September 25, 2012

‘Translate Peoples’ Discontent into Concrete Movement’


KOLKATA: THE two-day extended meeting of CPI(M) West Bengal state committee, which took place during September 15-16, 2012 in Kolkata, called for more organised movement on the burning issues of the people. After extensive discussion, the meeting noted that there are discernible signs of peoples’ discontent against the state government which has to be translated into concrete movement. The extended meeting reviewed the political situation in the state and the condition of Party  organisation at different levels.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat in his inaugural speech spoke against the anti-people policies of the central government and said that the latest neo-liberal offensive launched by Manmohan Singh government will only add to the sorrow of the working people. The hike in the price of diesel will have cascading impact on prices of all commodities and will further hit the common people. The worst hit would be the farmers who are already reeling under the impact of rising costs of production. He added that FDI in retail sector will have a direct adverse impact on the employment of a huge chunk of the population who are engaged in small and unorganised retail trade. He also criticised the UPA government for its faulty natural resource allocation policy where precious natural resources were being allocated at throw away prices.

Karat also warned about the worsening communal situation in the country and the role of different communal and fundamentalist forces, particularly after the events in Assam.  He emphasised that the independent activities of the Party must be strengthened so as to build Left unity and move towards a Left and democratic alternative. To achieve this, the fight against liberalisation must get priority in the coming days, he underlined.

CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu, moving the agenda for the meeting, outlined the attack on democracy and democratic institutions, the mounting burdens on the people and ever increasing crimes against women. The movement, through mobilising the people, has to be broadened in this perspective. That calls for strengthening the Party organisation, uplifting the political and ideological level of the Party,  more active role of Party members and improvement of functioning of Party committees. Basu emphasised the need for intensive work among the toiling people and particularly among the urban and rural poor. He has also stressed upon the need to mobilise younger sections and women. 

A total of 33 comrades from different districts and mass fronts deliberated on the report. While summing up on the second day, Biman Basu said that only mass struggles can change the situation. What is needed is a patient effort of the Party among the masses.

One of the major content of discussion was the panchayat elections due to be held in the coming months. Biman Basu urged to treat this election as a mass struggle and move forward with courage and determination, even in the face of attacks from TMC and other forces. Decentralisation and exercise of peoples’ rights have come under severe attack. This has to be exposed among people through intensive campaign. The meeting passed a resolution protesting these attacks and decided to fight the elections facing all odds. Though there is an apprehension that TMC will try to prevent opposition from contesting in many areas and will force bloodshed, the CPI(M) has decided to combat these attacks and an all out preparation to mobilise people would start immediately. Polit Bureau member Suryakanta Misra explained the situation in the rural areas and outlined the main tasks in this very important political battle.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, addressing the meeting, said there are perceptible positive changes in the state. We could see the positive impact of Party’s efforts in many areas. However, the balance of forces are still tilted towards the anti-Left forces. The people who left us have not returned entirely. A degree of alienation is still there. Our priority is to win over those sections of the people. We have to concentrate among the toiling people and the poorer sections. The impact of centre’s fresh reform initiatives and misrule of TMC government in the state would bring a large scope of building movements. But to respond to the situation we need more developed and cleaner Party organisation.

The extended meeting decided the following tasks before the Party: to build up powerful movement against neo-liberal attacks on people;  take up the issue of food security and mobilise poor people; take up issues of demands and social security of the unorganised sections of workers at local level;  build up movement against deteriorating public services; mobilise people against anarchy in educational institutions; mobilise democratic opinion against deterioration in law and order situation and particularly against growing attacks on women; massive campaign in villages against attack on panchayats.

The meeting also called for a widespread mass movement against the latest anti-people measures of hike in price of diesel, the cut back of subsidy on cooking gas, ushering in 51 per cent FDI in the retail sector and disinvestment of profit making PSUs. It called upon to make the general strike in West Bengal on September 20, called by Left Front a success.

The meeting also adopted a resolution extending support to nationwide strike on February 20th and 21st, 2013, called by central trade unions.

It has been decided that a mass collection will be organised on September 23 to collect money for the distressed and homeless people of Assam. 

Apart from Party’s general secretary, Polit Bureau members Sitaram Yechury and S Ramachandran Pillai also attended the meeting. Polit Bureau member Nirupam Sen presided over the two day session.

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