People's Democracy

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


No. 02

January 08, 2012




‘Struggles on Local Issues Needed to Break Stagnation’


Dharmaraj Mahapatra


ORGANISED at Ambikapur in Sarguja district from December 15 to 17, the fourth Chhattisgarh state conference of the CPI(M) has called upon the party members and supporters to launch struggles on local issues in order to break the stagnation. While charting out a course of action against the anti-people policies of the central and state governments, the conference also gave a final shape to the plans for the party’s expansion.


The first day of the conference was devoted to a huge open rally. The CPI(M) procession on the day started from Company Bazaar Maidan in Ambikapur and, wending its way through the whole town, culminated into a public meeting in the Kala Niketan Maidan. Joined by a large number of tribal people and peasants, including women, from all over the district, the procession was led by artistes belonging to a troupe of tribal dancers.


The main speaker at the rally was Hannan Mollah, a member of the CPI(M) Central Secretariat, who strongly criticised the anti-people policies of the central and state governments. He pointed out how these policies are depriving the peasants of remunerative prices for their produce and forcing an increasing number of peasants to commit suicide. This is happening in a country that has been raising the slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Peasant). Mollah said there is no dearth of government land in Chhattisgarh or elsewhere in the country, but a large number of peasants are still without land. Hence he demanded that the government land must be distributed among the landless peasants and that vigorous land reforms must be implemented.     


As for Chhattisgarh, Mollah said it is a tribal preponderant state but tribal people are still deprived of their due rights. So much so that they have not yet received pattas under the Forests Rights Act. Corruption is rampant in the state under the BJP government and the people are deprived of the benefits that are due to them under the official schemes.


Dubbing the present central government as the most corrupt government so far in independent India’s history, Mollah said it has broken all previous records in this regard. While demanding a strong and effective Lokpal bill, Mollah asked the people to develop struggles to prevent the entry of foreign capital in retail trade in the country, ensure the passage of a legislation for urban employment guarantee, and ensure the distribution of subsidised food to all the poor through a universalised public distribution system.


Joginder Sharma, another member of the CPI(M) Central Secretariat, was a special invitee on this occasion. Addressing the rally, he flayed the Raman Singh government of Chhattisgarh for the atrocities being openly perpetrated against the tribal and dalit people and for the corruption stalking the implementation of national rural employment guarantee scheme in the state. He said this BJP government was in the dock for encouraging open loot of peasant lands in the name of industrial development of the state, and demanded that this loot must be stopped forthwith. He urged the party cadre to forge incessant struggles on the issues of land, forest and water --- the three issues facing the tribal and peasant masses of the state.


Adivasi Ekta Sabha general secretary Baal Singh, the CPI(M)’s Sarguja district secretary Ashok Sinha, CPI(M) state secretary M K Nandi and state secretariat member B Sanyal also addressed the rally. State secretariat members Vakil Bharati, Sanjay Parate, J S Sodhi and Dharmaraj Mahapatra were also present on the dais. Ashok Sinha presided over the rally.


At 10.30 a m on December 16, veteran tribal leader and CPI(M) state committee member Roopdhar Dhruva hoisted the party’s flag at the conference venue, which formally opened the conference. After floral tributes were paid at the Martyrs Column, Hannan Mollah inaugurated the delegates session, asking for changes in the style of functioning of the party as well as mass organisations in accordance with the potential for growth existing in the state. He stressed the need of planned initiative for activation of all party units and all party members, their proper and adequate education, development of new wholetimers and adequate care for them.    


After M K Nandi presented a political organisational report on behalf of the outgoing state committee, as many as 61 delegates expressed their views on behalf of their respective delegations.    


Joginder Sharma delivered the concluding address at the conference, suggesting the practice of proper distribution of work among committee members at all levels with ensured accountability of each member in regard to the working of mass organisations. He stressed the need of developing vigorous struggles on local level issues with the aim of breaking new grounds in Chhattisgarh.


After detailed discussions, the conference identified certain issues for forging forcing struggles in the state. It also decided that the CPI(M) would take up the issue of atrocities against the scheduled castes, tribes, minorities and women in all parts of the state, and fight against caste and communal hatred. With the aim of strengthening the Left and democratic forces in the state, the party would strive to organise the poor peasants on the issue of land, and youth and unorganised sector workers on the issue of employment. Wages, education, health, power and water availability, and roads are among other important issues to be taken up. Proper implementation of the Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Forests Rights Act will be pressed for through struggles. There would be agitations against the liberalisation and other anti-people policies of the state and central governments, and against the growing attacks on the Left.


The conference decided on vigorous participation in the proposed nationwide strike on February 28.


Through a resolution, the conference demanded removal of incongruities in the list of scheduled tribes and replacement of “Nagesia” by “Nagesia/Kisan” in the entry number 32 under clause 165, sub-clause 6 of the Land Revenue document concerning Sarguja, Balrampur and Surajpur districts.


One of the conference decisions was about increasing the membership of mass organisations of the kisan, trade union, youth and student organisations led by the party. Increasing the sale of central organs of the party and organising educational camps at all levels were also decided.


The conference elected a new state committee with 22 members which, in its first meeting, re-elected M K Nandi as the state secretary. As per another decision of the state committee, the existing state secretariat was asked to work till the state committee met next and elected a new state secretariat. The state committee has one vacancy for Bilaspur and one for cooption later.


The conference also elected four delegates and three alternative delegates for the coming party congress to take place in April.


Coming from all the districts of Chhattisgarh, 156 delegates and 5 observers attended the conference; these included 16 women. There were 43 delegates from the working class, 77 from the peasantry and 32 from the middle class. Roopdhar Dhruva (72) was the oldest delegate at the conference while Kamlesh Singh, Ganapat Singh Tekaam and Maheshwar Sharma, each of 24 years of age, were the youngest ones. Three delegates were members of the elected panchayat bodies while five have been members of such bodies in the past.


Front-wise, 20 delegates were from the party organisation, 34 from the CITU, 34 from the Kisan Sabha, 3 from the SFI, 11 from the DYFI, 6 from the AIDWA, one from the cultural front and 12 from other organisations, while 31 furnished no information.         


Among the delegates, 37 belonged to the scheduled tribes and 10 to the scheduled castes, 45 from backward communities, 7 from minorities and 51 from general categories. There were 30 workers, 41 peasants, 41 employees, 9 advocates, 1 doctor, 2 teachers, 1 trader, 3 retail shopkeepers and 16 from other occupations among the delegates and observers while 8 were wholetime workers of the party.