Steps to initiate a rectification campaign at all levels of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were among the issues discussed on the first day of the two-day meeting of the West Bengal State Committee of the CPI(M) here on Sunday.

The document which was adopted by the central committee in New Delhi in October, speaks of a renewed campaign at the political, ideological and organisational levels, to remove the wrong trends and shortcomings so that the CPI(M) emerges more unified and strengthened.

A rectification programme taken up in 1996-97 was not wholly successful, admitted CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, who was present at the meeting presided over during the day by Polit Bureau member Nirupam Sen.

The campaign is all the more necessary, as is the need to keep a check on greed for power and corrupt tendencies, in a State like West Bengal where the party is in power, Mr. Sen told journalists. He said this had little to do with winning or losing an election.

According to Mr. Sen, the need for the campaign within the party in a State where it has been in power for more than 32 years “is greater now.”

Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury and Secretary of the West Bengal State Committee of the CPI(M) Biman Bose were also present.

Elaborating on the decisions taken by the central committee at its last meeting, Mr. Karat said the strengthening of the party and work related to organising mass movements was ignored if the outlook revolved entirely around parliamentary imperatives.

There has been an intrusion of values of class enemies deep within the ranks of the party, he said. Neo-liberalism and a market-oriented capitalist economy have brought about changes in the value system that have not only been evident in the political domain but also underscore the need for greater efforts to maintain communist norms and values and remould the outlook of members of the CPI(M) towards upholding progressive values.

Participation in the electoral process and working with bourgeois parties has also had a deleterious effect on the party at times, Mr. Karat said. It is urgently necessary to take unprecedented steps to prevent deviations from the party line. The fundamental organisational principle is democratic centralism and no wavering on this could be accepted, he said.

Mr. Karat said Maoists were being used by various forces to weaken Left unity. The CPI(M) will be heightening its campaign against the links between the Trinamool Congress alliance and the Maoists.

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