People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 35

August 29, 2004

        Bengal Party Conferences Start From September 15

 B Prasant


THE conferences of the different units of the Bengal CPI(M) shall commence on and from September 15.  By January 15 of 2005, the district conferences will have been completed.  The 21st state conference of the Bengal CPI(M) shall be held between February 10 and 13 at Kamarhati in north 24 Parganas.  The programme of the conferences of the units of the Bengal CPI(M) was finalised at the sixteenth session of the state committee that was presided over by Polit Bureau member of the Party, Biman Basu.  State secretary of the Bengal CPI(M), Anil Biswas who placed the report of the central committee before the state committee later said that the schedule of the Party conferences “has been drawn up in the concrete situation prevailing in Bengal, and according to the Party Constitution and the guidelines of the central committee.”  Biswas explained the Party conference guidelines at the state committee meeting.


The conferences shall have a three-point call.  These are:


1.      To strengthen the Party unity

2.      To build up inner-Party struggle for the maintenance of purity of the Party and

3.      To deepen the political contact with the people


With the strength of the Bengal CPI(M) standing at 2,66,000, the delegates elected at the branch conferences shall attend the local committee conferences. The yardstick for delegation shall be one delegate per two Party members. In the situation of uneven numbers, an example has been given as the format: there would be four delegates to the local committee conference where there are seven Party members in the branch.  In the formation of Party committees at different levels, emphasis would be given to youth, women, and to members of the toiling masses.  The work of the concerned person shall be evaluated when nominating him/her to a committee.  The practice of submitting assessment of Party work is already in existence.


Every three years, Party conferences are held in the Bengal CPI(M) from the branch to the state level. The conferences focus on political-organisational discussion and frame the tasks in the days to come.  The elections to the committees are held in a democratic manner and new committees elected.  This kind of inner-Party democracy is not in existence in other political parties, especially in the Congress, the BJP, and other bourgeois parties.  The conferences are conducted by the Party constitution, and the guidelines of the central committee; the state committee guidelines take full cognisance of the concrete situation prevailing in Bengal.


In Bengal, the CPI(M) represents the largest political force.  There exists in Bengal a Left Front and a Left Front government.  The Party has to take part in and organise political and social work on a very large scale over a wide area.  The Party organisation has to shoulder the responsibility of keeping alive the pace of development of the state.  It bears remembering that the Party is in office in the largest bulk of the Panchayats and the municipalities.  The political-organisation report shall adequately reflect this aspect.


In a statement, the state CPI(M) noted that Party members can express their views on the international and national situation as shall be contained in the draft political resolution of the Party Congress to be published two months before the Congress takes place.  In the Party conferences at various levels, the relevance of the tasks of the organising movements and struggles and augmenting the Party organisation shall be discussed.  The discussion will also include the situation in the wake of the fourteenth Lok Sabha elections.


The statement of the Party also noted how the last Party conference took cognisance of creating specific directions in the ongoing development of total literacy, total health, and self-employment programmes. 


Issues that will come up for discussion in this connection include, the progress made, problems faced, the role of the Party in implementing the LF government’s policies, the task of creating mass initiatives at various levels, building up class movements, the progress of campaign movements, as well as the task of imparting political education.


In the conferences, the state Party also noted, each Party member shall have the right to be elected to and to elect Party leadership.  The political-organisational discussion shall be open.  There is no scope in the Party to organise interference from above. In the bourgeois parties, there is no scope for democracy with nomination and hegemony playing big roles. 


The Party encourages review, criticism, and self-criticism so that the Party can move towards further augmentation of the process of purification with a great degree of success.  The Party organisation is guided by democratic centralism. Inner-Party democracy is ensured to implement the process.


The state CPI(M) firmly believes that the task of enhancing the level of political consciousness is a continuous process in the organisation.  If there is a lacuna in the level of political consciousness, the task of democratic centralism cannot be implemented in the proper manner. The Party conference shall emphasise all the while the tasks of education and re-education of Party members.


The state committee meeting has issued a call to make a success of the campaign-movement programme of August 25-31 and the anti-imperialism and anti-war programmes of September 1. During the Party conferences, the task of implementing the Party’s campaign-movement and other programmes shall continue apace.


Anil Biswas stated that that the state committee meeting had resolved to include Shamik Lahiri as a member of the state committee.  Lahiri earlier served as an invitee member of the state committee.