THE 22nd Rajasthan state conference of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was held between December 24-26, 2017 at Comrade Hariram Chouhan Nagar, Jhunjhunu. Held in the backdrop of a successful statewide farmer’s agitation as well as growing militancy among workers and students under the red flag, the 22nd state conference mirrored the energy and excitement of the recent struggles. The conference was held at the Shekhawati province of Jhunjhunu district for the first time, on account of the region’s growing participation in farmers- led mass struggles. The conference was made successful on account of the pervasive excitement amongst the locals for the event. The conference venue was named after former state secretary and Central Committee member, Comrade Hariram Chouhan.
A massive public rally was held on the first day of the conference, on December 24. Addressing the gathering, Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) general secretary, said that the nation was forced to undergo extremely trying and troublesome times. Directing his attack at the BJP government in the centre, he said that the government which had come to power on the promise of fighting corruption, black money as well as providing an all-round development, had reduced the country to a playing field for big international and domestic corporations. Taking a dig at the electoral ‘jumlas’ of the BJP, he pointed at the ongoing agrarian crisis, stagnant employment among the young and the absolute failure of bringing black money back to India. The growing frustration is evident among different sections of the society, most notably the despair as evinced from the growing incidence of farmer’s suicides. However, instead of addressing these pressing issues, the government is busy spreading the venom of communalism amongst people as a borrowed tactic of divide and rule from the colonial era. The freedom with which Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliates are infiltrating and communalising public institutions is alarming. This campaign, he pointed out, was not limited to religious minorities alone but extended up till dalits, and women too. While minorities are being targeted as part of this larger campaign, government agencies have been told to extend absolute impunity to such forces. The twin attack of neoliberal onslaught and communal tension has made conditions in the country deplorable. The order of the day is for concerted mass struggles and united opposition to these attempts carried out through the blessings of the government. He said that going by the increasing struggles on the workers’ and farmers’ front, there was a growing need to have more representatives of such movements elected. He called upon the Rajasthani people to carry on the momentum of recent strides made in farmers’ agitations and convert into political action. The public meeting was also addressed by Hetram Beniwal and Amra Ram among others. The meeting was moderated by Phoolchand Barbar and Vidyadhar Singh Gill presided over it.
After the conclusion of the public meeting, the state conference commenced at the Hariram Chouhan Nagar. Hetram Beniwal unfurled the red flag to begin the proceedings of the conference. Afterwards, floral tributes were offered to the fallen martyrs of the revolutionary struggle. First, a three-member presidium was elected where Phoolchand Barbar, Raeesa and Harphool Singh were members. Barbar presented the condolence resolution on behalf of the presidium. Yechury, Hannan Mollah, Polit Bureau member and Joginder Sharma, Central Committee member, were present at the inaugural session. This session was addressed by CPI(M) secretariat member Tara Singh Siddhu.
Yechury explicated the peculiar class character of the Modi-government by saying that this government combined the characteristics of facilitating international capital as well as more parochial, fascist tendencies. No constitutional institution was beyond the vicious attack of this government and even the judiciary was not being spared. These attacks can be traced back to the casteist ideology of the RSS who had always looked askance at the constitutional freedoms guaranteed to Indian citizens, especially dalits, tribals and women. There was a deliberate cultural homogenisation being attempted by the RSS through farcical slogans around food or sartorial practices. It was hence imperative for economic struggles to be combined with social struggles. In his speech, Siddhu stressed on the dire need for further Left unity in the country.
The delegate session, followed the inaugural session. Different committees were elected for the smooth conduct of the conference. The presidium comprised Phoolchand Barbar, Harphool Singh and Raeesa. Steering committee comprised all members of the secretariat.
Resolution’s committee members were Ravindra Shukla, Kishan Pareekh, Shyopat Ram.
Minutes committee comprised Sanjay Madhav, Lakshman Sen, and Gautam Damor and the credentials committee, Ram Prasad Jangid, Raghuvir Verma, Nirmal Prajapat and Rajesh Singhvi.
Amra Ram presented the report that reflected the political conditions in the state and the tasks for the Party in the future. He also remarked on the disjunction between the leading role of the Party’s mass front organisations in many struggles and the limited electoral presence of the Party in the state. He gave a call for this trend to be corrected. He told the delegates to keep an eye on the upcoming state assembly and general elections in the coming months and work towards converting Party’s political goodwill into increased electoral presence. He called upon the delegates to critically think of the organisational shortcomings for the Party.
The report greatly benefitted from the discussions by the delegates. 59 comrades participated in the discussions on the report. There was a day long discussion on the report. The report was unanimously accepted after incorporating the amendments.
The new state committee was elected after the state conference report was accepted. 31 members were elected to the state committee. The state committee elected a nine-member secretariat at its first meeting.
The secretariat includes Amra Ram, Vasudev, Ravindra Shukla, Dulichand, Sumitra Chopra, Rameshwar Verma, Phoolchand Barbar, Shyopat Ram and Kishan Parikh.
Addressing the conference, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat reiterated the need to strengthen the Party. The conference was participated by 209 delegates, of which 17 were women.
Addressing the concluding session of the conference, Hannan Mollah congratulated the state committee for successfully holding a vibrant and exciting state conference. He too asked the Party to take its political activity to a larger section of the society and overcome the organisational shortcomings to increase its representation at the state level. He reminded the delegates the CPI(M) was a Party of all marginalised people and that is was necessary to bring these forces together under the red flag.
The conference discussed a wide set of national and regional issues and in light of the discussion, gave a call of support to the nationwide strike on January 17, 2018. The conference also passed resolutions on the failure of the state government in addressing the agrarian crisis in the state and inordinate delay in providing compensations as well as meeting MSP in timely fashion.
Amra Ram was elected the state secretary for another term. The state committee will also be electing seven delegates for the upcoming Party Congress in Hyderabad.