People's Democracy

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


No. 42

October 20, 2013






CPI(M) State Committee Meeting Concludes with Impressive Rally


Ashok Dhawale


THE Maharashtra state committee of the CPI(M), elected by the 20th state conference of the party at Akole in Ahmednagar district in March 2012, had decided in its very first meeting to rotate some state committee meetings in different districts of the state. Accordingly, the state committee meeting was held at Solapur in July 2012; at Talasari in Thane district in October 2012; and at Alangun village in Surgana tehsil of Nashik district on October 4-5, 2013.




Like Solapur and Talasari, the Surgana meeting also concluded with an impressive districtwide rally of tens of thousands of people on the afternoon of October 5. Most of them comprised adivasi peasant men and women from 10 rural tehsils of Nashik district, although the main chunk came from Surgana tehsil itself. They had come by hundreds of trucks, tempos, buses, jeeps, and many of them on foot. The CPI(M)’s Nashik district committee had printed 25,000 leaflets and 5,000 posters and also put up a large number of banners to publicise the Surgana rally far and wide.


The main speakers at the rally were CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, Central Secretariat member Nilotpal Basu and Central Secretariat member and newly elected AIKS all-India general secretary Hannan Mollah, who had come to attend the AIKS state meetings at Surgana on October 5-6.


Another impressive public meeting and press conference were held on the evening of October 3 in Nashik city, at the end of the state secretariat meeting there, and these were addressed by Sitaram Yechury and Nilotpal Basu.


The Surgana rally was presided over by senior party leader Lahanu Kom and was addressed by CPI(M) state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale, Central Committee member Narsayya Adam, state secretariat members J P Gavit, Rajaram Ozare, Dr D L Karad and Mariam Dhawale, and state committee member Dr Ajit Nawale. State committee member Kisan Gujar proposed the vote of thanks.


The rally began with a cultural programme of dances presented by students of schools run by the CPI(M)-led Adarsh Samata Shikshan Prasarak Mandal of Surgana.




Sitaram Yechury reported on the Central Committee’s assessment of the current political situation, and this was followed by a question-answer session.


The political and work report was placed by the state secretary. After taking a brief stock of some major international and national events, the Maharashtra part of the political report had the following sections: Assassination of Narendra Dabholkar; difficult situation faced by the people; increasing atrocities on women; corruption scams; some other issues; and recent political developments in view of the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections. The work report outlined the various activities of the party and mass fronts. After discussion, the state committee unanimously approved the report and the finalised report has been published in the state party weekly Jeevanmarg. The state committee, chaired by Lahanu Kom, then took some major decisions, which are as below:


1) The first decision taken by the state committee was to launch sustained struggles on burning local issues of the people in each district of the state. In this context, the state committee discussed the issue of the implementation of the Food Security Act in Maharashtra, and it decided to submit a memorandum to the state government and to take up struggles. The state committee’s decision to launch local struggles was immediately implemented in a big way in Thane district. On October 10, which is observed every year as Martyrs’ Day and Comrade Godavari Parulekar Memorial Day, over 45,000 people came out on to the streets in seven tehsil centres to press their local demands related to land, forest rights, irrigation facilities, rural employment, food security, electricity and so on. Other districts are also planning their own local struggles.


2) On October 20, it will be two months since the dastardly assassination of the renowned rationalist and progressive leader Narendra Dabholkar. It is shocking that the state government and its police have been unable to arrest anyone so far for this condemnable murder. Hence the state committee decided to rally all other democratic and secular forces to hold statewide demonstrations on or around October 20 to demand the immediate arrest of the culprits and to insist that the ordinance against black magic be made into an act in the coming state assembly session at Nagpur in December.


3) The state committee meeting decided to hold state level conventions of the Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch at Talasari in district Thane; the Jati Ant Sangharsh Samiti (Committee for the Annihilation of Caste) at Nagpur; and the Alpasankhyank Hakk Sangharsh Samiti (Committee for the Protection of Minority Rights) at Solapur by January 2013. It was also decided to hold state convention of medical doctors at Pune and of lawyers at Mumbai to set up their respective organisations. The details of all these five conventions will be worked out in the next state committee meeting at the Comrade B T Ranadive Bhavan at Belapur on November 17.


4) The preparations for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections and the Vidhan Sabha elections that are due in October 2014 were discussed. The state committee has already identified three seats for the Lok Sabha and eight priority seats for the Vidhan Sabha, and preparations are on in all of them. Two meetings of the Left and secular parties like the CPI(M), CPI, PWP and JD(S) have been held. It was decided that Nilotpal Basu, along with the state secretary and concerned state secretariat members, would attend the district committee and general body meetings in the major districts like Nashik, Thane, Solapur, Nanded, Nandurbar and Ahmednagar, specifically for electoral preparations next month. Some other constituencies where the party would contest were also discussed.


5) An important decision taken by the state committee for the first time was to launch a statewide mass fund drive on the lines of the inspiring September fund drive conducted by the party in Kerala. It was decided to give a clarion call to collect a “Struggle Fund for Working People’s Rights;” it would coincide with the Comrade Jyoti Basu Centenary Year. All party members in Maharashtra, starting with state secretariat and state committee members, would first contribute their own mite to this fund in October and November. Every district committee would select any two full days between December 1 and 8 (due to staggering of weekly holidays) when all party units would go to the people --- one day for house-to house collection and one day for shop-to-shop collection.


The state committee will publish lakhs of copies of an appeal leaflet and also posters for this campaign. A programme was finalised for October --- of state secretariat members visiting the districts in their charge for district committee and general body meetings to concretely plan out this fund drive. To serve as a guideline, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M A Baby’s article on the Kerala fund drive in People’s Democracy was translated and given to all state committee members. It has also been published in the state party weekly Jeevanmarg.     


6) The state committee decided to observe the Comrade Jyoti Basu Birth Centenary Year by holding impressive public programmes in each district. Mumbai district already made a good start on the centenary day, July 8 itself. On the same day, the state party weekly Jeevanmarg brought out an attractive special issue to commemorate the birth centenary of this great stalwart of the communist movement in India. The special issue has so far sold around 10,000 copies, out of which over 1,500 copies were sold during the October 5 Surgana rally itself. The party’s state committee decided that the Memoirs of Jyoti Basu would be published in Marathi by the party’s publishing house Janashakti Prakashan. It was also decided to approach the West Bengal state committee of the party for a documentary on Jyoti Basu with Hindi subtitles and for a poster exhibition.


7) The state committee took important decisions as regards party education and the increase in circulation of central and state party journals. It gave a call to step up the circulation drive during the festival season next month. As per the party education call issued during the Comrade P Sundarayya Birth Centenary Year, several districts have conducted their party education classes during the last one year, but some districts still remain. The kisan, women, student and youth fronts have also held their state-level classes. The party state committee has published the first four booklets in the Party Education Series, and more will soon follow. It was decided that all remaining districts and mass fronts should complete their party education camps at the earliest.


For conducting the mid-term review of tasks and for other urgent issues, it was decided to hold the next state committee meeting at Belapur on November 17.


The first meeting of the AIKS state office-bearers and the AIKS state council that was elected at the 21st state conference of the organisation at Amravati in July 2013, was held at Surgana on October 5-6 under the guidance of AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah. He placed the full report of the 33rd AIKS national conference that was held at Cuddalore in Tamilnadu. The council took many important decisions as regards both movement and organisation. The second issue of the revived AIKS state journal Shetkari Sangharsh was published. It was decided to launch a concerted campaign to cross the three lakh membership target for the state by December.