THE confidence of the masses has to be regained in the field of struggles. The CPI(M) in the present circumstances must be prepared for a long drawn battle. It must strive hard to become the voice of the people by maintaining and reinforcing live links with the masses. For that objective to be achieved, the primary task is rebuilding and streamlining the Party organisation. This was the resolve that marked the 22nd Tripura state conference of the CPI(M). The two day conference at Agartala Town Hall elected a new state committee of 75 members. Gautam Das was elected the new secretary of the state committee.
The conference was held at a time when the entire Party in the state is under severe attack by the RSS-BJP since the results of the assembly elections were declared. The conference venue was named after Comrades Khagen Das, Sandhya Debbarma, Samir Deb Sarkar and Khagendra Jamatia, members of the outgoing state committee who have passed away after the last state conference.
On November 25, at 11 am, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury hoisted the Red flag to mark the beginning of the conference. Yechury, Prakash Karat, Biman Basu, Manik Sarkar, Brinda Karat and other leaders paid floral tributes at the martyrs’ column. Though there was no formal public meeting to mark the beginning of the conference, hundreds of people had assembled in the Town Hall premises and the adjoining road. Here, addressing the gathering, Yechury said, however tough the situations today, this gathering braving all sorts of terror and intimidation is testimony of the fact that the people of Tripura will again repose their faith in the Red Flag. Yechury said all over the world people’s struggles against exploitation by the capital are gaining momentum. There is a trend of the rise of the right wing forces to destroy the unity of the masses so that these popular struggles don’t take the shape of a political alternative for the welfare of the people. In our country too, the workers, peasants, youth and other sections of the masses are mobilising in large numbers in struggles as the Modi government has not kept any of its promises. They have looted the country for the last five years. The Rafale scam is worth Rs 59,000 crores. The unpaid loans by the big corporate houses are Rs 12 lakh crores. The defaulters have fled the country while the peasants are committing suicide because of debt burden. Yechury said, as people are uniting against this government, the right wing forces are trying to break this unity by communal polarisation. Our aim is to defeat this government and to form a secular, alternative government at the centre while increasing the strength of the CPI(M) and the Left in the parliament. The booklet “Democracy under Attack” written by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat was formally inaugurated here.
The outgoing state secretary Bijan Dhar placed the draft political-organisational report in the delegate session. The brief but all encompassing report dealt with the main reasons of the debacle of the Left in the last assembly election self-critically and also gave an account of the terror unleashed by the RSS-BJP ever since the results of the elections were declared. All the democratic and constitutional rights are being trampled. The law and order is in shambles, attacks on women are on the rise. The scarcity of food and work is acquiring a serious proportion in the villages and hills. People are getting disillusioned. The situation will not be the same for long, but it will not change automatically. People are the main force for change. They must be mobilised in struggles. Building a revolutionary party with mass base, following mass line is our aim.
A total of 24 delegates out of 299 present from 24 subdivision committees took part in the discussion on the report. The delegates in their discussion described the tough situation and the severe attack which the Party and the mass organisations are facing. They also put forth the suffering of the toiling masses under the misrule of this government, the challenging effort the Party in entirety is making to carry out the organisational work and renewing contacts with the masses to carry forward struggles.
Greeting the conference on the 25th evening CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat said the comrades in Tripura are working bravely in a very challenging situation. But wherever the bourgeois-landlord classes are in power, the communist party has become a target for the ruling classes. In our country, in all the three strongholds of Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, we are under attack from the RSS-BJP. To counter these attacks and meet these challenges, we must be more capable and equipped politically, ideologically and organisationally. RSS is working in all the spheres of public life. So, mere defeating BJP in elections will not suffice. We must counter them politically-ideologically and organisationally. Prakash Karat stressed on winning back the confidence and support in the tribal areas. For this, we must recognise the changed socio-economic condition in the tribal areas and the aspirations of the tribal youth. There should be emphasis on recruiting more youth into the Party from both tribal and non-tribal sections. He said, the Party must be rebuilt, members must be equipped ideologically so that they can withstand the challenge in any circumstance. All the attacks on us are aimed at alienating the Party from the masses. But we must maintain organic contact with the masses at any cost.
Veteran member of the Polit Bureau, Biman Basu, greeted the conference and said in Bengal too for the last seven years, we have witnessed the ruling TMC’s programme of murdering democracy. But our Party is trying to bring a change in the situation involving people. BJP in Tripura is using divisive tactics to break the unity of the masses. Developing class and mass struggles, involving masses is the only way out. He expressed confidence that the Party in Tripura shall be successful in overcoming the situation.
Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat in her address to the conference said the lively discussions by the delegates have enriched us. This discussion is testimony to the fact that the Party is trying hard to bounce back despite all the terror. She said, we must fight the communal and divisive politics of RSS-BJP. But without fighting the neoliberal economic policies they champion, this struggle cannot be successful. She stressed on exposing the attacks on and the plight of the dalits and the tribals in the BJP ruled states. The entire Party all over India will be behind Tripura in its struggle, she said.
Replying to the discussions of the delegates on behalf of the steering committee, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar said, despite widespread terror the mobility and activity of the Party is increasing. In the national scenario, it is becoming clear that a large section of the population don’t want to be ruled by the BJP anymore. The contradiction and confrontation between this government at the centre and different sections of the masses is on the rise. The working class has called for a 48 hour strike in the next January, the peasants are waging struggles , the worker-peasant alliance is taking a concrete shape, the dalits, tribals, students, youth, intelligentsia are expressing their displeasure with this government. This has been reflected in the recent bye-elections. The results of the five state assemblies will not be encouraging for the BJP. In Tripura, the Party must prepare itself for a long drawn struggle. The primary task at hand is to rebuild the Party and increase the activity of the Party members. The tribal youth who were misled by the slogan of Twipraland are getting disillusioned, people in general who had believed in the false promises of the BJP have started questioning the activity of the government. In the last eight months, this government has failed to implement any of its electoral promises. They knew they won’t be able to fulfill any promise and we shall mobilise the masses on their failure. This is the reason they have mounted this widespread attack so that we are terrorised and don’t organise masses against them. But we shall face this challenge by rallying people. Manik Sarkar said, we must recruit new, young people into the Party and increase their level of political and ideological consciousness in the field of struggle. We must regain the confidence of the masses and become their voice.
The report was adopted unanimously. The conference adopted two resolutions 1) For defeating Modi government and forming a secular government at the centre with increased strength of the CPI(M) and the Left and 2) Prepare for relentless mass struggles for restoring democracy and rule of law and for winning the rights to food and job.
The conference unanimously elected a new state committee of 75 members with 16 new faces. Gautam Das was elected the new secretary of the state committee. A 15-member new state secretariat was elected.