THE 22nd Uttar Pradesh state conference of CPI(M) was held in the historic city of Varanasi from January 28-30 which concluded with the resolve of defeating communal and casteist forces, establishing live links with toiling masses, and strengthening Party and mass organisations in the state.
A massive public rally was held on the first day of the conference at the Benia bagh grounds of Varanasi. It was attended by thousands of Party workers and common masses from the city and surrounding areas. The ground was filled with scores of red flags, and slogans ranted the air. The rally commenced with rendition of revolutionary songs, and Shehnai Vadan by the disciples of legendary Ustad Bismillah Khan, hailing from Varanasi.
Addressing the rally, Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) general secretary, said that a modern India could not be built with communal and neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the present RSS/BJP led government. Such policies have only worsened the condition of poor masses, working class, dalits and minorities of our country. Rather, the country needs to follow alternative policies, and not leaders. Mounting an attack on the economic policies of the government, Yechury stated that during the BJP’s regime, 73 per cent of nation’s wealth is owned by only 1 per cent of the rich people of the country at present. The government of the day has been creating two vastly different Indias – shining India on the one hand, and destitute India on the other.
He further said that demonetisation and GST have proved to be disastrous for informal economy – particularly agriculture and small business. Lakhs of people have become unemployed, and thousands of factories have closed down. Prime Minister Modi, who claims to be a Chowkidar, has taken recourse to jumlas to create illusions in the minds of people. Attacking the communal forces, Yechury said that poisonous policies of love jihad and gau raksha etc are being followed in order to divert attention of people from real life issues of education, health and employment etc. Emphasising the importance of peoples unity, he said that the term HUM in hindi includes both Hindu and Musalman sections of society. We should follow the path of our glorious saanjhi virasat, in order to build a strong nation. He concluded his speech by stating that the Ashwmedh horse, let loose by Modi-Shah combine shall be stopped by hammer and sickle inscribed on red flag – working class and peasantry – of this country.
Polit Bureau member of the Party, Subhashini Ali, in her address, said that today, people are being betrayed with sham promises. One such promise of women’s security was made by Modi, when he contested from Varanasi in the year 2014. But, girl students of BHU, protesting against molestation on the campus, were severely lathicharged. However, neither Modi, nor Yogi thought it proper to meet and talk to them. In the same way, another promise of improving law and order situation in UP was made by Yogi government. But, crimes against women have only increased immensely in the state. She took CM Yogi to task, stating that instead of commenting on the health system of Kerala, he should take concrete steps to improve health facilities in the Gorakhpur Medical College hospital, where large number of children and new born babies die on regular basis.
Subhashini also raised the issue of worsening conditions of Varanasi. Modi, in his constituency of Varanasi, promised cleaning of Ganga, and did some symbolic shramdan. A large amount of funds were also provided. But, situation on the ground has not improved a bit. Actually, what is happening is a loot of the allocated funds. Central Committee member JS Majumdar criticised the present government for the worsening conditions of working class and toiling masses. He questioned the wisdom of the Yogi government in imposing ban on slaughter houses, charging that the move aimed at a particular community of state, and not affecting in any way the rich sections engaged in the meat trade. State Party secretary, Heera Lal Yadav said that Kashi has been the land of Gautam Buddha, Kabir, and Ravidas. Today, democracy, constitution and secularism can be saved and protected by the red flag only. He hoped that land of Kashi would prove to be a harbinger of struggles against facistic forces.
Presiding over the programme, state secretariat member, Dina Nath Singh said that the BJP government was resorting to sidelining the main issues from the narrative. He exhorted the public to repose their faith in the Left forces to liberate masses from the mess created by the ruling classes.
Thereafter, former state secretary and member of state secretariat, SP Kashyap unfurled the Party flag at the venue of the conference at Sardar Patel Dharmshala, Teliabagh, and floral tributes were paid at the martyrs column. A presidium consisting of Dina Nath Singh, Madhu Garg, and Surendra Singh was elected to conduct the proceedings. Dina Nath Singh placed the condolence resolution.
Inaugurating the conference, Yechury stated that economic crisis in the country has deepened because of neo-liberal policies, that have been pursued during last so many years. The danger of fascistic forces has also arisen after BJP’s advent at the centre. Further, nation’s interests are being subordinated to the US imperialism. He said that the capitalist system can never get rid of its crisis. Therefore, it needs to be overthrown, and replaced with crisis free alternative system. He said that the present political system is worse than emergency days, as constitutional institutions are under attack. He cited the example of Tripura, where a conspiracy is being hatched to weaken Left and democratic forces. He exhorted the delegates to unite all the Left and democratic forces, and wage militant struggles in the coming days.
The inaugural session was greeted by Sudhakar Yadav of CPI(ML) and Girish Sharma of CPI, who also emphasised the need and importance of unity of Left forces.
Delegate session commenced by placement of political and organisational report by state secretary Heera Lal Yadav. He put forward detailed account of political situation in UP, shared experiences of struggles waged during last three years, and state of Party organisation in the state. He appealed for strengthening of Party and mass organisations in order to be able to face various challenges in the times to come.
The report placed before the delegates included details of struggles conducted on the issues of compensation for land acquisition, for bad crops due to unseasonal rains. It detailed various programmes undertaken jointly with other Left parties. It made a mention of measures initiated to improve branch functioning, and raise local issues. It emphasised that more and more Party members should be recruited from dalits, minorities and women.
53 delegates took part in the discussions on the report presented by state secretary. A number of resolutions on various aspects were moved and discussed. The resolutions pertained to dalit problems, privatisation of electricity, increase in power tariffs, food security, violence against women, loss caused to standing crops by stray animals, anti-labour laws etc. Resolutions were also adopted demanding loan waiver and remunerative prices for farmers. A resolution condemning communal violence and RSS-BJP’s role in Kasganj was adopted at the conference.
The state secretary took note of the discussions, and clarified matters wherever required. He also pointed out certain organisational weaknesses, while replying to the discussions. The report was then adopted by the conference.
The conference elected a 35 member new state committee along with 10 member secretariat. Heera Lal Yadav was re elected as state secretary, with DP Singh, Dina Nath Singh, SP Kashyap, Mukut Singh, Prem Nath Rai, Madhu Garg, BL Bharti, Surendra Singh, and Ravi Shankar Mishra as secretariat members. Nine delegates were elected for the forthcoming Party Congress, along with two as alternate delegates.
As per credential committee report, total 203 delegates attended the conference, out of which 13 were women delegates. There were 42 youth, 47 peasants and workers, and 48 whole timers, who attended the conference. 14 delegates were elected representatives of local bodies.
Addressing the concluding session, Polit Bureau member, Prakash Karat congratulated the comrades of Varanasi and Chandauli for organising massive public rally on January 28. He exhorted the delegates to strengthen Party organisation as per Kolkata Plenum directions. He underlined the importance of the principle of democratic centralism as practiced in CPI(M). He emphasised the need for enhancement of independent strength of the Party, and forging of united struggles with Left and democratic forces. He said that youth and women should be recruited in Party as per plenum decisions. Lastly, he said that a strong Left movement cannot be developed in the country, without strengthening it in the Hindi belt, where it is very weak at present. Subhashini Ali, then congratulated the delegates for the successful holding of the conference, expressing hope that live links would be forged with the masses in order to build a revolutionary party.