People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 06, 2008
Andaman and Nicobar ISLANDS
7th State Conference Of CPI(M) Held
The two-day seventh Andaman and Nicobar state conference of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was held on November 24-25, 2007 at Kerala Smajam Hall, Diglipur, North Andaman. The venue of the conference was named after Comrade Subodh Roy, veteran communist and freedom fighter who spent about 8 years in the Cellular jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and released in 1940. The dais was named after Comrade Moni Mohan Biswas, a leader of the Party in North Andaman.
The two-day conference began on November 24, 2007 with the hoisting of Party flag by senior CPI(M) leader H N Parial. Floral tributes were paid to the martyrs at a specially erected martyr’s memorial column.
Tapan Bepari, chairman, reception committee, welcomed the delegates and observers and leaders from mainland attending the conference. At the outset he moved a condolence resolution and one minute silence was observed in memory of the departed leaders and others. In his brief address, Bepari dwelt in brief on the difficulties being faced by the Party leaders and workers in organising the people in the remote areas of the islands. A presidium comprising H N Parial, D Lakshman Rao and Tapan Bepari was elected to conduct the proceedings of the conference.
Gautam Deb, CPI(M) West Bengal state secretariat member and minister in Left Front government inaugurated the conference as CPI(M) central secretariat member and MP Hannan Mollah could not reach in time due to urgent parliamentary work. He could reach Diglipur late in the evening of November 24. Gautam Deb in his brief inaugural address called upon the delegates to participate in the discussions in the conference with all seriousness and contribute their suggestions to enable the Party to function properly and grow in the coming years.
Thereafter, K G Das, secretary, state organising committee of the Party, presented the report on the functioning of the Party since its last conference held in November 2004. Besides throwing light on the prevailing international and national situations briefly, he dwelt at length on the socio-economic condition in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, particularly after the devastating tsunami which struck the islands on December 26, 2004 killing thousands of people. The report presented by the secretary depicted the growth of the Party and its mass organisations in the islands. It was stated in the report that while the trade unions and employees organisations are strong in the islands, efforts are being made to improve the functioning of youth, student, kisan and women organisations.
Participating in the discussion on the secretary’s report, delegates in the conference made various suggestions for the expansion of the Party and its mass organisations in the coming days. After presenting the financial account of the Party during the period since last conference, the secretary replied to the discussion.
Addressing the conference, Hannan Mollah explained in detail how the US-led imperialism was trying to destabilise countries one after another. He cited how in the name of fighting terrorism, the US occupied Afghanistan and Iraq killing lakhs of people. It was now planning to attack North Korea and Iran on one pretext or another. It has already unleashed a false propaganda against these countries. Hannan Mollah explained the machinations of USA to pressurise countries to submit to its conditionalities. In this connection he referred to the India-US Nuclear Deal and how the Left parties were in the forefront of the struggle to prevent the deal from going through. He said that this deal is a great threat to our independent foreign policy, sovereignty and economic self-reliance. Mollah also spoke about how the US was putting pressure on India to back out of the Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline project. Expressing deep concern over the deteriorating situation in our neighbourhood – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – he said that CPI(M) wants our neighouring countries to be free from such turmoil and develop peacefully.
Working class in the country has to wage a two-pronged war – one against exploitation and the other against divisive forces, he said. Dwelling at length on the anti-people policies pursued by the previous NDA government being followed by the present UPA government, Mollah highlighted the efforts being made by the Left parties to prevent this. Also the efforts being made by them to get various pro-people promises made in the Common Minimum Programme implemented was also mentioned. He cited in particular the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in this regard and said such propgrammes would provide relief to the oppressed and downtrodden sections of the society. Referring to the Nandigram issue, Hannan Mollah said that imperialist and reactionary forces are trying to dislodge the elected government of West Bengal using all means at their disposal. He asserted such efforts would fail as they have in the past both in Bengal and Kerala. The nearly two hour long speech of Hannan Mollah enthused the delegates very much who listened with rapt attention.
The conference elected a panel of 19 members and a special invitee for the new state organising committee They are K G Das, Tapan Kumar Bepari, B Chandrachoodan, H N Parial, D Laxman Rao, Ramjiban Sarkar, Gouranga Majhi, Nikunja Biswas, Pratul Bepari, Sobha Rani Mazumdar, K Srinivasan, Srikrishna Roy, D Hemalata, Kajal Paul, S B Chatterjee, P Abdul Samad, P Banerjee, Vinodan, Satish Chandra and Sheik Khalil, Special invitee. The first meeting of the newly elected state organising committee was held at the venue of the conference and elected K G Das as secretary. The conference has also elected him as delegate from Andaman and Nicobar Islands to attend the 19th Party Congress scheduled to be held in Coimbatore in March, 2008.
The conference concluded with an impressive public meeting in the evening of November 25, 2007 at the Diglipur Children’s Park. Hundreds of people from various remote areas of North Andaman started arriving at Diglipur bazaar from the afternoon itself in vehicles. The large gathering and well-decorated venue of the public meeting was an indication of the growing strength of the Party in the area. Hannan Mollah, Gautam Deb, K G Das, Tapan Bepari, B Chandrachoodan, H N Parial and D Lakshman Rao addressed the public meeting. Cultural programmes were also presented before the start of the public meeting.