Vol. XLI No. 53 December 31, 2017

UITARAKHAND: Sixth State Conference of CPI(M)

THE sixth state conference of the Uttarakhand unit of the CPI(M) commenced on December 16, at Bhagwati Palace in Almora. The venue was dedicated to the memory of Comrades Nagendra Saklani and Bholu Bhandari who were martyred fighting against the Tihari Kingdom.

A procession marched through the streets of the city before the commencement of the conference. It culminated in a rally which was addressed by Party leadership. While severely criticising the NDA government at the centre, Hannan Mollah, Polit Bureau member and the main speaker at the event said that the government had completely surrendered the interests of the nation to big capitalists and those who do their bidding. The masses in the country were tired of the state of affairs, marked by rising unemployment and inflation. He found it notable that the government which had come to power at the pretext of ending corruption, is embroiled in innumerable corruption scams itself. He also pointed out that there is a growing environment of insecurity and anxiety in the country, manifest in the growing instances of violence against dalits, Muslims and women.

Mollah also connected the rising tide of intolerance in the country with pervasive cases of farmer suicides. He implored the Party workers to intensify people’s struggles against the policies of this government.

The public meeting was also addressed by Tapan Sen, state in-charge and central committee member. Sen pointed out that the onslaught of capitalism under the present government had worsened the situation for the working class of India. Despite working class struggles all across the country, the government was hell bent on carrying through anti-worker’s policies under the guise of labor reforms. Referring to the nationwide strike between November 9-11, he claimed that if things continue on this trajectory, then only the CPI(M) could offer an alternative. He encouraged the state unit to connect with the people of Uttarakhand on different issues and carry out novel and militant struggles.

The meeting was convened by district secretary, Almora Dinesh Pandey while the public meeting was presided by secretariat member, Gangadhar Nautiyal.

The internal session of the state conference was commenced by the unfurling of the Red Flag by former state secretary, Vijay Rawat followed by offering flowers to the fallen comrades. This was followed by the election of the five-member presidium comprising Gangadhar Nautiyal, Indu Naudiyal, Shivprasad Devali, Kamruddin, and Rajaram Semwal. Besides this, the steering committee included Vijay Rawat, Virendra Bhandari, Surendra Singh Sajwan besides, the state secretary, Rajendra Singh Negi. The credential committee included Madan Mishra (convenor), Virendra Goswami, and Purshottam Badoni and the minutes committee included Bhagwan Singh Rana, Rajendra Purohit, and RP Joshi. With the committees in place, the delegate session began by presenting the condolence resolution, followed by a two-minute silence.

Inaugurating the delegate session, Mollah wished that this state conference will be able to break the logjam which has marred the growth of the state unit in Uttarakhand.

Negi presented the Political, Organisational and the Work Report as well as tasks for the future. 32 delegates participated in the discussions on the report and presented their views on ways to strengthen the Party organisation. The secretary presented his reply after the discussion of the delegates. Later, the secretary’s report was adopted by the conference unanimously.

Broadly the conference discussed the discernible rise in violence against dalits and minorities, inflation, worsening law and order situation, crop protection from wild animals, problems related to unplanned urbanisation, interventions to check migration, changes in labour laws, implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee Report in farm economy, and violence against women.

The conference elected the new 25- member state committee with Rajendra Singh Negi as secretary. Vijay Singh, Surendra Singh Sajwan, Gangadhar Nautiyal, Indu Naudiyal, Virendra Bhandari and Mahendra Jakhmola were elected to the state secretariat. Bhupal Singh Rawat and Rajendra Purohit were elected as invitees to the secretariat. The new state committee also includes Bacchi Ram Kaunswal, Satya Prakash, Shivprasad Devli, Bhagwan Singh Rana, Madan Mishra, RP Joshi, Dinesh Pandey, RC Dhiman, Virendra Goswami, RP Jakhmola, Rajpal Kanyal, Yusuf Tiwari, Anant Aakash, and Lekhraj. Invited members include Devendra Singh Rawal, Abhishek Bhandari, and Uma Nautiyal.

The concluding session was addressed by Tapan Sen, who hoped that the sixth state conference would be the first step towards mounting a mass based struggle against the twin challenges of communalism and neoliberalism in the state, while also building a vibrant state chapter of the Party.

The credential report was presented by Madan Mishra; a total of 139 delegates participated in the conference, representing 11 out of the 13 districts of the state. Of these, 116 were men, and 18 were women. In the age category, the youngest delegate was 21 years old while the oldest delegate was 77 years old; only one among the total delegates was illiterate; 108 delegates subscribed to Lok Lahar, 8 subscribed to People’s Democracy, 5 subscribed The Marxist. 96 delegates registered as having participated in the state level protests, while 48 mentioned having served time in jail. Amongst the delegates, 38 belonged to the middle class, 36 from the peasantry, 27 from the working class, 26 from the lower class and 12 from small farmer’s class. The oldest member of the Party dates his association since 1968, while the youngest member joined in 2017 itself. 100 comrades gave their income details, 114 gave their levy details. The report also presented the social demographics of the attending delegates. The conference ended with vote of thanks given by Gangadhar Nautiyal.