November 14, 2021

Manipur State Conference of CPI(M)

Kshetrimayum Santa

THE 19th Manipur state conference of the CPI(M) was held in Imphal on October 30. Inaugurating the conference, Party Central Committee member Suprakash Talukdar gave the call for defeating the authoritarian-communal BJP regimes at the centre and in Manipur, and for forging a strong Left and democratic movement and expanding the mass base of the Party in the state.

The conference began with the hoisting of the Red Flag by veteran Communist leader Saikhom Jugol at Meitram Shamu Khul, a makeshift village in the central part of Imphal City. After floral tributes to the martyrs’ column, the inaugural session started inside the Langpoklakpam Kunjo Hall. The conference was attended by 54 delegates and observers, including 13 women.

Suprakash Talukdar said the BJP government is only for the wealthy and the rich corporate houses and is against farmers and workers. He contended that the BJP dispensations in the state and at the centre are suppressing the poor and are working against the common people. The government has been silent despite the prices of essential commodities, including petroleum products, rising incessantly. While the country is reeling under poverty and starvation accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of public properties including airports, airlines and railway lines have been sold to a few corporate houses who are the ruling BJP’s allies in industries, trade and commerce and the policy-making process. The pro-corporate agenda of the BJP government is clear from the fact that the number of billionaires in India has increased to 140 from 102 during the pandemic. He said the BJP governments in the north-eastern states are neglecting the development of the region, which is evident from the ever-increasing number of unemployed youth. He called upon the delegates to defeat the BJP and its allies by rallying all the secular and democratic forces. He concluded his inaugural address by calling upon the delegates to defeat the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections in Manipur which will be held in the early part of 2022, along with four other states in the country.

The inaugural session was greeted by Party Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu through an online message. In his greeting, he mentioned that the state conference is taking place at a crucial juncture in the life of the nation. Never before has the country and the people faced such a major challenge to the very basics of our constitutional republic, which emerged from the freedom struggle. The economy is witnessing the worst levels of inequality and unemployment. The communal polarisation based not only on religious identity but other linguistic, ethnic and social identities, has intensified. The disastrous situation of the economy is naturally leading to widespread protests. Anticipating such resistance, there has been largescale undermining of the parliamentary process by the government. The second Modi government has till date passed 69 legislations, which is actually legitimising public action outside parliament. It is another thing that these legislations include the three black farm laws or draconian changes in the labour codes. The government has also slapped dissenters with draconian laws like the UAPA, NSA and sedition. The government is also taking recourse to largescale nexus with corporates for funding and advancing their interests on a quid pro quo basis. The judiciary and other independent constitutional authorities are being subverted to silence protests. Commenting on the north-eastern region under the BJP rule, he wrote that the stealing of people’s mandate by buying out elected representatives has assumed a new level. The situation is fraught with an extreme danger of fratricidal conflicts and undermining of the rules of law. The situation presents the opportunity for building the broadest possible unity particularly that of the working people and other democratic sections. He wished the conference towards the broadest possible unity of the people of the state through vigorous struggle.

The delegate session of the conference began with the election of a presidium consisting of Nongmaithem Thoiba Singh, Saikhom Jugol, Asem Binodini Devi and Moirangthem Thoiba Singh; steering committee of Kshetrimayum Santa, Sarat Salam, Yumnam Ratan and Sougrakpam Roma Devi; minute committee of Azis Haider, Kshetrimayum Sopen and Ayekpam Ashabala Devi; and credential committee of R K Sanajaoba, Nameirakpam Meghachandra and Thiyam Bimolchandra.

After the condolence resolution, state secretary Kshetrimayum Santa presented the draft political organisational report which dealt with the political developments during the last four-and-a-half years and organisational weaknesses of the Party. The draft report covered a brief assessment of the international and national political and economic situations, the undemocratic capture of political power after the last state assembly elections, anti-people measures of the NDA governments at the centre and in the state, reactions to the developments and movement of the peasants, workers and the general public, interventions during the pandemic and the future tasks on political and organisational condition in the state. The draft report also highlighted weaknesses of the Party’s influence and the organisation. Ten delegates, including two women, participated in the discussion and enriched the report by suggesting some points to the draft report. After the discussion was over, Kshetrimayum Santa gave his reply to the amendments and points expressed by the delegates and then the report was adopted unanimously.

The conference adopted 20 resolutions, including on opening of educational institutions in Manipur; against three farm laws and the Electricity Bill; against drug and drug addiction problems; on law-and-order situation; on the upcoming assembly elections; against communalism and ethnic problems; to safeguard the unity and integrity of Manipur; and on ecology and environment.

The conference elected a 14-member state committee, which in turn elected a five-member state secretariat consisting of Kshetrimayum Santa as secretary, Sarat Salam, Asem Binodini Devi, Nongmaithem Thoiba Singh and Yumlembam Jogendra. The average age of the new state committee members is 57 years. For the first time in the history of the Party in Manipur, a four-member Control Commission was elected with Mayanglambam Ato, Yumlembam Nabachandra, Ningthoujam Nabakumar and Laishram Thoibi as members. The conference concluded with a high note for future expansion of the Party and its mass base and influence in Manipur.