KOLLAM: As the first Left party to propose a broad platform comprising secular, democratic, Leftist forces and mass organisations to take on the BJP, CPI has a mammoth task ahead in the current national scenario. Regaining its once vibrant political space would be the biggest challenge before the party, whose 23rd Party Congress concluded in Kollam on Sunday.
Having almost ironed out its differences with the CPM over an alliance with secular democratic forces, including the Congress, CPI would now naturally be expected to take the lead in forming such a common platform. However, this will be possible only if the party is able to showcase a vibrant leadership at the top.
One of the major criticisms raised against CPI’s central leadership was its failure to effectively intervene in national politics. Not surprisingly, the party congress witnessed demands for a younger brand of leadership and a generation shift at the party’s helm. With leaders like Kanhaiya Kumar and six other youth-student leaders coming to the fore at the national level, the party is expected to leave more of a mark than before.
Meanwhile senior leader Binoy Viswam, the newly-inducted central secretariat member, insisted the CPI has taken the lead in bringing together mass organisations and political outfits to form a common platform against fascist forces and has definitely not lost its relevance.
“CPI was the first to propose the need for a common platform to take on communal and fascist forces. It just goes to show it was able to apply Marxist principles in a pragmatic manner. Our presence could be minimal in certain regions, but we sure have a national presence,” Viswam said.
Another initiative CPI will have to take is ensuring Left unity across the country. Bringing together Left parties like the RSP and Forward Bloc who are presently opposed to the Left Front in Kerala would be another major task. The issue of factionalism in certain state units have been sorted out to an extent. Unlike CPM, there are no major differences of opinion among the top brass in the CPI. Building an effective party organisation in many states would be yet another major task. Though the party has units in many states, some are almost defunct, coming alive only during elections.
A firebrand kind of leadership vacuum at the top is what the party should urgently address, if it has to survive in mainstream politics. The fact that despite Sudhakar Reddy offering to step down, CPI was still not able to zero in on another leader is definitely concerning, especially when the party gears up to take on the RSS-BJP combine.
Made it and lost out
Pannian Raveendran dropped from Central Secretariat; made Control Commission chairman
Four new faces, including two from Kerala, make it to Central Secretariat, now 11-member strong. Kanam and Binoy Viswam included
Ex-deputy general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta dropped from Secretariat, made chairman of the Permanent Programme Commission. He will be a permanent invitee to the National Executive
Eight new faces in the 31-member Nat’l Executive. Four from state including Pannian
New Kerala faces in the council are AITUC leader K P Rajendran, Kollam district secretary N Anirudhan, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, Mahila Sangham’s P Vasantham and N Rajan
AIYF nominee K Rajan replaced by AIYF state secretary Mahesh Kakkath as candidate member
R Thirumalai (Youth front)
Krishna Jha (New age)
Aftab Alam Khan (youth front)
(New age office)
Mahesh Kakkath (AIYF)