People's Democracy

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


No. 34

August 22, 2010

‘We Shall Advance On The Path Of Struggle Against Exploitation’


G Mamatha


THE extended meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) held from August 7-10 in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh was organised to address the major changes in the political situation post 19th Party Congress held in Coimbatore, formulate a political-tactical line to meet the current situation and thereby equip the Party to face the electoral battles in West Bengal and Kerala, where, particularly in West Bengal, a fierce battle is being waged against the Party. The meeting also aimed to bring about a unified common understanding of the Party as a whole to face the challenges and overcome the present adverse situation.


Placing the review report on the implementation of the previous political-tactical line and the draft political resolution, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Party explained the scope of the meeting and the background in which it was organised. He said the Central Committee of the Party held in February this year, decided to postpone the 20th Party Congress, which was supposed to be held in the beginning of 2011, due to the forthcoming assembly elections in West Bengal  and Kerala. The preparations for the Party Congress would begin only after the elections are held in these two states. He said this meeting is not like a Party Congress, where organisational review is also taken up besides formulating a political-tactical line. This is only confined to a discussion on the political-tactical line.


Prakash Karat said when the Party Congress was held in Coimbatore in 2008, we were supporting the UPA government and three months later, we withdrew support. This brought about a change in the situation. The other major development was the May 2009 parliamentary election results. There is a big attack on the Party, especially in West Bengal after the 15th Lok Sabha elections. In the changed circumstances, the role of the Party has to be discussed and accordingly, a political-tactical has to be formulated. The Central Committee of the Party decided to cover three major areas in the review report. The first was relating to the withdrawal of support in July 2008 to the UPA government. The second was regarding the political line adopted by the Party after the withdrawal of support, including the electoral tactical line for the 15th Lok Sabha elections. The third was about the post Lok Sabha election situation. Dealing with these points, Prakash Karat said the support to the UPA government was withdrawn as a result of our stand with the UPA government on the Indo-US nuclear deal. In August 2007, after the signing of the 123 Agreement, the Polit Bureau of the Party convened an urgent meeting of the Central Committee which decided that if the UPA government goes ahead with the operationalisation of the 123 Agreement, then our Party should withdraw support to the government.


The Central Committee of the Party discussed twice, on two occasions – in July 2008, when the Party did a review of the Lok Sabha election results and now, when there was a discussion on the draft review report – the withdrawal of support. The Central Committee felt it was correct to withdraw support. There was no disagreement on the withdrawal of support, but only the timing of the withdrawal was assessed as being correct or not.


After approaching the IAEA, the nuclear deal would be on an auto-pilot and, for the Party, it was inconceivable to support a government which goes ahead with the strategic alliance with the US. Military collaboration with the US is a major aspect of this strategic alliance and the nuclear deal is a way of cementing this alliance. However, the review report assessed that it was wrong to have allowed the UPA government to go to the IAEA on the safeguards agreement. We had wrongly assessed that the government will not proceed further given the opposition of the Left parties. This was a mistaken assessment. The reason for this was an underestimation of the capacity and determination of the Congress party and the ruling classes to implement the nuclear deal and to forge an alliance with the United States. There was also an exaggerated assessment of our own strength, said Prakash Karat. The Party also could not effectively link up the domestic policies of the UPA government to its alliance with the US imperialism. It could also not be made into an issue of the people.


The review report asserted that it was necessary to rally non-Congress secular parties with the Left to fight against the Congress and the BJP. But the electoral understanding arrived at in some of the states could not be the basis for an effective all India alternative. Under these circumstances, it was not proper to give a call for an alternative secular government. We should have confined ourselves to calling for strengthening the non-Congress, non-BJP alternative, he said.


Explaining the conditions after the UPA-2 government assumed office, Prakash Karat said is offensive of the neo liberal economic policies has increased and in this situation, the Central Committee meeting in October 2009 decided to step up the fight against the neo liberal policies of the UPA government; to pay utmost attention on independent activities of the Party and take up local issues on a sustained basis. He also said the BJP’s communal threat has not decreased, although it suffered a political set back, having lost second successive elections in the parliament. He said  the BJP would try to go back to its core agenda and therefore we must be vigilant and the fight against communalism must continue.


There is also a need to be vigilant against the strategic alliance pursued by the UPA government with the US imperialism.


On our attitude to the regional parties, Prakash Karat observed that despite the fact that many of these parties have vacillations, it is important to maintain relations with them in the parliament on various issues. Outside parliament too, if they agree, we must rally them in our struggles.


On the Special Economic Zones, the Party had opposed the large scale acquisition of agricultural land from the farmers. SEZs are a part of Crony capitalism. Prakash Karat said the review has asserted that the Party will take up the land issue; it will stand by the peasantry and the tribal people who are opposing their lands being taken away. It will oppose large scale indiscriminate illegal mining activities being carried on in various parts of the country.


The review report noted that there is a weakness in consolidating politically the benefits of the struggles the Party launched in various states, except for Rajasthan where we could consolidate to a limited extent.

Placing the draft political resolution, Prakash Karat  exhorted the delegates to take up the issues of the people, mobilise them in large numbers and face the current political situation where a concerted attack is being made against the Party. He said we have to rally the entire forces to stand by the Left and democratic forces in West Bengal and counter the present attack. Finally, he placed the review report and the draft political resolution for the discussion among the delegates and concluded with the following current tasks to be taken up by the Party.


Current Tasks:


(i) The key task is to fight against the whole gamut of neo-

liberal policies which are affecting the lives of the people in all spheres. These policies fuelled by imperialist globalisation are enriching the rich further and transferring resources to the corporates and big business. They are detrimental to the interests of the working people. The Congress-led UPA government has pursued these policies for the past six years since coming into office in 2004.

(ii) The fight against the neo-liberal policies means taking up the struggle at two levels. One, at the level of policies of the Central and concerned state governments and two, by taking up the various issues of the people concerning their livelihood, land, job security, fair wages, access to health care, education and basic services, all of which are detrimentally affected by neo-liberal policies. The Party and the mass organizations have to conduct sustained struggles on local issues and also launch state-wide movements on people’s issues. Movements against the neo-liberal policies should be launched at the all India level and in the states.

(iii) Communal politics continues to pose a danger as it is seeking an opportunity to push forward the communal agenda. The RSS and its political wing, the BJP, represent the main vehicle for majority communalism and the Hindutva ideology. Though  the BJP suffered electoral setbacks, there is no let-up on communal activities. In the coming days the struggle against communalism and the Hindutva based activities needs to be carried on. At the same time, the Party should be vigilant to counter minority communalism and extremism.

(iv) The UPA government is working to strengthen the strategic alliance with the USA at all levels including military collaboration. This alliance influences domestic policies and is the main deterrent to an independent foreign policy. The Party has to step up the opposition to the Indo-US strategic alliance and its various manifestations. It should rally all the patriotic, democratic sections against this tie-up with the US and mobilize people for the pursuit of an independent foreign policy and against imperialist intervention around the world.

(v) The Party should oppose the Congress, the prime mover of the neo-liberal policies of the UPA government, which represents the interests of the big bourgeoisie and favours a pro-US foreign policy.

(vi) The BJP does not only practice communal politics, it is a rightwing party which advocates neo-liberal policies. The Party will politically fight the BJP and adopt tactics to rally the secular forces to isolate it.

(vii) The CPI(M) will seek the cooperation of those non-Congress secular parties who are willing to come together to take up people’s issues, defend secularism and oppose erosion of national sovereignty both within parliament and outside. Wherever needed, there may be electoral understanding with such parties.

(viii) The Party will lay stress on its independent role and activities. The Party will put forward before the people the alternative policies of the Left. The Party will work to strengthen Left unity and to consolidate the forces of the Left while waging a determined struggle against the disruptive activities of the Maoists.

(ix) The entire Party will work to rally the people and the democratic forces to defend the CPI(M) and the Left in West Bengal, to help fight back the violent attacks and to overcome the adverse situation.

(x) The CPI(M) will, based on the Left and democratic platform of demands, mobilize the working class, peasantry, agricultural workers, artisans and other sections of the working people to fight against the anti-people policies and to defend their livelihood and rights. The Party should pay attention to winning over the masses under the influence of the Congress and other bourgeois parties by drawing these masses into united struggles on their issues and problems.


(xi) The Party will champion the rights of the dalits, tribals, minorities, women and other oppressed sections as part of the general democratic platform.