23rd State Conference of Tamil Nadu CPI(M)
V B Ganesan
THE 23rd state conference of Tamil Nadu CPI(M) was held in Madurai from March 30 to April 1. A day before the conference on March 29, an exhibition depicting the history of the communist movement was inaugurated by M A Baby, Polit Bureau Member of the Party. Comrade Mythili Sivaraman was the name of the venue for the exhibition.
While inaugurating the exhibition, M A Baby said that the idea of equality existed in every era of human history. In India, when we think about the struggles for equality, many will recall places like Bengal and Andhra. However, there was a place called Sami Thoppu (The Garden of God) in the southern-most part of Tamil Nadu, which was then under the Travancore kingdom, where Ayya Vaikundar tried to establish a samaj(society) of equality. It is to be noted that his efforts were made even before Marx and Engels enrolled themselves in the League of the Just as members. Keeping in mind that culture and history are the mainstay arenas for struggles, we shall move forward in a planned manner with a scientific outlook towards the emancipation of humanity and its attendant progress, Baby remarked.
On March 30, T K Rangarajan, Central Committee Member of CPI(M) hoisted the Red Flag amid revolutionary slogans. After paying floral tributes at the martyrs’ column the conference began. Su Venkatesan, MP and chairman of the reception committee while welcoming the leaders and delegates recalled the revolutionary tradition of Madurai city in the history of the party.
Thereafter, Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Party inaugurated the state conference. After elaborating on the political situation in the country, Yechury exhorted the comrades in Tamil Nadu to face four challenges looming large before them, namely, to increase the independent strength of the party, to establish and strengthen the unity of the Left forces, to create a fighting force of Left and Democratic forces with alternative policies and to create a wider secular mobilisation in order to defeat BJP in the country.
Sitaram Yechury also inaugurated a newly developed mobile app for the Party daily Theekkathir and congratulated the developers of the app.
The state report was presented by K Balakrishnan, secretary of CPI(M) Tamil Nadu. The discussion by the delegates on the report went on for two days till March 31. In between such discussions, many resolutions were passed by the conference on the burning issues of Tamil Nadu.
On March 30 evening, a mammoth rally was taken out along the streets of Madurai wherein young Red Volunteers majestically marched in front of the rally in which Yechury also travelled in an open jeep amid enthusiastic slogans. In the public meeting held at the end of the rally, Yechury spoke about the necessity of unity among democratic parties to defeat the BJP/RSS. He also said that it is essential to defeating these fascist forces to safeguard social justice, constitutional bodies, federalism as well as rights achieved through valiant struggles of the working class and the peasantry in the country over the years. Pointing out the questions raised by the media such as who will lead the struggle to defeat BJP, he recalled that in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the Left and democratic forces defeated the Vajpayee government which was campaigning with the slogan ‘shining India’ and at that time nobody expected that Manmohan Singh will lead the government at the centre for a decade. Similarly, Modi will be defeated after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and a new government will be formed, he said. This is the strength of democracy of our country, he said.
After deliberations by the delegates in the conference, an 80-member state committee was elected, which then elected a 15-member state secretariat and re-elected K Balakrishnan as secretary. G Ramakrishnan, Polit Bureau member and CCMs T K Rangarajan and A Soundararajan and secretariat member A Lazar were relieved from the committee.
While introducing the new committee before the delegates, Prakash Karat Polit Bureau Member said that this conference is being held when the Hindutva and corporate forces are destroying the democratic structure of the country with impunity. He also discussed strengthening the party and expanding the Left and democratic front in the state. Further, the conference also stressed the necessity of finding ways to defeat the RSS-BJP combine not only in Tamil Nadu but also across the country. He expressed the hope that the party members in Tamil Nadu led by the newly elected committee will fulfil the task of building a strong CPI(M) in the state and unite the secular, democratic forces. With his encouraging and stimulating words, the 23rd state conference of Tamil Nadu CPI(M) concluded on an enthusiastic note.