Delegates want leaders to lead from front

Delegates want leaders to lead from front

The four-day CPM plenum here concluded on Thursday but the dust is yet to settle at the end of a series of explosive sessions where the party’s top decision-making bodies, Politburo and Central Committee, faced flak.

While the congregation admitted amendments to drafts of the resolution and report, most delegates believe without affecting real change, adopting resolutions will not help the party.

The dominant feeling was the Politburo and Central Committee needed to indulge in introspection over its actions before setting guidelines for the rest of the party, insiders said.

A large number of delegates debated during the sessions since December 27 that most Politburo members have played no measurable role in forging the party’s lot in states other than where the CPM already has a presence.

“Most Politburo members have never tried to build organisation in states other than West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where the party has noticeable presence. Top leaders seem to have given up on states like Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh where the CPM had a presence even a few decades back,” a delegate from Kerala said.

Most delegates from Bengal and Kerala pointed out that Prakash Karat had told a public rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan after taking over as the general secretary in 2005 that under his stewardship, the CPM would venture into new areas and revive lost grounds.
“That did not happen in the last 10 years. Instead, we lost ground in bastions like Bengal. Even in national politics, we are shunted to the backseats with hardly any presence in Parliament,” a delegate said.

While large number of delegates from Bengal and Kerala suggested that the party change its way of functioning from the top, Amiya Patra from Bengal proposed that Politburo members detach themselves from state committees and go work in other states.

He said state secretaries or someone like Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar could be exempted from this.

Although he did not mention the preceding debate, Karat told reporters on Wednesday that there are thoughts of putting this in practice for all whole-timers.

While Karat admitted to the need for “strengthening inner-party democracy” and “institutionalising democratic practices”, the delegates were not content with just his admission. They want the Politburo members to lead from the front instead of imposing diktats.

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