People's Democracy

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


No. 11

March 14, 2010

CITU Holds State Conferences     



THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions held its third state conference in Chhattisgarh at Dhamtari, known for its concentration of unorganised workers, from February 21 to 23. The conference set for the delegates and other CITU members several tasks regarding how to increase its strength in the state in the days to come. The whole city wore a look of red on this occasion, with banners, posters and arches seen in all parts.

CITU national secretary Dipankar Mukherjee inaugurated the conference that took place in Vir Narayan Singh Community Hall, rechristened as Jyoti Basu Nagar. Janata Union vice president Ajay Babur, its former state president Ajit Lal and reception committee chairman Abdul Razzaq Rizvi also addressed the inaugural session. A K Lal presided.

The procession on this occasion witnessed the participation of more than 1,000 organised and unorganised workers from all parts of the state, with women comprising a good chunk of the procession. Shouting slogans for curbs on the incessant price rise and for job security, the procession started from Mandi Gate and passed through Makai Chowk, Sadar Bazar and other central areas of the city before culminating in a mass rally at Gandhi Chowk. Dipankar Mukherjee, state CITU secretary B Sanyal and district CITU secretary Anjana Babur were among those who addressed the mass rally.

More than 200 delegates and observers took part in the conference where B Sanyal presented a report covering the CITU�s activities in the state during the last three years. Detailing the problems facing various segments of workers, the report identified the beedi workers, grain market workers, porters, anganwadi workers, transport and quarry workers and rice mill workers as some of the segments on whom the CITU would have to concentrate its attention. Representing various districts, 37 delegates took part in the discussion that followed, and detailed their respective grassroots level experiences. Forging united as well as independent struggles against the neo-liberal policies of the central and state governments, and to fight the casteist, communal and other divisive forces, were among the main tasks set for the coming days.

The conference elected a new 35 member state committee, which in its turn elected a 13 member state secretariat. M K Chanda and Gajendra Jha will lead the team as president and general secretary respectively. Eight elected delegates will represent the state at the CITU�s 13th all-India conference at Chandigarh.

Ajit Lal, J S Sodhi, P K Mukherjee and Aruna Vaishnav comprised the presidium that conducted the proceedings.

(B Sanyal)



THE CITU�s Delhi unit held its 13th state conference in a Community Centre in Sarai Peepal Thala, in North Delhi, on January 15 to 17. The venue was named after late Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar, former general secretary of the organisation.

CITU secretary Tapan Sen inaugurated the conference; reception committee chairperson Professor Shashwati Majumdar also addressed the gathering. A presidium based on Sudhir Kumar, Gangeshwar Dutta and H C Pant conducted the proceedings.

State general secretary Mohan Lal presented his report to the 232 delegates and observers who were taking part in the conference and treasurer M L Malkotia presented the statement of accounts for the last three years. The discussion, in which 55 delegates took part, displayed a high level of maturity. The conference later adopted the report as well as the statement of accounts in one voice. It also adopted resolutions on burning issues like incessant price rise, disinvestment of the public sector enterprises, and the growing penetration of FDI in bank, insurance and other sectors. Through another resolution, the conference decided to organise a two-day strike on April 22 and 23 on the working class demands in the National Capital Region.

Representatives of the DYFI, JMS, North Zone Insurance Employees Association and All India Lawyers Union greeted the conference.

On January 17, when the conference was moving towards a conclusion, the delegates received the sad news of Comrade Jyoti Basu�s demise, which created a sense of shock in the venue. The delegates observed two minutes of silence in memory of the departed leader who had been associated to their movement for more than half a century.

The conference elected a 36 member state committee that in turn elected an 11 member state secretariat with Sudhir Kumar as president and Mohan Lal as general secretary. The conference also elected 18 delegates for the CITU�s national conference.

The delegates expressed the hope that they would be able to launch big struggles and raise the CITU membership substantially in the next three years.      

(Mohan Lal)



RECHRISTENED as Comrade Prithvi Singh Nagar, Singhania Sewa Sadan of Bhiwani was the venue of the CITU�s 10th Haryana state conference on February 13 and 14. Apart from 12 specially invited representatives from fraternal organisations, a total 233 delegates, including 40 women, took part in it. National secretaries Hemlatha and Tapan Sen attended the conference on behalf of the CITU centre.

The conference opened with an open session where former Sarva Karmachari Sangh president and Kisan Sabha leader, Sher Singh, welcomed the delegates and guests as the reception committee chairman, detailing the history of peasant struggles in Bhiwani district. Moreover, he said, the peasantry in the district has the glorious tradition of standing in solidarity with the fighting workers, employees and other sections, and we may well hope that the tradition would get strengthened in the coming days.                                                           

The AITUC, Sarva Karmachari Sangh, Kisan Sabha, SFI, DYFI, JMS, AIAWU and several other mass organisations sent their representatives to the seminar that took place on the first day of the state CITU conference. Tapan Sen was the chief speaker at the seminar whose theme was �The Nature and Crisis of Employment Today: A Common Concern of Mass Organisations.�

The delegates session started immediately after the seminar when a six member presidium, a six member steering committee, a two member minutes committee and a two member credentials committee were elected. Tapan Sen inaugurated the delegates session, detailing the workers� situation and the status of their movement in the state, including the instances of severe repression which the police and administration have unleashed against the struggling workers in favour of employers. The latter include many of the multinationals.

Presented by state CITU general secretary Surendra Singh, the report covered the activities in the last three years since the last state conference. It noted that the CITU membership has increased from 48,483 in 2005 to 65,342 in 2008 and to 68,105 till the time of the conference. However, the latter figure was based only on the returns submitted; otherwise the figure could have gone to 80,000 or beyond. Still, there was no reason for complacency; the figure should have been many times over as the CITU led struggles have benefited lakhs of workers. CITU committees exist in 19 out of the 21 districts; the state of collective functioning and democratisation has improved; the sphere of the cadre�s contacts and influence has widened. The report, however, pointed out several areas of weakness, stressing the need of consolidated efforts to overcome the same. It also stressed the need of rising above economism and take up struggles against casteist, communal, obscurantist ideas as well as anti-women discrimination.

Representing various districts and unions, 36 delegates including eight women took part in the discussion that followed. After the reply from the state general secretary, the conference passed the report in one voice. The statement of accounts was also adopted.

The conference adopted resolutions opposing the privatisation in the power, irrigation, B&R, roadways, anganwadi and health sectors, in support of the brick kiln workers� struggles, against contractisation of the mid-day meal scheme, against commercialisation of education in the state, and on some other issues. A separate resolution harshly condemned the anti-human decisions and actions of the outmoded khap panchayats.

The state CITU now has a 49 member committee and a 19 member secretariat with Satbir Singh as president and Surendra Singh as general secretary. The conference elected 32 delegates for the national conference of the CITU; 20 per cent of these are woman.      

Only 40 women and 178 men out of the 233 delegates representing 24 unions submitted their credentials forms. They were from 21 to 69 years in age; 17 were illiterate; 38 expressed the willingness to become wholetimers; 25 delegates had the experience of jail life.  

Hemlatha delivered the valedictory address, congratulating the delegates for the successes they have achieved in the last three years and urging them to move to newer heights by forging new struggles, overcoming the observed weaknesses and strengthening the organisation.  




THE industrial town of Maihatpur in Una district was the place where a founding conference in 1978 formed the Himachal Pradesh state unit of the CITU. The membership was then confined to a few hundreds. It was therefore no small thing that the membership had grown to over 40,000 by the time the CITU recently held its 10th state conference of the CITU at Una town, the same district�s headquarters. What is still more important is that the CITU has established itself as the leading trade union organisation in the state and has its presence in all the 12 districts.

Taking place from December 25 to 27, the venue of the conference was named after the late Comrade E Balanandan.                                             

The conference started with an open rally in which thousands of workers from Una district as well as Gwalthai industrial area of the adjacent Bilaspur district, construction workers and anganwadi workers and helpers took part. Traffic came to a standstill at the district headquarters for more than half an hour when the workers moved out in a procession and till it culminated in a public meeting. CITU national secretary Tapan Sen, former state CITU president Rakesh Singha, state president Ravindra Joshi, state general secretary Dr Kashmir Singh Thakur and national vice president Raghunath Singh were among those who addressed the rally. District CITU secretary Gurnam Singh presided over.

A four member presidium conducted the proceedings of the delegates session where reception committee chairman Vijay Sharma welcomed the delegates and guests. Tapan Sen inaugurated the session. A total 233 delegates, including 67 women, attended. State SFI president Vikram and state Kisan Sabha vice president Kushal Bhardwaj greeted the conference, stressing the need of united and militant struggles of various sections of the toiling people.

Dr Kashmir Thakur presented the report which 38 delegates discussed threadbare. The conference adopted 11 resolutions on several burning, national and state level issues. It also condemned the Maoist violence in West Bengal, paid homage to the common people and comrades whose lives this violence has claimed, and resolved to resist such attacks on the democratic forces.

The general secretary�s report as well as the statement of accounts presented by Jagat Ram were unanimously passed. 

Gurnam Singh was the oldest among the delegates and joined the CITU in 1971. Dogru Ram (22) was the youngest. As many as 69 delegates were implicated in false cases during struggles; Bijendra Mehra was the delegate who faced the maximum number of cases --- 35.

The newly elected 51 member state committee later elected a 17 member state secretariat with Jagat Ram as president and Dr Kashmir Thakur as general secretary. From the state, 16 delegates will go to Chandigarh for the CITU�s national conference.    

Tapan Sen delivered the valedictory address.

(Lakhan Pal Sharma)



THE 10th state conference of the CITU in Madhya Pradesh concluded with a resolve to take the membership up to the one lakh mark by the time it holds its next state conference. Democratisation of the organisation�s functioning, training the new cadre in large numbers, pushing them into leadership positions and establishing the CITU as the nucleus of trade union movement in the state were some of the other important tasks set by the conference for the CITU cadre.  

The three day conference opened on February 11 with a procession and mass rally in the historic Yadgar-e-Shahjahani Park of Bhopal. The CITU�s all-India general secretary Mohd Amin was the main speaker here. In the course of his speech, he appealed to the people to take part in large numbers in the March 5 Jail Bharo agitation of the trade unions and in the national level action pf demonstration before the parliament, to be organised by the Left parties. He informed the audience that the CITU�s membership in the country has crossed the 50 lakh mark and expressed the hope that it would register a substantial increase in the state also by the time the next state conference is held.

State CITU president Ram Vilas Goswami presided over the rally where Badal Saroj, Pramod Pradhan and reception committee chairman Afaq Ahmed also spoke.

At the conference, including 41 women, 209 delegates and 17 observers represented the 35,665 CITU members in the state. Pramod Pradhan presented the state general secretary�s report and 50 of the delegates took part in the discussion that followed.

The conference, where the state CITU president and all the vice presidents, formed the steering committee, adopted resolutions on labour laws, minimum wages, industrial safety, displacement and unemployment, working women�s problems, communalism, state repression, plight of medical representatives, price rise and other important issues.

The conference adopted the state general secretary�s report as well as the statement of accounts presented by S P Sharma. It elected a 49 member state executive which later elected 21 office bearers as well as 17 delegates to go to Chandigarh. The new team has Ram Vilas Goswami and Pramod Pradhan as the state president and general secretary respectively. CITU national secretary Dipankar Mukherjee delivered the valedictory address.

(A T Padmanabhan) 



JAIPUR was the city where the Rajasthan state unit of the CITU held its 13th conference on March 6 to 8. The venue was the Kisan Bhawan near Lal Kothi in Sabzi Mandi. The whole area was rechristened as Comrade Jyoti Basu Nagar in memory of the departed communist and trade union leader. The conference venue was named after Comrade Prem Singh, former state president of the Rajasthan State Roadways Workers Union, and the stage after Comrade Shera Ram.

After the delegates paid homage to the leaders of the trade union and democratic movements, who had departed from us since the last CITU state conference, reception committee chairman Waqar-ul-Ahed welcomed the delegates, observers and guests. The CITU�s all-India general secretary, Mohd Amin, inaugurated the conference, dwelling on how only socialism can be a reliable and lasting alternative to capitalism which is creating a myriad of problems for the working class and other toiling people.

AITUC state secretary Premji, INTUC state general secretary Babulal Sharma, Gautam Damor (SFI), Dulichand Meena (state Kisan Sabha), Mahavir Sihang of Rajasthan Teachers Association (Shekhawat), Ramchandra Sharma (Insurance Employees Association), Ganga Sahai Sharma (All India Lawyers Union), Ram Ratan Bagadia (DYFI) and Rajendra Saiwal (JLS) were among those who greeted the conference.

The delegates session began with the election of a presidium, a resolutions committee, a minutes committee and a credentials committee.

Apart from the state CITU general secretary Ravindra Shukla�s comprehensive report that covered all aspects of the situation and the CITU�s activities and organisation in the last three years, the treasurer Radha Raman Gaud presented a statement of accounts.  

Detailing the situation in various parts of the state, 37 delegates took part in the discussion on the report. The discussion highlighted the big possibilities of forging the CITU organisation in the state which is in a ferment for the last several years. After the general secretary replied to the discussion, the delegates adopted the report in one voice.

The conference also adopted 15 resolutions on burning issues facing the working class and other sections in the state and the country. One of the resolutions condemned the Maoist politics of assassinations in West Bengal and elsewhere, particularly targeting the CPI(M) cadre. Another resolution urged the people to reach Delhi in large numbers to take part in the Left rally against the excruciating price rise and on other pressing issues.

CITU national secretary Jibon Roy dwelt in detail on how the CITU organisation could be forged in the state. A whole session of the conference was devoted to this theme. The targets for the next three years include an increase in CITU membership in Rajasthan to 75,000.

The credentials committee�s report showed that 258 delegates took part in the conference, but women delegates numbered only four. Sitaram (18) was the youngest delegate while Krishna Kant Verma (86), founder of the Brick Kiln Workers Union in the state, was the oldest. State CITU president Hetram Beniwal had the longest jail life five years and six months; he is also facing the highest number of court cases --- 14. Ravindra Shukla had suffered the longest suspension from job.

The conference elected a new state committee of 51 members; of these, 10 seats are to be filled up later. The state CITU will have 15 office bearers with Hetram Beniwal as president and Ravindra Shukla as general secretary. It also elected 18 delegates for the all-India conference of the CITU.        

Jibon Roy delivered the valedictory address to the delegates.

(Hazari Lal Sharma)