THE 21st conference of CPI(M) Uttar Pradesh State Committee, held in Bulandshahr from January 10-12, gave a clarion call to end stagnation in the Party and intensify people’s struggles against the twin danger of neo-liberalism and communalism. The Bulandshahr district committee of the Party made elaborate arrangements to make the three-day conference a success and an unforgettable event. The conference venue was named after Captain Lakshmi Sehgal.
On the first day of the conference, a public meeting was organised at the Exhibition Ground in the city. It was one of the biggest political rallies Bulandshahr had witnessed in recent years. Thousands of people defied dense fog and biting cold conditions to attend the rally, which was addressed by Party general secretary Prakash Karat and Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar among others. Addressing the rally, Sarkar made a scathing attack on RSS and the Modi government at the Centre. He underlined the fact that RSS had played no positive role in India’s struggle for freedom and virtually supported the British regime. There is not even a single RSS leader’s name in the list of freedom fighters. Besides carrying forward RSS ideology, BJP represents the interests of big bourgeoisie, landlords, speculators, money-lenders and other exploiting sections of the society. He emphasised the fact that BJP is not and cannot be an alternative to the Congress party because their class character is the same and they follow the same policies serving the class interests of big bourgeoisie and the imperialist capital.
Sarkar said the policies of the Modi government are nothing but a payback being made to the corporate houses for the services rendered by them in financial and other ways to ensure the electoral victory of the BJP and Modi. Through increased rail fare, ordinance to amend land acquisition act, privatisation of Coal India Limited, amendments in labour laws and huge cut in money allotted for projects under the MGNREGA, the government has opened the gate for loot of public sector by the big capital and is making attacks on the livelihood of the people. While the Congress and the BJP serve the interests of bourgeoisies and landlords, he said, CPI(M) represents the interests of workers, agricultural workers, peasants and other sections of the toiling masses. He appealed to the people to support and join the Party and strengthen it.
Party general secretary Karat, addressing the rally, said the seven months of the Modi regime has proved that this government is following the same neo-liberal policies followed by the erstwhile UPA government. The one difference being that the present government is following those policies with more vigour and at faster pace. He said the Modi government has put the peasantry, particularly the poorer sections of it, under great economic constraint by reducing subsidies. This has resulted in sharp rise of the cost of production at a time when the prices of agricultural products have registered sharp decline. Karat said the government has shown its intention of doing away with procurement of crops by the government. The central government has even prohibited the states from giving bonus on support price. The government has ruined paddy and sugarcane producers. It also has, by downsizing allocation under MGNREGA, deprived the poorer sections of the society of the little relief they were getting. He said the Modi government has posed a threat to our Constitution and democratic structure by introducing ‘Ordinance Raj’. He cautioned the audience against RSS and other communal forces that are working overnight to stoke communal frenzy by raising the issues of religious conversion and ‘Love Jihad’. Karat said CPI(M), along with other Left parties, is consistently fighting the twin forces of neo-liberalism and communalism and emphasised the need for wider unity of toiling masses to make the struggle more intense and successful.
Subhashini Ali made a sharp attack on communal forces and exposed, in detail, the nefarious game of RSS in raising the issue of conversion. CPI(M) U P state secretary S P Kashyap also addressed the gathering.
The delegate session of the conference started in the evening of January 10 with flag hoisting and homage to martyrs. The Party flag was hoisted by senior comrade K N Bhatt. In his inaugural address to delegates, Karat said the capitalist world has not yet overcome the economic crisis. The so-called recovery in the US and some other countries has not only been slow but also jobless. Referring to the crisis in Euro zone and Russia, he said to overcome the crisis, the governments of these countries have put more economic burden on the toiling masses. This led to discontent and protest movements in these countries. He explained the economy and politics of the sharp fall in crude oil prices, and criticised the US, NATO and Israel for their aggression and war-mongering.
Karat told the delegates that BJP’s coming to power with a clear majority indicates the rightward shift in Indian politics. This has posed a serious challenge to our democracy, as well as, to the unity and integrity of the nation. Now, the people are facing twin danger of havoc inflicting neo-liberal policies and communalism. The Modi government has shown its intention to allow the corporate houses and big businesses to plunder public assets. For this, the government is following policies of disinvestment and privatisation and curtailment of welfare schemes. Attempts are being made to destroy the secular fabric of our country. The combination of big business and communal forces is a big threat to the nation. The Modi government’s policies are giving birth to disenchantment and discontent which, in turn, is leading to protest and agitation against government policies, as is evident by strike of the coal workers and protests by the banks and insurance employees.
Concluding his address, Karat said that to meet the current challenges, we have to work hard for a wider mass mobilisation. The CPI(M) will work for a Left and Democratic alternative to the pro-big business policies of the BJP and the Congress. To achieve this goal, the Party has to intensify its independent activities and work for wider unity of the Left forces. He exhorted the delegates to launch sustained mass movements to establish contact with the people and overcome organisational weaknesses to become a political force in the state.
UP state secretary Kashyap presented the political-organisational report before the house. The report analysed the current political, social and economic conditions in the state and showed concern over the deteriorating law and order situation, agrarian crisis, growing crimes against dalits and women in the state. In a self-critical manner, the leadership accepted its failure to launch state level sustained movements. The report highlighted the main organisational weaknesses. The report underlined the fact that the Party’s mass base in Uttar Pradesh is shrinking as is evident from poor performance in elections and decrease in Party membership. Fifty-two delegates from 41 districts participated in the discussion on the report. On the whole, it was a lively and positive debate with participants showing deep concern over current situation and stagnation in Party. Some constructive suggestions were put forward by delegates to make a breakthrough. After the secretary’s reply with acceptance of some amendments, the report was passed with one delegate voting against it.
The conference elected a new state committee of 35 members with three places being kept vacant. The 32 elected members included 11 new members. There are four permanent invitees to the state committee. Hiralal was elected the state secretary and the 10-member state secretariat comprised, besides Hiralal, Subhashini Ali, S P Kashyap, Dinanath, D P Singh, Premnath Rai, Shridhar, Mukutsingh, Madhu Garg and B L Bharati. The conference elected nine delegates for the Party Congress to be held in April. These delegates are Hiralal, D P Singh, Dinanath, Shridhar, P N Rai, Mukutsingh, Madhu Garg, B L Bharati and Surendra Singh. Chandrapal Singh and Malti were elected alternative delegates.
The conference concluded with a thanksgiving speech by Dinanath on behalf of the presidium. The conference was preceded by a 40-day campaign to take the political line and message of the Party. The campaign began on December 1, 2014 and ended on January 10. During this period, 100 public meetings were held.