New Delhi | State-specific action plans to take on regional parties and ways to counter the BJP and Congress nationally are among the issues that will be thrashed out at the six-day 21st national congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) being held in Visakhapatnam from April 14.
More importantly, the issue of leadership of the Left party will be decided as there are two contenders for the post of General Secretary — Sitaram Yechury, a sitting Rajya Sabha MP, and S Ramachandran Pillai from Kerala.
However, insiders feel that Mr Yechury holds the edge over the relatively low profile Pillai despite the latter’s age and experience.
The party is faced with a peculiar conundrum: while the Left party is unequivocal that it will oppose the pro-rich, pro-corporate policies of the NDA Government, there is immense concern that the Left liberal space in India is shrinking as visible from the ascendance of the right-wing government at the Centre.
Mr Yechury is regarded as willing to join hands with the non-BJP, non-Congress forces to offer an alternative to the rightist policies.
Though the Left party is charting a ”non-BJP, non-Congress” course, it is at the same time seeking to rally the various Left parties on an alternative platform of Left unity.
The presence of representatives of Left parties at the Congress, including the Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Socialist Unity Centre of India, Forward Bloc and the CPI-ML (Liberation) is being viewed with interest.
Party General Secretary Prakash Karat, who is seen as a hardliner, is seen as conceding space to others in the party who can offer a more dynamic approach to revive the Left party seeing its ranks dipping alarmingly even in its bastion of West Bengal.
Mr Karat will address the congress and deliver the inaugural address. According to party sources, the focus at Visakhapatnam will be to go to the grassroots by focusing on the needs of the newly-created Telangana state and bifurcated Andhra Pradesh.
According to party secretary for Andhra Pradesh P Madhu, the main items on the agenda are the role of the working class in the economic slowdown and taking on the capitalist regime in this scenario.
In this scenario, the issue of land acquisition, particularly in the two states of AP and Telangana will also be reviewed. According to CPI(M) politburo member BV Raghavulu, the agenda of the national conference and two resolutions to be discussed at the meet have already been finalised,
The two resolutions have been discussed threadbare at the national politburo held in the first week of February and later released for public discussion.
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