THE Tamilnadu state committee of the CPI(M) is gearing up to host the 19th congress at Coimbatore from March 29 to April 3, 2008. As reported earlier, a reception committee has been formed with Polit Bureau member R Umanath as chairman, CPI(M) state secretary N Varadharajan as secretary, and Coimbatore East district committee secretary P R Natarajan as treasurer.
Since then many activities have begun in Coimbatore and other parts of Tamilnadu, popularising the importance of this party congress. In Coimbatore district alone, a door to door campaign has been undertaken by the party cadres explaining the present political situation and the need for a third alternative. More than one lakh and a half families have been contacted so far in this area. A pamphlet containing our political stand on various issues have been distributed to every household.
CPI(M) volunteers also collected funds during this house to house campaign. People are enthusiastically coming forward to offer liberal donation and over Rs 45 lakh have been collected in Coimbatore East district alone. Another collection of over Rs 30 lakh has been made in the adjoining Coimbatore West district. Similar collection of around Rs 29 lakh has been made in Coimbatore East (Tiruppur) district.
Thirty two public meetings have been held in Coimbatore district alone. During the weeklong campaign against price rise, which started from January 28, importance of the party congress was also explained.
Prakash Karat attended huge public meetings, one on January 22 at Tiruppur and another at Coimbatore the next day. Similarly Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member, visited Coimbatore on February 5 and attended several programmes.
Colourful writings on the walls in about 500 places have been done about the party congress. Digital boards of a similar number have also been displayed throughout the city and adjoining areas. Moreover, publicity work and campaign have started on the party congress in all districts of Tamilnadu and picked up momentum.
As in Coimbatore, peasants and agricultural workers in rural areas and workers in various industries, small traders and general public have very enthusiastically come forward to donate for the successful conduct of the congress in the adjoining districts as well.
The SRN Auditorium in Avarampalayam, Peelamedu, ideally situated in between the Coimbatore airport and the main city area, has been fixed as the venue of the delegates session, which has a sitting capacity of around 1000. It has a huge complex, with a very modern kitchen and dining hall facilities. Besides, plenty of open space is also available around where the reception committee is planning to provide other facilities like book-stall etc to the delegates.
Accommodation for the weeklong stay of the delegates have been made in the hotels in the central part of the city. Pickup vans have been arranged to take them to the venue of the congress and back to the rooms. Volunteers have been fixed in each venue to take care of the delegates.
A separate team has been entrusted with the responsibility of hosting the international delegations which are expected from around 35 fraternal communist and workers' parties. Accommodation for their stay has been arranged. Accommodation for the stay of all the PBMs and the CCMs has also been arranged separately. Party general secretary Prakash Karat, during his visit to Coimbatore in January, personally visited the proposed venue of the congress and residential accommodation and satisfied himself with the arrangements.
Seminars on various topics about the problems facing the country are being arranged in different districts in the state.
Around 30 cultural troupes, both drama and music, are going to undertake an intensive campaign on the congress throughout the Tamilnadu from the third week of February for about 2 weeks. Cultural troupes from Kerala and Andhra also are also expected to take part in the campaign on the eve of party congress.
Arrangements are being made to provide necessary facilities to the print and electronic media through a media centre, during the party congress.
The rally on April 3 will be attended by several lakhs of people from all over Tamilnadu. Party ranks are planning to take part in the rally along with family members. A large number of women and children are expected to participate. It is learnt that a large number of comrades from adjoining Kerala are also planning to take part in the rally. A public meeting will be held at V O Chidambaram Park, the biggest ground in Coimbatore.
Training is going on in various districts for the participation of Red Volunteers in the procession. Around 10,000 uniformed red volunteers will take part in the procession.
A colourful start with revolutionary songs has been planned on the inaugural day (March 29) before the hoisting of Red Flag. The Red Flag is going to be brought from Chinniampalayam, the place of 4 mortyrs who were hanged to death for organising the textile workers.
A martyr's torch will be brought from Kilavenmani, in Nagappattinam district, where 44 men, women and children were burnt alive in 1968 by landlords for demanding wage increase for agricultural workers. It will travel through different districts en route campaigning on the congress and reach Coimbatore on March 28.
The venue of the 19th congress will be named Comrade Anil Biswas Nagar. The stage will be named Comrade P Ramamurti Manch, whose centenary year is being currently observed by the Tamilnadu party. Two entrances to the venue of the party congress will be named after Comrades Chittabrata Majumdar and Koratala Satyanarayan. The venue of the mass rally will be named Comrade K Ramani Manch.
A meeting of the reception committee was held on February 6, at Coimbatore and it formed several sub-committees for carrying out the preparations successfully for the party congress. The meeting was chaired by R Umanath who explained the political significance of the 19th congress. N Varadharajan addressed the meeting and exhorted the comrades to dedicate themselves to ensure successful holding of the congress.
The Tamil Nadu state committee has called upon all Party units in the state to observe March 19, the death anniversary of Comrade EMS, as the Party congress flag day. On this day, more than 10,000 units of the Party all over the state will hoist 19 Red flags at prominent locations in their respective areas, marking the 19th Party congress. Flags will also be hoisted atop the houses of all Party members.
On the same day (March 19, 2008) , Theekkathir, the Party daily in Tamil, will bring out a special issue on the 19th congress and a state-level special sales campaign will also be undertaken by the Party units, with a target of 2 lakh copies.
A special mass collection drive will also be taken up throughout the state on March 10 in which all the leaders and the cadres of the Party will participate.
The reception committee has brought out posters in English and Hindi announcing the venue of the congress and the mass rally, copies of which have been despatched to all the state committees of the Party.
The reception committee will also bring out two special souvenirs, one in English and another in Tamil, on the occasion of the Party congress, which are expected to be documents to be treasured.
Thus, the entire Party in Tamilnadu, from the state committee to the branches, are fully gearing up to make the 19th Party congress a grand success!