N S Sajith
THE 21st conference of CPI(M) Kerala state committee was held in Alappuzha, the land of historic Punnapra Vayalar struggle. The four-day conference began on February 20 with veteran Communist and opposition leader in the Kerala legislative assemby V S Achuthanandarn hoisting the Party flag in Krishnapillai Nagar (S K Convention Centre, Kalarkode) in the presence of all-India leaders, delegates, Red volunteers and thousands of other people. Before the flag hoisting, state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan lit a huge torch mounted in front of the auditorium.
CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat inaugurated the conference. In his hour-long inaugural speech, Karat urged all secular and democratic forces to come together in a fierce fight against the communal forces and right wing offensive launched by the BJP regime. He said there is a need to tackle two forces -- big business houses and corporate firms that are getting numerous benefits from the government policies and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which is pushing forward its communal agenda under the Modi government. Besides over 570 delegates, 200-odd distinguished guests including writers, intellectuals, historians, film-makers, singers, painters and playwrights were present at the inaugural session.
After the inaugural session, state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan presented the report. General discussions on the state secretary’s report started on the second day of the conference. The discussions over the secretary’s report ended the day after and Vijayan replied to the discussions. Party general secretary Prakash Karat also addressed the delegate session.
The conference also held threadbare discussion on the issues regarding the socio-economic conditions in Kerala as well as the organisational matters of the Party. In an important resolution, the conference urged the state government to take steps to enact legislation to eradicate superstitions and evil practices prevailing in the society. The conference demanded the people of Kerala to uphold the values of renaissance and fight for secularism. The conference also demanded the state government to withdraw its move to dismantle people planning programme. A resolution urged the people of Kerala to vote for LDF in local body elections in order to retain the values of decentralised planning.
The conference elected 87-member state committee and the newly-elected state committee unanimously elected Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan as the new state secretary. Fifteen new members were included in the state committee while nine members were relieved and one seat remains vacant.
The Kerala state conference culminated with a massive public rally and a scintillating Red Volunteer March. Addressing the rally, Karat asserted that the CPI (M) is not a Party of persons or groups. It belongs to the people and it is the common property of the people, he said. Everyone knows, Karat said, the contribution of Comrade V S Achuthanandan in the building of the Communist movement not only in Alappuzha but in many parts of the state. “Our wish and hope is that V S should be the part and parcel of the Party and he should accept and oblige the Party discipline and organisational norms.”
Polit Bureau members S Ramachandran Pillai, Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Pinarayi Vijayan, A K Padmanabhan and M A Baby also addressed the rally while newly-elected state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan presided over the public meeting.