'CPI(M) should garner support of minorities'

NEW DELHI, AUG. 30. The in-house exercise to evaluate the results of the recent reversal suffered by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala has concluded that the CPI(M) should accord `sufficient priority' to its expansion among the minorities and take action to correct adverse impression against the party due to conduct of some members.

The party admitted that while the electoral pact with the Indian National League (INL) during the May Assembly election had created confusion, what compounded it was the statement of leaders giving different versions of the understanding. This was stated in the review report finalised by the Central Committee (CC) on the Assembly elections in four States and Union Territory.

Referring to the State review committee report, the CC felt that weakness in conducting political propaganda against the communal and casteist forces and win the people over could be one of the reasons for the defeat.

The CC noted that 43.56 per cent of the population in Kerala were Christians and Muslims. Of them, an overwhelming majority of Muslims went with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) while the majority of the Christians sided with different factions of the Kerala Congress.

``A relatively modern bourgeois section is emerging among the Christian minority. The flow of Gulf money has also facilitated the emergence of a neo-rich section among the Muslim minorities in addition to landlords and traders. These richer sections have vested interests in schools, colleges, private hospitals, hotels, contracts etc.,'' the CC said.

The CC stressed that a variety of factors including the long debate over entering into an adjustment or alliance with the IUML and the failure of the party to win over the confidence of the Muslims had enabled the IUML to carry an overwhelming majority of the community with it which needs to be looked into.

The question of electoral tactics, it said, could be decided at the appropriate time after assessing the political situation. That, however, should not prevent the party from conducting political and ideological propaganda meetings among the minority communities.

Noting that there were many reasons for the erosion of the party's mass base in Kerala, the CC acknowledged that the financial difficulties faced by the LDF Government, especially in the last months, had alienated a considerable section of the people. ``It was a serious lapse that the interests of the poorer sections...were forgotten,'' the report said.

The CC was rather harsh on some of its Ministers, the State secretariat and State party unit while taking note of the State committee's admission that lifestyle of certain ``comrades is similar to that of bourgeois political leaders and its criticism about the assets of certain comrades being disproportionate to their known sources of income.''

``It cannot be said that the Finance Minister has discharged his responsibility with sufficient care and attention as he ought to have done,'' the report observed. It took serious note that the State secretariat did not carry out proper review of the performance of the Government and its Ministers.