Four-day extended session of party's Central Committee starts in Kolkata today

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will go into a key session of its Central Committee to set the agenda for the future, including the ideological course and political position.

The four-day extended session starting at Kolkata on Tuesday is the final stage before the party releases draft documents articulating its position on these fundamental issues that would be put through extensive intra-party discussions ahead of the 20th Party Congress at Kozhikode in Kerala in April this year.

The Kozhikode meet would be held four years after the last Coimbatore Congress and the intervening period has seen the CPI (M) and the other Left parties suffer severe electoral debacles, first in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and then last year when it lost power in its citadel of West Bengal in the Assembly elections.

Many changes

“There have been many changes in the political situation during the last four years. We will take stock of the current situation, the party's attack against neo-liberal economic policies, which have led to price rise, unemployment, agrarian distress, and how to continue the fight,” CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat told The Hindu here on Monday.

He said the Central Committee would discuss the draft political resolution prepared in the wake of the electoral setback in the Lok Sabha polls and in West Bengal and steps needed to carve an independent role for the Left in general and the party in particular.

“Emphasis would be on how to overcome the setback, regain ground and emerge stronger in Kerala and West Bengal and at the national level,” Mr. Karat said, adding that the draft resolution would also determine the party's stand with regard to other non-Congress secular parties.

Reverses

While the CPI (M) effort to rally parties in the non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party fold did not find acceptance with the electorate in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance ejected the CPI (M)-led Left Front from office after three decades of uninterrupted rule in West Bengal.

Besides this, the Central Committee would also take up the draft ideological resolution. The Coimbatore Congress decided to adopt a resolution on ideological issues and Mr. Karat said this would be done taking into account major changes in the world and explore the scope to present an option to the ‘there is no alternative to capitalism' argument.

Mr. Karat said one of the major issues was the global economic crisis which presented an opportunity to go in for an alternative to neoliberal capitalism and counter the campaign going on since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.