People's Democracy

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


No. 33

August 24 , 2008



CPI(M) State Conference Call

Intensify Struggles for People’s Welfare

Haripada Das

THE 19th State Conference of CPI(M) was held from August 4-6, 2008. Manik Sarkar and Bijan Dhar addressing the delegates emphasised that for building up a mass revolutionary party in the truest sense, it is imperative to have a brigade of cadres who are ideologically and politically conscious. The Party, state administration and mass organisations should work from their platforms for the same target- to render good to the people and upgrade their standard of life. Extensive discussions took place on two documents, one political organisational report (part-I) containing present political situation and Party organisational affairs, the other on “Our experience in functioning in the Left Front government, (Pol-Org Report Part –II)

Replying to the discussions of the delegates on Pol-Org report part-I on behalf of the steering committee, Bijan Dhar said, 44 comrades including five women put their constructive views on the report. None disagreed with the main directions of the report. He said the success and failures in the series of struggles and campaign movements carried out by the Party since last conference was shared by every Party member. The conference called on the Party for overcoming the weaknesses identified in the discussions. Bijan Dhar said, “We work in different streams-Party and mass organisations. As we are in the office of the state government, which according to us, is an instrument to forge mass movement, this instrument cannot be utilised in an effective manner unless our Party and mass organisations are strong enough.”

Referring to the Left Front victory in the last assembly elections, Bijan Dhar said, a section of bourgeoisie media is trying to belittle the spectacular victory of the Left Front on the plea that the increase of our voting percentage was very narrow. But we must keep in mind the situation prevalent during the election. The opposition poured crores of rupees in unethical means to influence the voters, the Election Commission tried to embarrass the government and the ruling parties by taking unprecedented decisions, a major section of print and electronic media, the outlawed secessionist extremists, the imperialist forces and vested interests both inside and outside the country- all were united to dislodge the Left Front government. That apart, being in the government for a long period, though insignificantly, anti incumbency factor was prevalent in the field. In spite of all these adversaries, we were able not only to increase our seats, but our votes too. So this is not an ordinary victory, he said.

Talking of the organisational matters, Bijan Dhar said, there was an expansion of the Party and the mass organisations in this period. Some of the organisations have reached the saturated levels in enrolling members. But improving the quality of the members by imparting ideological training is required. We have to carry on continuous Party education, right from the state committee to the branch levels which will help the Party comrades to identify friends and foes, instill self confidence, he said and emphasised on waging relentless inner struggles against various deviations of the Party comrades. He stressed on regular review of all Party programmes, taking lessons from the lapses and applying them to the future programmes.

Second day of the conference, August 5 marked the birthday of one of the founder leaders of the Party, Comrade Muzaffar Ahmed. The conference paid homage to the departed leader and offered floral tributes at the portrait of Muzaffar Ahmed. Baidyanath Majumder, state secretary, placed the political organisational report (part-I). 44 delegates representing all divisional committees, mass organisations and some special units of the Party took part in the discussions. The issues covered in the discussions included nuclear deal, building up of third alternative, withdrawal of support from UPA government, campaign movement against anti-people policies of UPA government, movement against communalism, anti-imperialist movements, disciplinary measures against Somnath Chattarjee, price-rise and our protest movements, the political-tactical line adopted in the 18th Party Congress and its implementation, the waning extremist activities in the state etc. Some delegates also expressed their high concern on deviations seen in some Party comrades such as parliamentarianism, leading life beyond the known sources of income, factionalism and immodest behavior. The delegates strongly urged upon the conference to take proper measures to uproot such deviations from the Party and to keep high the communist morality.

Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury addressed the conference August 5. Expressing optimism that the third alternative front may emerge in the next Lok Sabha elections, he said, “ Our Party aims at People’s Democratic Revolution and for that we have to bring about a change in the co-relation of forces in our favour which depends on prevalent international and national situation.” Depicting the present international situation, Yechury said that the imperialist forces with the neo-liberal policies and globalisation are trying to shackle the third world countries economically and strategically. The present growth is a jobless growth. This growth does not enhance people’s purchasing power, nor does it ensure food security. Capitalism inherits its own crisis, which they try to unburden through aggression on other countries. India’s attachment with US strategic alliance is one such example, Sitaram said and added that at the same time, anti-imperialist struggles have been gaining momentum worldwide. Latin American countries are taking the lead in such struggle, he noted.

Emphasising the ardent necessity to intensify nationwide class struggle to frustrate all machinations of the ruling classes, Sitaram said, ruling classes of the country and the imperialists are targeting the attacks against their common enemy, the Leftists. During the last four years, due to the stiff resistance of the Left parties, UPA government could not implement the liberalisation and privatisation policies. But at present they feel they are at liberty to roll on the anti-people policies at the dictates of imperialist bosses. But we must resist them through larger mass movement, Sitaram asserted.

Hailing the performance of the Left Front government of Tripura, Sitaram said, it is an admitted fact that among the North East, Tripura tops in respect of rendering good to the people. Every paisa of the government exchequer is spent for the welfare of the people. Tripura shows the way how the ethnic amity could be preserved and extremists combated. It is a pioneer in projecting and implementing alternative policies which contributes in forging a third alternative in the national sphere, Sitaram said and urged the comrades to consolidate the gains for further struggles in the coming days.

Gautam Das, state secretariat member of the Party placed the Political-Organisational report Part-II. He explained the background of the dissolution of EMS Namboodiripad led first ever Communist government in Kerala in 1957. Following the split, the Party adopted a new programme wherein joining in a state government was considered a tactical line for advancing towards forging Left and democratic alliance through providing some relief to the toiling people and creating a revolutionary consciousness among them. Thereafter, we had the experience of two United Front governments in West Bengal in 1967 and 1969 and of another LDF government in Kerala. Congress government at the centre did not allow the United Front governments in West Bengal to survive for more than two years. At that time it was anticipated that, no Communist government would be allowed to survive for any longer span. In the turbulent days of nationwide mass movement in 1975, Emergency was clamped in the country. All democratic rights, freedom of press and political activities were banned. After lifting the Emergency, a new situation emerged and for the first time, Congress party was ousted from the centre. Left Front government in West Bengal and Tripura came into being in 1977 and 1978 respectively. While Left Front in West Bengal has been ruling the state till now without any break, in Tripura Left Front is at the helm of the state government for six terms except one term in 1988-93.

Depicting the plight of the people in the princely state, and followed by the Congress regime in post-independence days, Gautam said, the crisis aggravated manifold when Tripura had to host a vast inflow of Bengali refugees migrated from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). These uprooted Bengali refugees not only brought about a reverse in the demographical balance in the state, this generated an ethnic problem of permanent nature. Congress was in power both in the state as well as in the centre at that time. They did nothing towards infrastructural development nor did they take any step for proper rehabilitation of lakhs of refugees. On the other hand, they tried to gain political mileage creating ethnic hatred in the state. They let loose police repression to suppress the democratic movements on the tribal and nontribal people. Practically, the first Left Front government had to start its work from scratch, Gautam Das said. Left Front government had to traverse a long way overcoming many hurdles like June-1980 riots, subversive activities of the opposition, decades-long extremists’ onslaughts, semi-fascist terror on the Party during Congress-TUJS coalition regime. He presented some data relating to the development in various sectors, comparing those with the position in 1972.

Here is the comparative picture of agricultural development since 1972 i.e. from the time of the last Congress government:

Agricultural land : 2,82,350 Hectares

Irrigated land : 1,17,000 Hectares

Sl. No.





Irrigated land (Per Hect.)




Fertilizer used (KG/Hect.)




Food production (Lakh MT)




Rice (Lakh MT)




Jhum Production (Kg/Hect)



Comparative picture of educational development

Particulars 1972 2007

Literacy rate 30.98% 81.05%

Drop out rate

a) Class I to V 63.92% 7.81%

b) Upto class VIII 76.61% 14.79%

No of schools

Primary section 1,428 2,142

Senior Basic 233 1,020

Secondary school 29 424

Higher Secondary School 70 293

The total number of school students at present is 8,25,429. At present 4,64,121 students in 3,756 primary sections of different schools are getting mid-day-meals.

All India Tripura

Birth rate 23.8% 16%

Death rate 7.6% 5.7%

Child death 58 per 1000

live births 31 per 1000 live births

Comparative picture of the permanent health service sector in Tripura :

1972 2006

Dispensary/Sub-centre 112 698

Primary Health centre 22 74

Village Hospital 2 10

State Hospital 2 6

Blood preservation centre 1 7

On August 6, Polit Bureau member, Manik Sarkar replied to the discussions on the Political-Organisational report part- II, on behalf of the steering committee. 32 delegates including four women participated in the discussions placing some valuable opinions and identified some genuine lapses of the government. Manik Sarkar said, we are working in the government to upgrade standard of living of the people and thereby widen the bases of the Party and mass organisations. If the co-relation of forces of the society is to be changed in our favour, the developmental works must be directed by class-outlook, he said. It would be quite unwise to boast that we commit no mistake. He assured that the weaknesses that have been pointed out by the delegates would be rectified and the suggestions mooted by them would be considered positively. Tripura is one of the few states which maintains financial discipline. During last ten years, Tripura did not draw a single over-draft. We are remitting our earlier loans with bigger amounts than what is due. Also we are paying interests accrued on the loan. We are adhering to strict austerity. Our financial measures are highly admired by the Planning Commission, Manik Sarkar informed. In regard to industrialisation, he mentioned two priorities, one, that it must be based on local products as raw materials, two, it must be job oriented. Though resource is not a problem for developmental works, Manik Sarkar said, still we have some problems. We have no stone, no sufficient bricks, and no road for heavy transportation. It is difficult to keep pace with rising prices of the infrastructural materials. He emphasised on maintaining transparency in the functioning of the local bodies, particularly in selecting beneficiaries. He also urged the Party cadres not to suffer from vanity, to be modest in behavior and practice simple life-style. Some vices that had cropped up in various places must be dealt with stringent measures by the concerned divisional and local committees, Manik Sarkar said.

On August 6 afternoon, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Party clarified some points raised by the delegates after listening to the deliberations during the last two days. He said although we are not equally strong in every state, we have a presitige and dignity more than any other big parties because of our principled stance on every national issue. A Third alternative would be forged on the basis of a broad understanding of the non-Congress non-BJP parties with a common programme to address the basic needs of the people, Karat said. The Left parties vehemently resisted the implementation of the globalisation polices while supporting the government from outside. Now that we have withdrawn support, the UPA government has put on fast track the implementation of those anti-people policies and at the same time is concentrating its attacks on the Left parties, particularly the CPI(M). We must refute the slanders and make the people understand the myths and facts about nuclear deal, Karat said.

The convenor of the credential committee, Ratan Bhowmik placed credential report before the conference. 511 delegates attended the conference including 65 women. 169 delegates were in the age group of 41-50 years and 157 delegates belonged to 51-60 years age group. 61 delegates belonged to Scheduled Castes, 112 to Scheduled Tribes, 105 to Other Backward Class, 19 to Muslims and others 214. The class composition is as follows: Workers-31, Agricultural Labourers-8, Jhumia (Shifting cultivator)-28, poor peasant-163, Middle peasant-99, rich peasant-4, jamindar-0, non farming land holders-10, traders-3 and middle classes-159. Most of the delegates(225) joined the Party between 1978-87. The longest underground life of 12 years was served by Bidya Debbarma.

In the concluding session, state secretary, Baidyanath Majumder placed a proposal of 83-member new state committee . He informed the conference that five out of existing 75-member state committee have been relieved due to old age and ill health and 13 new members have been included in the new committee. The panel of 83-member state committee was elected unanimously with loud cheers. After a brief meeting of the newly formed state committee, 14-member existing state secretariat has been re-elected. Then Baidyanath Majumder declared that the state secretariat elected Bijan Dhar as the new secretary of the Party. The house greeted him with high applauds. Bijan Dhar, in his short deliberation admired the incumbency of Baidyanath Majumder and expected his fatherly guidance and advice in future also. Baidyanath Majumder expressed his limitations due to age and broken health. However, being a state secretariat member, he assured the house to work for the Party till his last breath. It is to be mentioned here that, after Manik Sarkar became chief minister in 1998, Baidyanath Majumder was assigned with the responsibility of state secretary of the Party and he has been successfully steering the Party so long.

A four member state control commission was unanimously constituted by the conference. Chitta Chanda, a senior Party member and a veteran freedom fighter was re-elected as the chairman of the commission.

Apart from condolence resolution, including one on the demise of Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet, following resolutions were adopted in the conference with some amendments suggested by the delegates.

  1. Against Indo-US nuclear deal.

  2. In support of mobilising public opinion against the serial attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad by the fundamentalist elements

  3. In support of passage of Women’s Reservation bill

  4. In support of national campaign movement on 5-point urgent demands declared by the 10 political parties.

  5. Demanding effective control of spiraling price rise, augmentation of public distribution system (PDS) and providing BPL cards to all BPL families.

  6. In support of struggle for peace and amity and against the insurgent outfits operating in the state and its neighbouring areas.

  7. Demanding immediate implementation of the recommendations of Sachar Committee.

  8. Demanding adequate allocation for the state NREGA scheme both in cash and kind.

  9. Against down-sizing policy of the central government and demanding generation of employment opportunities for absorbing the unemployed.

  10. Supporting the general strike called by central trade unions.

  11. Demanding effective measures to be taken by the central government to remove legal barriers for ensuring reservations for the OBCs in government jobs and higher education.

  12. Making a clarion call to overwhelmingly support the Left Front candidates in the ensuing bye-elections to the three-tier panchayats, TTAADC, municipality and nagar panchayat.

  13. In support of 17-point charter of demands for all round development of the state.

In conclusion, Anil Sarkar addressed the house on behalf of the presidium as well as the preparatory committee of the conference. He thanked all the delegates for their sincere cooperation in smooth conduct of the conference according to schedule and also thanked the volunteers, different agencies and individuals concerned, who helped in seeing that there were no hurdles in the holding of the conference and those who generously contributed to meet its expenses.

The conference ended singing International.