The CPI(M) Polit Bureau has been authorized by the Central Committee to prepare a revised draft of the review of the political-tactical line taking into account the discussions in the Central Committee. This proposal made by the Polit Bureau was unanimously adopted by the CC without anybody voting against it, said CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat. Com. Karat was addressing a crowded press conference at the AKG Bhavan in New Delhi today at the conclusion of the four-day meeting of the Central Committee, which had the review of the political-tactical line pursued by the Party in the past 25 years as one of its main agendas. “After the discussion in the Central Committee the Polit Bureau met and based on the discussions came to a unified view and presented a unified proposal on how to revise the existing draft.” Prakash said that seven points have been listed for revision.

Prakash said that after reviewing the last Lok Sabha election results the Central Committee had called for a re-examination of the political-tactical line that the Party has been pursuing; a fresh look at the functioning of the Party’s organization and the orientation of the work among the people; examination of the orientation of the mass organisations and the activities of the mass organisations; and impact of liberalization on different sectors and sections of society.

The review of the political-tactical line is part of this exercise as a run up to the Party Congress. The revised draft review report will be placed before the next meeting of the Central Committee in January, which will again discuss it. It will then be finalised and released for discussions at the branch level of the Party along with the Draft Political Resolution, as is the procedure in the Party. Laying stress on the democratic procedure followed in the CPI(M) he said that once the drafts are released, “One million Party members will get the opportunity from January end to March end to give their suggestions”. There is nothing “extraordinary” about it he underlined, and it is the inner party method and democracy.

As to why the Party was undertaking this review, Prakash said that the Party was not happy about the growth in the independent strength of the CPI(M) as a whole. Secondly, “from Jalandhar onwards we have been talking about forming a Left and democratic front as an alternative. We have not made much advance towards that”. These two things he said would be the focus of the critical examination of the tactical line. He also pointed out that this was not the first time that the Party was planning to have a discussion on this. Even in the 1996 election review the issue of the political-tactical line was raised. But for a variety of reasons the exercise could not be undertaken.

Saying that it is not merely electoral reverses that had compelled the Party to undertake this review, Prakash said “we are not satisfied with the growth of the Party and its strength”.

About why the purview of this review report is from 1991, Prakash said that “the process of liberalisation and neo-liberal policies began in 1991. The dismantling of the Soviet Union brought about a change in the international situation in 1991. The BJP and the communal forces started gaining ground since 1991.” He however emphasized that not everything was wrong with the tactical line. “Much of it is correct. But we are looking into the shortcomings and will pinpoint it.”

As for not having a discussion on the organisation in the Party Congress and deciding to have a special plenum on the issue, Prakash said that since the Party Congress has a heavy agenda we would not be able to do justice to this task and hence it was decided that the Party Congress will give guidelines for holding the Plenum, which will be held a few months after the Congress.

He expressed happiness at the interest generated among various sections about the review of the political-tactical line in the new political situation with the BJP coming to power at the centre on its own. Scoffing reports about differences within the CC and PB as misplaced, Prakash said that a total of seven notes from PB members were circulated in the Polit Bureau and discussed. The PB decided that if anybody had a dissenting view as opposed to the report prepared by the Polit Bureau he would place that in the Central Committee. This was sought to be presented as “alternate draft”, Prakash said and added that “we did not have any alternate draft”.

No Alliance with Congress

Answering a question the CPI(M) General Secretary ruled out any sort of alliance or understanding with the Congress either in West Bengal or outside. “It is not at all a matter of discussion in the Party” he said. At the same time, he said, “in the fight against the BJP government at the Centre and particularly against the danger posed by the Hindutva forces led by the RSS we will cooperate with all secular forces”.

Meeting of Left Parties on November 1

While maintaining that the primacy of the Party would be to develop its independent strength, Prakash said that it will also strive for strengthening Left unity. Towards this end, the Party is trying to draw in other Left parties. Prakash Karat said that a meeting of such parties has been convened on November 1 in Delhi, which will also be attended by the CPI(ML)-Liberation and the SUCI(Communist), besides the CPI(M), CPI, RSP & AIFB. The meeting will decide on a joint platform and common issues for campaign.