People's Democracy

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


No. 15

April 20, 2008


Report Of The Credentials Committee

The following report of the Credentials Committee was presented in the 19th Congress by its Convener V Srinivasa Rao. The other members of the Committee were: Mridul De, A K Balan and Sudha Sundaraman.

THE central committee had decided the number of delegates and observers to attend the 19th Congress as 794, to be divided into 724 delegates and 70 observers. One member from abroad was not elected and hence was unable to attend. Five CC members --- Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Jyoti Basu, E Balanandan, Baidyanath Majumdar and P Sanzgiri --- were unable to attend due to ill health. One observer from the cultural front was unable to attend. Therefore, a total of 718 delegates and 69 observers are attending the Congress. The break-up of delegates and observers is being given separately.

From amongst the total 787 delegates/observers attending the Congress, 87 are women. Compared to the 18th Congress, the representation of women has gone up by 2 per cent.

Among the delegates/observers attending the Congress, Samar Mukherjee is the oldest delegate. He is 95 years old. The youngest delegates are Shebeer K I and M Swaraj from Kerala who are aged 28. The youngest observer is Ritrabrata Banerjee from the student centre and is aged 27.

R Umanath, Polit Bureau member, and Benode Das, delegate from West Bengal, both have the longest Party life, having joined the Party in 1939. The shortest Party life amongst delegates/observers is of Sehba Farooqi from Delhi. She joined the Party in 2005.

R Umanath and N Shankariah have attended all except one Congress. P K Chandranandan and Samar Mukherjee have attended 17 Congresses.

Benode Das from West Bengal underwent the longest jail life --- 11 years, one month and five days.

P K Chandranan, delegate from Kerala, had the longest underground life of 11 years and six months. Gurbaksh Singh, observer from Jharkhand, also spent 11 years underground.

Comparison with

the 18th Congress

Let us now examine some aspects of the report as compared to that of the 18th Congress.

As already mentioned, the number of women delegates has increased from 9.3 per cent to 11 per cent. Still it is one per cent less as compared to the ratio of women members in the total Party membership. The composition of class origin remains almost the same. Delegates/observers who entered the Party through the student front have slightly increased from 44.6 per cent last time to 46 per cent at this Congress. There has been a decline of one per cent from the TU front and 1.5 per cent from the Kisan front. Amongst class organisations the least number of entrants is through the agricultural workers front. The notable feature is that more women delegates/observers attending this Congress have been recruited from other fronts (apart from the women’s front) in comparison to the last Congress. For 39.5 per cent of delegates/observers, Party organisation is the main responsibility. This has declined by 2.5 per cent as compared to the last Congress. 86 per cent of the delegates/observers are wholetimers. This number is also down by one per cent as compared to the 18th Congress.

The income of 60 per cent of the delegates/observers is below Rs 5000 per month. The figure has increased by 6 per cent as compared to the 18th Congress.

The number of people’s representatives amongst delegates/observers is 24 per cent. This number has gone up by 3 per cent as compared to the 18th Congress.

First time attendees are the same (22 per cent) as last time.

Around 59 per cent of the delegates/observers have been to jail. This number has come down by 4 per cent as compared to the last Congress. 31 per cent of the delegates/observers have spent time underground. This figure has gone down by 3 per cent as compared to the last Congress.