People's Democracy

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


No. 01

January 01, 2012


Punjab:  CPI(M) Organises 20th State Conference


Raghunath Singh


ON December 19, a big rally opened the 20th state conference of the Punjab state unit of the CPI(M) at Longowal in Sangrur district. The three-day conference successfully continued up to December 20, 2011. A large number of workers from all parts of the state, carrying red flags, moved in processions through the streets of the town before they reached the Grain Market grounds, the venue of the rally.


CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, while addressing the rally, termed the present  UPA-2 government as the most corrupt  government in the history of independent India. He further stated that the Lokpal bill must be adopted in the current winter session of parliament itself, and that there must be no further delay in this task. Holding the UPA government responsible for the present bout of uncontrollable rises in the prices of essential commodities over the last 38 months, he also condemned the decontrol of petroleum prices. While commenting on the globalisation and liberalisation policies, he said these policies have further increased the gap between the rich and the poor. He further elaborated that only 55 business houses have properties worth 5,000 crore price whereas 77 per cent of the population in India has daily income of Rs 20 only. He criticised the decision of the government to bring FDI in the retail sector. He also expressed the hope that the people of Punjab will vote for the victory of Sanjha Morcha consisting of secular and pro-people parties like the PPP, CPI(M), CPI and Akali Dal (Longowal).


CPI(M) Central Secretariat member Nilotpal Basu, while addressing the rally, blamed the successive Congress and Akali-BJP governments of Punjab for the deteriorating conditions of the peasantry in the state which heralded the green revolution in the country. He held these parties responsible for the increasing female foeticide, use of narcotics among youth and peasant suicides here.


CPI(M) state secretary Charan Singh Virdi declared that the CPI(M) would contest 13 assembly seats as a part of the Sanjha Morcha. He told the gathering that it was after a long time that a coalition of secular parties had been formed in Punjab. He assured that the common minimum programme of the morcha would prove to be a milestone in solving the problems the state is facing.


Earlier, CPI(M) district secretary Bant Singh Namol, who was also the chairman of the reception committee, welcomed the central leaders and people participating in the rally.


Lehmber Singh Taggar and Vijay Mishra, state secretariat members, also addressed the rally.


Rattan Singh, chairman of the state level Control Commission and a veteran party leader, unfurled the party flag, followed by floral tributes at the martyrs column.


A total of 228 delegates and observers participated in the conference which was held at Harnam Singh Chamak Hall. A Presidium consisting of Gurmesh Singh, Ram Singh Nurpuri, Bant Singh Namol, Gurchetan Singh Bassi, Rajinder Kaur Chohka and  Gurmeet Singh Dhadda conducted the conference proceeding.  Bhup Chand Channo moved a condolence resolution, whereafter the house observed two minutes silence to pay homage to the  departed leaders and workers.


Prakash Karat inaugurated the conference, asking the delegates to work unitedly in the interest of the movement. He urged upon the cadre that they must make use of the weapon of criticism and self-criticism for an advancement of the movement and not for settling personal or individual scores. He explained how, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union questions were raised and doubts expressed about the validity of Marxism-Leninism as an alternative to capitalism. But now the rationale of capitalism is being questioned the world over. He said we must take full advantage of the failure of capitalism in its own strongholds.


Nilotpal Basu urged upon the party cadres to work enthusiastically and forcefully for the ensuing assembly elections in Punjab. He said it is for the first time in many years that we have been able to form a secular and pro-people front in Punjab, adding that the Sanjha Morcha has not only credibility but also a programme to solve the burning problems of Punjab. The people are fed up with the successive corrupt regimes of the Congress and Akali-BJP combines, he added.


Charan Singh Virdi presented to the conference the secretary’s report for the last four years. A total of 49 delegates participated in the discussion on the report. In his reply to the discussion, Virdi  accepted most of the suggestions given by delegates, whereafter the report was unanimously adopted by the house. 


The conference later elected a 35 member state committee with two vacancies. The newly elected state committee met, in its turn, and unanimously re-elected Charan Singh Virdi as the CPI(M) state secretary.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S R Pillai made the concluding  speech when he recalled the historic role play by the Punjab unit of the party in the formation of the Communist Party in our country. He also narrated the sacrifices made by Punjab comrades during the heyday of terrorism in the 1980s, while fighting against extremist and separatist forces. He expressed the hope that very soon the Punjab unit of the party would again have its golden days.