IN its two-day meeting on July 26 - 27, 2008, the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) discussed a draft review of the rural polls. The meeting came up with a call for widening of the mass base by winning over class allies through struggles and movements.
In attendance at the meeting of the state committee was the CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, and veteran Party leader Jyoti Basu. Benoy Konar, a member of the CPI(M) central committee, presided. The agenda of meeting included besides the national political situation, a discussion on the draft review of the results obtained from the rural polls, and organisational matters.
Prakash Karat said addressing the meeting that in the present political situation, those sections of the poor and the exploited who were misled into voting against the Left Front and the CPI(M) must be brought back to the fold, as they remained class allies of the CPI(M). For this to be a success, the political activities must be stepped up further. The unity of the Left Front must be increased and any lacunae in the pro-people functioning of the state LF government must be appropriately rectified.
The programme of industrialisation must be advanced with the people's trust and support. The attacks against the Bengal CPI(M) and the Bengal Left Front would be sharper from the class enemies and their lackeys in the days to come for the CPI(M) having fought a brave battle against the imperialist conspiracy to render India into its 'strategic partner,' and thus forcing it to compromise its sovereignty. Karat also called for the Party organisation in Bengal to be further rectified and strengthened, and thus making it ready to face the enhanced level of assault.
The state committee members touched upon various issues during their important interventions. The issues included the nuclear deal, the generally anti-people policies of the UPA government, the weaknesses persisting in deepening mass contact, the slackening of the work pattern of booth level committees, the lacunae yet in existence in political content of the campaign movement, and the anti-people role of the Bengal opposition which now encompassed virtually the entire range of class enemies from the ultra and fringe left to the right reactionaries to the religious fundamentalists of all persuasions.
In his concluding remarks, state secretary of the Bengal unit, Biman Basu said that the rectification campaign would be continued with rigour and regularity. The process of improving the political-ideological level of consciousness of the different units of the Bengal CPI(M) would continue to be augmented. Mass contact, especially at the ground level, would be further deepened. He stressed on 'winning over of our class allies in greater numbers than ever before, especially in the present situation.'
The newly-elected panchayats where the CPI(M) and the Left Front were in office must be run in a democratic manner with wide popular participation. The mass organisations shall have to play a big role in making the Gram Sansads and the Gram Sabhas more active and more responsive to the demands and necessities of the mass of the people in the villages. The panchayats must be organised from a class outlook all the way, he stressed.
The number of Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samities and Zillah Parishads that the CPI(M) and the LF could win - facing as it had to a barrage of all-out attack from the opposition, the media, and foreign funded agencies - must not be politically belittled although 'we have a long way to go yet to be of full service to the poor and the exploited masses of the villages.' Biman Basu said the political background that confronts the CPI(M) must be utilised in full to try to bring the correlation of class forces in the favour of the Party.
Biman Basu continued to point out the recent period has seen that there has been a vast number of new recruits to the Party- they have come as dedicated soldiers, 'ignoring the frown of the enemy and the crown of consumerism and lust.' Of them the working people, the women, and other sections of the youth must be associated with mass frontal work. The elected must be educated in the task of running the panchayats based on a class outlook. They must know the real purport and significance of the terms 'honesty, transparency, promptness, efficiency, and compassion.'
In addition, the panchayat polls have seen another development to which Basu drew the attention of the state leadership. In these polls, in some areas, along with fresh support, some of the working people being confused and disoriented had voted against the CPI(M). The CPI(M) leadership must immediately go, talk to them and make sure that they are persuaded to rejoin the mainstream.
The state committee adopted a few programmes for the coming period that included an observation in the appropriate manner of the present situational reality, the birth anniversary of Comrade Muzaffar Ahmad known universally as Kakababu in the Party on August 5, the centenary of the martyrdom of Khshudiram Bose on August 11, and August 31 as the day of martyrdom of activists of the democratic movement. An appropriate set of programme would also be taken up to commemorate the birth centenary of the noted progressive Bengali writer Manik Bandyopadhyay.