THE extended meeting of the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee was held on March 25-26, 2017, at Comrade B T Ranadive Bhawan, Navi Mumbai, to review the Party organisation, the independent and democratic functioning of mass organisations and to decide fresh directions for class and mass struggles. It resolved to march forward to build a revolutionary party with a mass line in the state. A total of 131 comrades - 83 delegates and 48 state committee members - representing 27 districts attended.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu attended the meeting on both days. Veteran Party leader L B Dhangar unfurled the Party flag amidst vociferous slogans, followed by delegates paying floral tributes at the martyrs’ column.
The presidium comprised Mariam Dhawale, MH Shaikh and Dr SK Rege. The minutes committee comprised Dr Subhash Jadhav, Shubha Shamim, Vijay Patil and Sunil Dhanwa. The state secretariat was the steering committee. Dr SK Rege moved the condolence resolution.
Sitaram Yechury inaugurated the meet. He dealt with the main features of the current political and economic situation. He drew attention to the rightward shift in the politics of the country as manifested in the recent state assembly elections and Maharashtra local body elections; the sweeping victory secured by the BJP in UP and Uttarakhand by making use of communal polarisation and caste based social engineering; RSS-BJP anointing rabid communalist Yogi Aditynath as UP CM; installing its governments in Goa and Manipur by intimidation, corruption and lure of ministerial positions. He dwelt upon the main features of the neoliberal economic policies of the Modi government and its growing attacks on the democratic and secular characteristics of the Indian constitution.
Sitaram referred to the capitalist economic crisis that still continues despite various measures adopted to overcome it. He said that India was not an exception to the above phenomenon; slowing down of the economy, aggravated by the recent Modi currency ban, is continuing; the employment situation has further deteriorated; the working class is under attack; there is no end to peasant distress and suicides; the share of wealth of 1 percent richest Indians has galloped from 49 percent in 2014 to 58 percent in 2016; communal and fundamentalist elements have become bolder and more menacing; the Modi government was undermining parliamentary institutions, circumventing the Rajya Sabha.
Sitaram reminded the delegates of the 21st Party Congress decision to hold the Kolkata Plenum to revamp the Party organisation, necessary to implement our political-tactical line of building the LDF. He stressed that the Kolkata Plenum had given the call to build a revolutionary Party with mass line. He said that the Communist movement in Maharashtra had a glorious past, it brought the working class on the streets in 1946 in support of the Naval Ratings Mutiny, when there were very few Party members. He stated that it was because of close contacts of the Party with the working class and its political influence on it; the Party then had substantial influence among students also. He said that the Party and mass organisations in the state were active even now but this was not sufficient to meet the challenges of the present.
A wave of enthusiasm and self confidence was generated when Sitaram Yechury felicitated 49 comrades from Thane-Palghar (27), Nashik (17), and one each from Solapur, Wardha, Yavatmal, Parbhani and Beed districts, who were victorious in various local body elections held in the state recently. Each of these comrades was felicitated with a bouquet and a set of books published by the Party and by the Party’s publishing house, Janashakti Prakashan.
REPORT AND TASKS
Mahendra Singh, CCM and state secretariat member, introduced the organisational report. He mentioned in brief the main points of the report which dealt with the positive and negative sides of various aspects of the Party organisation, independent and democratic functioning of mass organisations and fresh directions for class and mass struggles. The report said that despite the rightward shift in state politics since 1990, the Party though small, continued to enjoy the confidence of a section of the masses and respect from Left and democratic forces of the state, because of its continuous independent and united struggles on various mass and political issues. The report points out that in view of rising discontent among the masses, there were opportunities of building the LDF. It emphasises the need to increase Party and mass organisation intervention in class and mass issues manifold and to streamline the Party organisation rapidly, overcoming present shortcomings and fighting various deviations.
Narasayya Adam, CCM and state secretary, introduced the ‘Tasks’ part of the report. Dealing with the main tasks from among 35 mentioned in the draft, Adam emphasised implementation of the tasks of forging live links with various sections of masses, particularly the basic classes and adopting the mass line style; the urgent necessity of improving the functioning of the state centre, state secretariat, state committee and all other Party committees and especially Party branch functioning; and to improve the quality of Party membership. He dwelt on the need to raise the ideological level of Party members, cadres and leaders at all levels; to pay special attention to expansion of various class and mass organisations and work among students, youth and women; intervention in social issues of dalit, adivasi and muslim minorities. He said it was necessary to pay special attention to fulfilling the minimum needs of the whole timers and their development and making the Party financially sound at all levels and to conduct regular mass fund collection campaigns.
45 delegates participated in the discussion on the draft, narrating their observations and experiences as regards various aspects of the Party organisation, functioning of committees, branches, recruitment, membership quality, education, consolidation and expansion, defects in implementation of the principles of democratic centralism, penetration of alien tendencies, improving intervention in social issues, work on class and mass fronts. Many of them frankly criticised various aspects of functioning and enriched the report.
Adam replied to the discussion on the report. He assured the delegates of improving the functioning of the state Party centre, state secretariat and state committee. Referring to complaints made by delegates from certain districts about organisational problems, Adam said that all three CCMs from the state will attend the meetings of the concerned district committees, examine the complaints and the state committee shall undertake corrective measures. The report was then adopted by an overwhelming majority.
Central secretariat members Nilotpal Basu and Dr Ashok Dhawale and central committee member Sudha Sundararaman also guided the meeting. Nilotpal Basu emphasised the importance of collective functioning for achieving the Party goal of revolutionary transformation. Sudha Sundararaman said that it was necessary to expand our activities among various sections of people and organise struggles on local issues also; approach sections of masses outside our influence, expand work among women, develop women cadres, and focus on implementation of the decisions taken. Dr Ashok Dhawale said that every comrade should undertake frank self critical examination of his or her activities, if we are serious about revamping our organisation. He emphasised accountability check up right from the state secretariat to the Party branch; importance of implementing the mass line; mobilising people in struggles on their burning issues and conducting political and ideological struggles and campaigns among the masses.
Sitaram Yechury, while summing up the deliberations spoke about the need to raise the quality of Party membership. He said that Party growth is not possible without several whole time cadres, efficient branch secretaries, committee members and the Party fulfilling the minimum needs of the whole time cadres. Pointing to the importance of the use of social media in popularising the Party, Sitaram said that it cannot be a substitute for actual work among masses and is not a forum for discussion on the Party stand, policy and decisions. Lastly he exhorted the delegates to develop the Party rapidly to meet the present challenges.
M H Shaikh on behalf of the state committee thanked the Mumbai committee for making good arrangements for the meeting. He thanked the volunteers led by Shailendra Kamble. Dr S K Rege thanked the state committee for providing the opportunity to host this meeting. Kamlakar Bhoir thanked the people and organisations who cooperated in discharging the various tasks. Progressive literature worth over Rs 10,000 was sold during the meeting. The meeting then concluded with the singing of the Internationale.