HYDERABAD: The CPI (M) seems to be losing its appeal among masses as party membership fell to the lowest since 2014 with the highest drop of nearly 6 per cent in membership reported in 2017, according to party’ organisational report.
The report circulated to party delegates at the 22nd Congress here expresses concern over decline in the appeal of the party among the youth and women. Kerala and Tripura are the two states that reported slight increase in party membership otherwise there is a decline in others states, including in West Bengal where the party ruled for decades.
The membership in other states is also not comforting for the party that is facing a shrinking voter base and has recently lost Tripura elections after ruling the state for 25 years. The report holds importance as there has been a divide in the top party leadership on having a front with other secular parties, including the Congress to defeat the BJP.
The party membership by the end of 2017 stands at 10,12,021 compared to 10,76,123 in 2016. In 2016, the party reported an upward trend with 27,445 new members joining the party but it took a nose dive in 2017.
The 21st party Congress at Vizag had also flagged declining party membership and expressed concern over party failing to attract youth below the age of 30 years in numerous states. The party’s target for the 2017 was that one-fourth of its members across all states should be below 30 years, which it seems to have failed to achieve.
The overall women membership across various party fronts like farmers, workers unions saw an increase of 2.74 lakh in 2017 against the previous year.
Kerala and Tripura are two states where party membership has increased with 4,63,472 and 97,990 members respectively. The party membership in West Bengal stands at 1,95,952 in 2017 compared to 2,56,709 in 2016 and in Tamil Nadu, it has come down to 93,7809 from 1,03,049 the previous year. According to a senior CPI (M) leader, stringent process of renewal of party membership is one of the reasons for drop in the numbers.