People's Democracy

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


No. 09

February 26, 2012




Wider Struggles,

Deeper Mass Contact

B Prasant


FOLLOWING the important address by the Party general secretary Prakash Karat on the inaugural day, the state conference began its delegates session spread over different time periods. In between, Polit Bureau member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee placed his intervention, and finally state secretary Biman Basu came up with the reply to the discussion.




Before all that, state secretary of the Party, Biman Basu, placed the political-organisational report.  The report placed a great deal of importance to strengthening of the organisation and increasing mass contact.  Biman Basu started by saying that the Party must appear before the people in the form they would like to see the Party.  This was the way to earning the trust of the masses.


The secretary placed importance on making the Party rectified, and lively, than ever before.  Rather than observing from afar, the Party must participate in the evolving situation, increase class and mass struggles, and reach out to the people irrespective of political loyalties.


Every tier of leadership and workers must act with political correctness and acceptability. Links with unwanted people must be severed especially socially. The organisation must come out of inactivity and inaction.  Mass contact must be made deeper and wider.


Party organisation must be reoriented to ably face the challenges of time.  All slanders and lies against the Party must be nailed.  A complete evaluation of 34 years of the Left Front and the Left Front government must be made.  No one could demolish the pro-people presence, the pro-poor advance of the Left Front and the Left Front government.


In placing the report, Biman Basu went into some detail on the array of successes and achievements of the Left Front government in the political, social, and economic realms.  At the same time, lessons needed to be drawn from the weaknesses and mistakes that had occurred over 34 years.  Not all the resolves taken in the 22nd state conference could be implemented. The revolutionary caution against fulmination of attacks was envisaged but could not be implemented in full.

Selective attacks before 2011 have now become widespread.  Post assembly elections, 56 comrades were killed; 23 women comrades were raped; 513 women comrades were molested and a total of  4598 men and women comrades were left grievously injured.  Over 40,000 were rendered homeless – 22,000 could stay back only by paying heaving fines.  Sharecroppers have been evicted, TU offices occupied, education institutions attacked, false court cases slapped against comrades, and elected local bodies have been prevented from functioning.




Following the placement of the report, the lengthy discussion sessions commenced.  The 64 delegates who participated in the discussion were self-critical and were also demonstratively confident about the days ahead for the Party.  The discussion centred on these main issues.


        Class and mass struggles


        Identity politics and its fall-outs


        Importance of correct slogans and implementation


        Media management and stopping media attack


        Countering organised terror


        Party education and its importance, especially now


        Democratic centralism to be strengthened


        Inner Party democracy to be consolidated


        Joint functioning to be improved


        Party functioning to be improved at all committee levels


        Joint movements of various Party fronts to be built up


        Mass front growth to be translated into Party recruitment


        Social issues like the attacks on women and on minorities to be resisted


        Party building must be undertaken in the forest areas and in the hill-terai-dooars zones


        Parliamentarianism to be fought against


        Party building must go on rigorously




In his important intervention Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee began by saying that self-critically it must be admitted that there were an extent of negative fall-out from the imbroglio of land acquiring-linked-industrialisation policy that had to be gone through by the Party and the LF government. 


“We could not confine ourselves to small and medium industries alone for the sake of development and growth, and as far as  back as 1994 the Left Front government had announced an industrial policy that called for investment of big capital, including foreign capital in the state—for that was the way we not-incorrectly had thought was forward.”  The policy move was not out-of-place.  Complications arose with the process of land acquisition.  The aim was to go in for industrialisation and agrarian development. 


Important mistakes were committed in Singur and Nandigram, and this must be self-critically admitted.  The kisan mind and the kisans’ attachment to land parcels could not be properly appreciated.  The government did go in for substantial compensation packages, and this must be recalled.


However, what was not realised was that in neo-liberal times with attacks on resources mounted, the peasants more and more clung to their land. The kisan should have been spoken to and the kisan sabha activated before taking any final decision.


Singur saw problems develop in the later phases when 85 per cent of the work for the small car factory and production had been completed. The opposition leader was allowed to block the highway for several weeks. This showed up the administration as directionless. The investors at Singur chimed in with a saying that they were not willing to remain in Singur as unwanted guests, retracted on their ‘remain-in-Singur-even-at-gunpoint’- talk of yore.


There was no land acquired in Nandigram.  The opposition swung into action on a pretext, cut roads, occupied large areas with guns and other weapons, and the police firing went against the Party and the Left Front government in a gesture of menacing finality.


Enumerating the successes of the Party and the Left Front government, Buddhadeb went on to note the advances made in the areas of land reforms, panchayats, local bodies, social sector, protection of minorities and backward people, and general social security.  He lamented that over the final periods of the seventh Left Front government, the bureaucracy proved intransigent and non-cooperating, making all efforts to make the governmental functioning grind to a standstill.


In the light of eight months of malgovernance by the present Trinamul Congress-Congress alliance state government, both the class and mass struggles must be sharpened and widened.  Party building was a contingent task.  Bigger mass rallies are to be organised.  Class-based movements must be highlighted.  Party must first organise the basic classes. The masses must be organised in a bigger, better way under the Red flag, concluded Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.




Apart from the condolence resolution and a resolution in memory of martyrs, the conference adopted a number of resolutions on various important aspects. Among them included those calling for sharpening of the anti-imperialist struggle; resisting the price rise; demanding universalisation of the public distribution system; keeping alive the struggle against fundamentalism, terrorism, and communalism; sharpening the struggle of the working people under attack from the wide implementation of neo-liberal policies; putting a stop to kisan suicides in the state; enhancing the struggle of the unorganised workers; building up struggles against authoritarian attacks; stand by the families of the martyrs and help those who were attacked; on development of SC and ST people; against aggression in the field of culture; on the political stand of the Party on Darjeeling issue. A resolution was also passed calling for making success of the February 28 all India general strike.




Responding to the discussion on the pol-org report, Biman Basu said that such wide-ranging discussions as witnessed by the 23rd state conference was a sign of liveliness in the organisation.  Biman Basu started by pointing out that close to 90 per cent of the Party members of the CPI(M) in the state had not faced ever the present exigencies. Recruitment policy was no longer rigorous and comrades have started to lack political moorings.


Dwelling on the issue of the CPI(M) vis-à-vis state government, Biman Basu said that the Party had never become an appendage of the government.  Every issue of the government was discussed in the Party.  Around 70 per cent of the meetings of the state secretariat were dedicated to discussing governmental issues.


In the new situation, the flow of struggles and movements must be strengthened and need to be reorganised.  The Party must go to the basic classes, pick up issues, and launch vigorous movements.  Dwelling on identity politics, he said that the Party must work amongst the people to prevent such politics from destroying the unity of the basic classes. 


Recruitment among the backward people and the minority groups must be further stepped up.  Political education must be widened and the Party membership catered to with both Party classes and popular lectures.  The task has to be taken up with renewed vigour.  In the task, the attention to cultural front activities must not be lost sight of, in any circumstances.


The various mass fronts working in the bustees, health sector, literacy, science etc must be coordinated and the functioning of mass fronts as such must be recalled all the while.  In this connection, Biman Basu said that Party committees must look to the functioning of NGOs set up under Party members.


Elaborating the nature of attacks rained down on the Party and the mass fronts especially after the new right reactionary government was sworn in, Biman Basu pointed out that the Party unity must be sharpened, rigorous inner Party struggle carried forward in the task of rectification, the Party strengthened and the attacks resisted taking the mass of the people along.  Biman Basu concluded with a call for a widening of the mass base of the Party and for deepening of mass contact.


Following the adoption of the pol-org report, the conference elected a new state committee of 75 members with provision for electing eight more subsequently.  Biman Basu was re-elected state secretary.  The new control commission was formed.  The editors of various Party organs were elected.  A 175-member state delegation to the 20th Party Congress was also elected by the conference.


The credential committee reported noted that the state conference was attended by 510 delegates, 114 observers, and 15 honorary delegates.  Of the delegates, 267 represented the middle class, and there were 34 from the working class, 79 poor peasants, 7 agricultural labourers, 81 middle peasants, 22 rich peasants, 10 landlord/jotdars, 2 small capitalists, and 8 business persons.  Of the 510 delegates, 355 worked as whole timers.  184 worked in the TU front, 190 among peasants.  213 had been inducted from the youth front, 93 from the peasants, and 51 from the TUs.


Benoy Konar, central committee member, delivered the concluding address. 




The Bengal Party identified the following tasks.


1.     The resolutions and decision of the 23rd state conference and the 20th Party Congress must be implemented.


2.     Standards of Party members enhanced through education and re-education.


3.     Continuous struggle must be launched against imperialism, religious fundamentalism, separatism, and divisive identity politics.


4.     Progressive, socially conscious sections of the society must be taken along in the struggle against superstition, casteist politics, persecution of women, and backward thinking.


5.     Continuous mass struggle against policies of neo-liberalism.


6.     Struggle against bureaucratic interference in the rural self governing bodies, anarchy in education, and setting up of false and motivated cases against Party comrades


7.     Correct recruitment, pro-mass functioning of Party committees, and mass collection


8.     Rectification campaign must be further augmented.  Inner Party democracy strengthened, flourishing within the frame of democratic centralism.


9.     Democratic functioning and growth of mass fronts


10.    Increase in the number of Party wholetimers.



The call of the state conference comprised the following:


        Build up a Party invigorated with ideology, and free from errors and inaction


        Severe relationship with the socially unwanted persons.


        Increase the pro-active measures of the Party and the mass fronts


        Befriend the working people irrespective of political affiliation


        Develop class and mass struggle; widen mass base


        Improve Party functioning