KOLKATA: Delegates from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh at the ongoing CPM plenum on Tuesday stressed the need for comrades from West Bengal and Kerala, where the party is relatively strong, to learn Hindi for the party’s expansion. They felt the party had failed to expand to north Indian states because most of the leaders on the central committee belonged to West Bengal and Kerala and lacked knowledge of Hindi.
They said that in spite of the decision taken at the 2008 party congress in Coimbatore to concentrate on north India, nothing much was done. In the Bihar Assembly polls, though a much smaller Left party like the CPI(ML) managed to win three seats, the CPM scored a duck, they pointed out.
A delegate from Rajasthan, who spoke in Hindi, said the CPM was yet to make its presence felt in Uttar Pradesh, considered a priority state. Former CPM general secretary Prakash Karat was in charge of UP and several delegates wondered whether politburo member Subhashini Ali, who translated his speech into English, deliberately left out key sentences.
The delegates from north India argued that the party would not be able to play a major role in national politics even if it could manage several MPs from only West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura and some other South Indian states, unless it spread its influence to north and central India.
Many delegates also raised the issue of “intolerance” of top leaders in the CPM and how any voice of dissent was suppressed either branding it “anti-party activity” or “bourgeois tendency”.
Delegates like former MP from Kerala P Rajeev, YV Rao from Andhra Pradesh, Ananta Deka of Assam as well as former Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal Shamik Lahiri argued in favour of a younger central leadership, while delegates, mainly from South India demanded a quota within the central committee and the politburo on the basis of age. They are likely to move an amendment to the draft organisational resolution in this regard.
During this plenum, the CPM is also expected to shed its rigid, conservative image and instead of being only a “revolutionary party”, the word “mass” will be added, and is expected to adopt a flexible tactical line to accommodate various sections of the society.