People's Democracy

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


No. 19

May 12, 2013




Extended CPI(M) State Committee for Widening Support Base


Haripada Das


THE splendid and decisive victory of the Left Front, securing 50 seats in the 60-member Tripura assembly in the recently held elections, would no doubt stimulate the struggle for a Left and democratic alternative throughout the country. The verdict of Tripura people heralds a positive message that so far as alternative policy is concerned, the Congress and the BJP are no alternatives to one another. The real alternative, an alternative based on policies and programmes, lies with the Left parties.


But a threadbare analysis of the election results leaves room for concern at several counts. Though the Left Front secured 52.32 per cent of votes, which is one per cent more compared to the 2008 assembly elections and significantly won 45 out of 50 seats with more than 50 per cent votes, the review revealed some drawbacks which need to remove urgently. It was thus that the CPI(M) state committee, in its meeting held on March 31 and  April 1, 2013, decided to meet in an extended form for a still more elaborate discussion of the weaknesses and to adopt some concrete political-ideological and organisational measures to widen the partyís support base in the coming days.  


As per the decision the state committee, an extended state committee meeting was held on April 27-28. Apart from the state committee members, district secretariat members, local committee secretaries, secretaries and presidents of mass organisations and some members working on other fronts were invited to the extended meeting. Out of 467 delegates, 418 attended the extended meeting. General secretary Prakash Karat attended the meeting as a guest.


While introducing the assembly election review, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar said we won a very hard battle at a time when Left parties were facing an unfavourable situation in the national arena, with vested interests making orchestrated attempts to defeat the Left in Tripura, now the only Indian state ruled by the Left Front. In spite of that, Bijan Dhar said, some shortcomings identified by the state committee must not be ignored. Dhar pointed out that in view of the extensive development work accomplished by the Left Front government, ceaseless campaign programmes carried out by the party and mass organisations against the anti-people neo-liberal measures of the UPA government led by the Congress at the centre, and the negative approach of the state Congress against our pro-people policies in the state, the outcome of the assembly election should have been better than what we scored. Though we fared well in the reserved ST-SC seats, bagging 19 and 8 seats out of the 20 and 10 respectively, our performance in those seats in respect of vote share was not up to expectation, Dhar informed.


Pointing to the tribal areas which are considered to be the traditional Left stronghold, Dhar said it was no more as intact. The Left vote share in the reserved ST seats has declined compared to 2008. A new gentry is fast growing and their commitment to the Left ideology is not that solid. The style of functioning of GMP needs to be changed. The ADC must be more transparent in its functioning. The glorious history of the GMP struggles must be highlighted for the new generation, Dhar suggested.

Similarly, in some reserved SC seats, the Left Frontís vote share does not match with the performance of our government for this section of people. While addressing this section of masses, we must be conscious that they are victims of both caste and class oppression which complement one another, Dhar asserted.


The third section wherein we suffered erosion, Dhar continued, was of the middle class. A section of the class, especially a section of government employees, fall prey to the cheap promises of cosmetic economic benefits made by the Congress manifesto, utterly forgetting the anti-people policies of the Congress led central government.  


In conclusion, Dhar said a political-ideological campaign must be carried among all these sections of people and the anti-imperialist struggle, particularly against the neo-liberal policies, intensified. Local issues, especially in connection with job, food security, healthcare, education, housing etc, may be picked up for agitations.


While congratulating the party members for working for a victory of the Left Front in Tripura, Prakash Karat explained the present national political situation and said four years of the UPA regime have witnessed growing unemployment, spiralling price hikes, an agrarian crisis leading to lakhs of kisans committing suicide, and huge corruption scams involving political leaders and top officials. The Congress as well as the BJP is in doldrums. Their partners are either deserting or annoyed them. So far as neo-liberal policies are concerned, both the parties are in the same boat. At this juncture the people are searching for an alternative. So the Left parties, mainly the CPI(M), needs to regain strength. Since there are some regional parties with vacillating character, we shall strive for an alternative to both Congress and BJP on the basis of policies and programmes. The Tripura victory would help us in this respect, Karat concluded.


Altogether, 34 delegates participated in the discussion. Summing up the whole discussion on behalf of the state secretariat in the concluding session, Manik Sarkar appreciated the level of deliberations for a better understanding of the drawbacks that were seen during the election. There is now no avenue left open but to exert our best efforts to win over the toiling masses that still remain in the other camp, through ceaseless and intensified class and mass movements, coupled with intensive political-ideological campaigns in the coming days, Manik Sarkar concluded.