Saturday, September 22, 2012

Translate Peoples’ Discontent into Concrete Movement ; Call from CPI(M) West Bengal Extended State Committee Meeting

Two day extended meeting of CPI(M) West Bengal state committee, which took place on 15th-16th September in Kolkata, reviewed the political situation in the state, state of Party organization at different levels and called for more organized 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
Prakash Karat in his inaugural speech spoke against the anti people policies of the Central Government. He pointed out that this liberalisation drive will ultimately add up to the sorrow of the working people.

Karat added that a rise 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 due to rising cost 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 resource were being allocated for mere pennies. He also warned of the communal situation in the country and role of different communal and fundamentalist forces, particularly after the events in Assam. Karat emphasized 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, fight against liberalization must get priority in the coming days.

Biman Basu moving the agenda for the meeting outlined the attack on democracy and democratic institutions, mounting burden on the people and an ever increasing crime on women. The movement, through mobilizing 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, development of functioning of Party committees. Basu emphasized intensive work among the toiling people and particularly among the urban and rural poor. He has also stressed upon the need to mobilize younger sections and women.

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

One of the major content of discussion was the panchayat elections due to be held in 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 attack from TMC and other forces. Decentralisation and exercise of peoples’ rights have come under severe attacks. This has to be exposed to people through intensive campaign. The meeting took 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, CPI(M) has decided to combat these attacks and an all out preparation to mobilize people would start immediately. Polit bureau member Surjya Kanta Mishra explained the situation in the rural areas and outlined the main tasks in this very important political battle.

Buddhadev Bhattacharjee addressing the meeting said there are perceptible positive changes in the state. We could see the positive impacts of Party’s efforts in many areas. However, the balances 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 organization.

Extended meeting decided the tasks before the Party. Those are : to build up powerful movement against neo-liberal attacks on people; taking up the issue of food security and mobilize poor people; to take up issues of demands and social security of the unorganized sections of workers at local level; to build up movement against detoriating public services; mobilizing people against anarchy in educational institutions, mobilizing democratic opinion against detoriation in law and order situation and particularly against attack on women; massive campaign in villages against attack on panchayats.

The meeting called for a widespread mass movement against the price rise of diesel and cooking gas along with the decision of ushering in 51% FDI in the retail sector and disinvestment of profit making PSU’s. It called upon to make the general strike in West Bengal on 20th September, called by Left Front a success.

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

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

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

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