People's Democracy

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


No. 52

December 30, 2007


18th State Conference Of CPI(M) Held

Dusmanta Das



THE 18th CPI(M) Orissa state conference, held at Cuttack during December 15-17, 2007, called for intensifying the fight against the anti-people policies of the BJD-BJP state government and UPA-led government at the centre. It also resolved to expand and consolidate Party mass base in the state.


Further, the conference also decided to launch a statewide campaign demanding homestead land to the homeless and land to the landless, 100 days work for all labour families, implementation of labour laws, distribution of essential commodities through PDS etc. It underlined that this struggle can be waged effectively only through expansion of the mass base of the Party by consolidating and propagating the achievements of the Party among the masses.



The conference concluded with a massive rally and public meeting on December 17.


The conference was attended by 221 delegates and observers representing 23 out of 30 districts of the state. A five member presidium consisting of Sivaji Patnaik, Laxman Munda, MLA, Tapasi Praharaj, Nirmal Nayak and Laxman Behera conducted the delegate session.


Inaugurating the three days conference, Polit Bureau member K Varadarajan severely critisised the Congress-led UPA government for going ahead with 123 agreement with United States which would bind India to that country in a manner that would seriously impair our independent foreign and economic policies, including the sovereignty of the nation. He urged upon the UPA government to desist from such moves sensing the majority opposition both inside and outside the parliament. He said the Left parties would continue to oppose on issues that deviate from the National Common Minimum Programme.


Janardhan Pati, secretary of the Party state committee while placing the draft political organisational report dealt at length on the plight of the poor in the state due to anti-people policies being followed by the Navin Patnaik government. In spite of abundant natural resources, there is no real industrialisation process going on in the state, notwithstanding the media hype induced by the state government. Except for certain sponge iron factories that is causing serious pollution, no industry in real sense has come up. Both land and mineral resources of the state are being looted by monopoly MNCs. The situation in education and health sector is alarming. Thousands of posts have been abolished and lakhs of posts are not being filled up aggravating the severe unemployment situation prevailing in the state. All jobs, from municipal to the government, are being privatised.


The distress of peasants in the state is increasing but the state government is busy in signing MoUs for giving away land to the big capitalists at throw-away prices or even for free in the name of industrialisation. In this background, the Party and various mass organisations have mobilised people in various forms to oppose such anti-people policies during the last three years which has created an impact in many parts of the state.


Delegates from various districts participated in the deliberations and enriched the report. The conference decided to mobilise people further on the issue of providing homestead land, land for agriculture, implementation of NREGA, labour laws, expansion of PDS, against communal and imperialist machinations etc. It also decided to consolidate the gains achieved through the mass campaign and movements.


The conference elected a 30-member new state committee with Janardhan Pati relected as state secretary.


The concluding massive public meeting was preceded by a huge rally which started from the Cuttack railway station and culminated in the Balijatra maidan. The public meeting was presided by Sivaji Patnaik, ex-MP. Subash Singh, secretary of the reception committee welcomed the leaders and participants. State secretary Janardhan Pati briefed the meeting on the decisions of the state conference and declared that the Party will mobilise massively during coming assembly session on the issues of peasants, workers, students, youth and women.


Addressing the gathering, CPI(M) general secretary, Prakash Karat narrated the role played by the Left in general and CPI(M) in particular in protecting the interests of the people. The UPA government, led by the Congress, is trying hard to push through various pro-imperialist policies and it is getting support on certain issues from the main opposition the BJP in this, he said. In this background, the Left firmly opposed the India-US nuclear deal which was nothing but an attempt to make India a junior partner to US imperialism. He declared that CPI(M) will continue to oppose any move that is aimed to weaken our public sector or hurts the interests of the common people. Bengal Left Front minister for health and panchayat raj in his speech criticised the BJD-BJP government for pursuing the anti-people path of both the UPA government and its predecessor the NDA government. While analyzing the historical importance of Bali Jatra and legacies of strong economy of the state in terms of trade and entrepreneurship, he criticised the state government for making the state of Orissa industrially backward and economically poor. He urged upon Navin Patnaik to follow in the footsteps of his legendary father Biju Patnaik to fight communal forces and lead a force both against Congress and BJP. He called upon the people of the state to strengthen the CPI(M) so that a strong movement can be build up in the state for its progress and prosperity.