People's Democracy

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


No. 29

July 22, 2012




CPI(M) State Committee Meet Concludes with Massive Rally


Ashok Dhawale


THE CPI(M)’s Maharashtra state committee that was recently elected in March 2012 at the Akole state conference in Ahmednagar district, had decided in its first meeting at the Comrade B T Ranadive Smarak Bhavan at Belapur in New Mumbai on April 29, to henceforth rotate state committee meetings in different districts of the state, to give a boost to the movement all over Maharashtra. Accordingly, from July 6 to 8, 2012, meetings of the party’s state secretariat and state committee were held at Solapur in western Maharashtra, a district which also borders the Marathwada region.




Solapur has a glorious history of resistance in the freedom struggle. For a couple of days in 1930, the people rose and liberated the city from British rule, an event that has gone down in the annals of the anti-imperialist movement as the Solapur Commune. A draconian Martial Law was imposed by the British to crush the struggle; untold repression was unleashed; and four leaders of the uprising – Srikisan Sarda, Mallappa Dhanshetty, Qurban Husain and Jagannath Shinde – were hanged.


Solapur is also well-known for being the birthplace of the legendary Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis, who led the Indian Medical Mission to China in the tumultuous 1940s, served the Chinese people selflessly during the Second World War against Japanese aggression, became a member of the Communist Party of China and died an early death in the service of the people.     


Solapur is also the birthplace of our departed veteran party and CITU leader, Comrade M K Pandhe.


As a result of collective efforts over several years under the leadership of Narsayya Adam, a newly elected member of the CPI(M) Central Committee, CITU state president and a firmer MLA, Solapur is today the strongest working class centre of the party in the state. In the last few years, the AIKS work in rural areas has also begun to spread. Solapur hosted the CITU state conference in 1987 and the CPI(M) state conference in 2005, and also the state conferences of the AIDWA and DYFI in recent years. The SFI’s state level camp was held here only last month. There have constantly been large and militant struggles of beedi and powerloom workers and other toiling sections under the CPI(M)-CITU leadership.


A major constructive achievement of the party here has been the successful completion of the Comrade Godutai Parulekar Housing Scheme, which comprises 10,000 low-cost houses for women beedi workers at Kumbhari village near Solapur city. This is perhaps the biggest workers housing scheme of its kind in the country. A bitter struggle is on with the government for other major housing schemes, like the Shaheed Qurban Husain Housing Scheme for Muslim women, Comrade M K Pandhe Housing Scheme for powerloom workers, Lokshaheer Comrade Anna Bhau Sathe Housing Scheme for Dalits, Comrade Meenaxitai Sane Housing Scheme for beedi workers and so on.




The city of Solapur turned red during the three days of the recent state committee meeting. Thousands of red flags and banners adorned the streets. Large hoardings of the rally were prepared, paid for through mass collections, and were put up by various unions, mass fronts and by party branches.


On the evening of July 8, after the conclusion of the CPI(M) state committee meeting, Solapur was witness to the largest-ever mass rally held by the CPI(M) in this city. Over 50,000 people gathered at the Punjal Kreeda Maidan. The huge ground was completely packed by women, and this rally saw the largest ever participation of women in any CPI(M) rally in Maharashtra so far. Muslim women especially, and also Dalit women, came in massive numbers. The thousands of men who had gathered had to remain content with standing on the roads outside the maidan. People braved the occasional rain showers and stood their ground for nearly three hours while the meeting lasted.  


The audience overwhelmingly comprised all sections of unorganised workers and the urban poor. Along with workers of all the unions affiliated to the CITU and members of the abovementioned housing schemes for which a struggle is on, other mass organisations like the AIDWA, AIKS, DYFI and SFI also played their part in ensuring the unprecedented success of this rally.


July 8 happened to be the birth anniversary of the towering national leader of the CPI(M) and former West Bengal chief minister, Comrade Jyoti Basu. It was also the birth anniversary of the firebrand woman leader of the CPI(M) in Maharashtra, Comrade Ahilya Rangnekar. Large photos of both these stalwarts adorned the tastefully decorated stage on either side.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and leader of the party’s parliamentary group, Sitaram Yechury, who attended the three-day state meetings of the CPI(M), was the main speaker at this rally. He was welcomed with a massive bursting of crackers. After he lit the Flame of Socialism at the venue of the rally, the public meeting began under the chairmanship of Narsayya Adam. All members of the party’s state secretariat and state committee as well as Solapur district leaders were seated on the dais.




Sitaram Yechury warmly congratulated the Solapur comrades for the massive success of the rally, especially commending the remarkable participation of women. Launching a vitriolic attack on the Congress-led UPA-2 regime, he said a government involved in corruption scams of thousands of crores of rupees claimed that it had no money for giving food, education, employment and housing to the poor. Worse still, a government that claims to have no funds for social welfare schemes for the poor, has no hesitation in doling out thousands of crores of rupees to European imperialist countries to help them out of their crisis. It gives lakhs of crores of rupees as tax concessions to big business, but through price rise and unemployment the same government drives the working people into ruin.


The time has come, he said, to launch intense mass struggles against the UPA regime and its policies. The Left parties have given a nationwide struggle call on the issue of food security and the CPI(M)’s Maharashtra state committee has chalked out a programme to make this stir a success in the state.


Dwelling on the importance of preserving and strengthening secularism, he came down heavily on the BJP-RSS and their communal agenda. At the time of Partition, he said, Muslims had the choice to go to Pakistan. But crores of Muslims refused to go and accepted India as their motherland. And yet the communal forces raise questions about their patriotism. This has to be fought tooth and nail. The rabid communalism of the Narendra Modi regime in Gujarat and the rampant corruption of the Yedyurappa regime in Karnataka reveal the real face of the BJP.


While commending the party in Solapur for successfully completing the Comrade Godutai Parulekar Housing Scheme for 10,000 women beedi workers, he deplored the fact that the state government had not yet given sanction to the Shaheed Qurban Husain Housing Scheme for over 20,000 Muslim women. He alleged that some weighty Congress leaders in the state were behind this delay. He called upon the gathering to launch a big mass struggle to get this scheme off the ground.


In his concluding speech, Narsayya Adam spoke of the grave injustice being meted out by both the central and state government to the working class and the peasantry, especially to all sections of unorganised workers, and called for a big mass movement of the working people in defence of their demands. As regards the Shaheed Qurban Husain and other housing schemes for different sections of poor workers that the party was championing, he warned that if they were not sanctioned and funded by the state government within three months, 25,000 people would undertake a 500 km march from Solapur to Mumbai and would all court arrest.


Among those who addressed the rally were CPI(M) state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale, state secretariat members Dr D L Karad and Mariam Dhawale, state committee members M H Shaikh and Sidhappa Kalshetty, and Solapur district secretariat members Venkatesh Kongari and Nalini Kalburge.




After the state committee paid homage to Dipankar Mukherjee and other comrades from the state, Sitaram Yechury reported on the Polit Bureau and Central Committee decisions, including the Polit Bureau’s stand on the presidential election. This reporting was followed by a lively question-answer session.


The state committee planned out the struggle on the vital issue of food security. It was decided to begin the campaign immediately, print thousands of leaflets at the district level, involve the other two Left parties, CPI and PWP, and organise large district and tehsil level mass actions all over the state from July 30 to August 3, to coincide with the Delhi dharna. August 3 being the death anniversary of Comrade Shamrao Parulekar and also the birth anniversary of Krantisimha Comrade Nana Patil, both of them outstanding leaders of the Communist Party and the AIKS, it was decided to culminate the first phase of the struggle on that day. The monsoons and agricultural operations will, however, be a limiting factor in this phase of the struggle which, the state committee felt, must be forcefully continued even at the all-India level until the major demands are achieved.  


The state committee decided to observe the birth centenary year of Comrade P Sundarayya, so as to strengthen and streamline the party organisation as per the directives of the Central Committee. The concrete decisions taken towards this end were:


1) The 2013 party renewal campaign will be conducted stringently on the basis of the Central Committee guidelines and the state committee discussion on the 2012 state party renewal report.

2). A statewide call was given for a Rs 50 lakh wholetimers fund, five years after a similar statewide whole timers fund call resulted in a collection of nearly Rs 40 lakh.

3) It was decided to organise regular meetings of party wholetimers in each district to discuss their work and their living conditions, and to help them to perform much better.

4) As regards party education, it was decided to organise a three-day state party class for all state and district committee members and wholetimers in November 2012; one-day classes of all branch secretaries in each district; two-day classes for all party members in each district, in which ‘What is Marxism’ and ‘Party Organisation’ will be the mandatory topics; and one state-level class for each of the mass fronts in the coming year.

5) A two-month concerted campaign will be undertaken in November-December 2012 for increasing the circulation of the central and state party papers.


The very first meeting of the new state secretariat and the state committee, held on April 28-29, had discussed and adopted a 15-point One Year Plan for Party Development.


The state committee discussed and decided upon the priority constituencies that the party will fight in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections that are both due in April and October 2014 respectively. It directed the concerned district committees to begin preparations in these priority constituencies immediately and in right earnest.    


The state committee finalised the districtwise division of responsibilities among state secretariat and state committee members. It set up 18 different subcommittees and fraction committees, and appointed a convenor for each. It also elected the editorial board of the state party weekly Jeevanmarg, which is being brought out by the partly in four-colour format from January 1 this year.


It was decided to accord priority to the student, youth and agricultural workers fronts. The state secretariat will organise a meeting of the leading activists in each of these fronts to help them grow. The priority districts will be decided in the next meeting of the state committee.




The state committee reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken in the last meeting. The two main decisions were the statewide agitation against drought, in which over 33,000 rural poor participated; and the reporting of the 20th party congress and the 20th state conference in general body meetings in each district, which has been completed in 23 districts. Only five remain.


The state committee has published two attractive booklets – Political Resolution and Organisational Guidance of the 20th Party Congress (in which the main decisions of the 20th state conference at Akole are also included) and 20th Party Congress Resolution on Some Ideological Issues. Copies of both these booklets were given for sale to all districts in this state committee meeting.


It was decided to hold the next meeting of the state committee from October 10 to 12 at Talasari in Thane district. October 10 is observed every year as Martyrs Day in Thane district, since it was on this day in 1945 that the first five martyrs of the famed Adivasi Revolt fell to the bullets of the British police. There have been 60 martyrs in this district so far – victims of the British, Congress and BJP-Shiv Sena regimes. October 10 is also the day in 1996 on which the legendary leader of the Adivasi Revolt, Comrade Godavari Parulekar, was cremated at Talasari in the presence of tens of thousands.  


The new and spacious office of the CPI(M) Thane district committee, called the Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar Bhavan, will be inaugurated on that day by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury. The foundation stone of this office was laid on the same day two years ago by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and Tripura chief minister, Manik Sarkar. On October 12, a massive districtwide rally will be held there to conclude the state committee meeting.