe in the unity and diversity of the country and the common basis of our citizenship as enshrined in the constitution to join this protest. 


Oppose Criteria For 10 Per cent Reservations


THE central government through the ministry of social justice and empowerment has notified the criteria for the 10 per cent reservation benefits for the economically weaker sections in the hitherto non-reserved categories. According to the order this is for benefits of reservation on a preferential basis in civil posts and services in the government of India and admission in educational institutions.


The order states families who have a gross annual income of eight lakh rupees or below are eligible. In addition, families who have following assets will be excluded: those who have five acres of agricultural land or more, those who have a residential flat of 1000 sq feet or more, those who have a residential plot of 100 sq yards or more in a notified municipality, those who have a plot of 200 sq yards or more in areas other than the notified municipalities will not be eligible for the reservation benefits.


The CPI(M) opposes this criteria. It makes a mockery of the very concept of economically weaker sections. The government is not accepting even a minimum wage of Rs 18,000 and here it is including an income of almost Rs 70,000 a month for the benefit of reservations. This criteria will deprive weaker sections of any benefits which will be cornered by the better off. It is also entirely wrong of the government to use the same criteria it has used for OBC creamy layer category. The criteria for those sections include the most important point that these sections are also socially deprived which does not apply to the general category.


It is typical of this government’s undemocratic approach that it did not put this proposal before parliament when it was discussing the constitutional amendment bill. Instead of waiting for the parliament session already convened on January 31, it has pushed through an executive order in an arbitrary and illegal manner. 


The Polit Bureau urges the government that without an appropriate legislation of the parliament, it should not allow the operationalisation of the provision of this executive order.