Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation holds successful 11th Congress (collection of media statements)

Address at the inaugural session of the 11th Congress of CPI(ML) by Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya 

Comrade President, Comrade Delegates and observers, leaders of various Left parties in India, leaders of fraternal organisations from abroad, friends from the media, assembled citizens of Patna,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 11th Congress of the CPI(ML). With more than sixteen hundred delegates and observers attending this Congress from 27 states and Union Territories, this is the biggest Congress in our party history. For this Congress, we have renamed Patna as Vinod Mishra Nagar and the auditorium as Ramnaresh Ram Hall to pay tribute to two of our great leaders. The stage is dedicated to the memory of Comrades DP Bakshi, BB Pandey and NK Natarajan, the three beloved CCMs we lost since our 10th Party Congress held at Mansa, Punjab, in March 2018. 

We feel greatly encouraged by the warm support extended to the organisation of this Congress by the justice-loving progressive people of Bihar which was amply reflected in the success of yesterday’s Save Democracy, Save India rally at Gandhi Maidan. We express our deep gratitude to the people of Bihar for their inspiring response. 

We are greatly honoured by the presence of leaders of fellow Left parties – Comrade Salim from CPI(M), Comrade Pallab Sengupta from CPI, Comrade Manoj Bhattacharya from RSP, Comrade G Devrajan from All India Forward Bloc, Comrade Haldhar Mahato from Marxist Coordination Committee, Comrade Bhimrao Bansode from Lal Nishan Party, Maharashtra, Comrade Mangatram Pasla from RMPI and Comrade Kishore Dhamle from Satyashodhak Communist Party, Maharashtra – in this inaugural session of the Congress. Your presence means a lot to us and will surely help strengthen our existing spirit of unity and ties of cooperation.  

We are inspired by the internationalist solidarity expressed by progressive parties and organisations from our neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh and also from countries as far as Australia and Venezuela. Comrades from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Germany could not come because of visa problems, but messages of solidarity have come and are still reaching from all corners of the world. We are greatly thankful to our fraternal guests who have managed to make it to Patna to greet our Congress and to all our comrades who have sent their messages of solidarity. We are committed to strengthening our ties of internationalist solidarity and cooperation to intensify the battle to free the world from the multiple crises inflicted by today’s decaying capitalism – be it the austerity inflicted on the working people, the renewed rise of fascism and authoritarianism, wars of occupation and attacks on sovereignty of smaller and weaker nations or the climate crisis that is endangering the very existence of our planet. 

Comrades, even as we hold this inaugural session in Patna, the people are voting in Tripura to elect the next Assembly and government in the state. For the last five years, Tripura has been experiencing daily attacks on democracy, on the offices, activists and supporters of opposition parties and on the people’s right to express their opinions and raise their demands and voices of protest. We hope the people of Tripura are able to cast their votes without any fear and end this reign of terror inflicted by the BJP. 

As the fascist character and utter failure and betrayal of the Modi government on all fronts get increasingly exposed, the desperate regime is resorting to more brazen lies and intimidation. The government first invoked Emergency powers under India’s draconian IT Act to block any extracts from the documentaries aired by the BBC on the Modi Question on India’s social media platforms, and then unleashed Income Tax raids on BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai.

The Hindenburg report which accused the Adani group of stock market manipulations, accounting fraud and money laundering and triggered an unprecedented decline in the prices of Adani shares, drastically reducing Adani’s net worth and pulling Adani down from the third richest slot in the global list of billionaires to way below the top ten list, has been met with conspicuous silence and refusal to have any probe into the failure of India’s regulatory system and the Modi-Adani collusive nexus. In Parliament, Modi brazenly avoided answering the Adani question and asked the people to keep quiet because the government allegedly provided cheap food, subsidised gas cylinders, pucca houses and doles to the poor. It is a blatantly mischievous mockery of nationalism to try and portray the BBC documentary as a colonial conspiracy and the Adani expose as an attack on India as the BJP is currently doing.

The latest Oxfam report has once again drawn attention to the mounting economic inequality in India, illustrating the compelling case for the introduction of wealth and inheritance taxes on the super-rich. Yet the government announced further tax cuts for the super-rich in this year’s budget while curtailing the budgetary provision for MNREGA, social security and other public service and welfare expenditure. 

While public anger grows against the worsening living conditions of the common people and the monumental failure of the government on the economic front, the Modi government wants to divert the people’s attention and use the social and economic crisis to whip up an ultranationalist fascist frenzy by spreading hate, sharpening communal polarisation and targeting Muslims as a community, progressive intellectuals and all dissenting voices and social groups fighting for justice and transformation as anti-national. Rampaging bulldozers have already replaced all the tall talks of universal housing with assured access to electricity, toilets and drinking water, and calls for genocide are being openly issued from platforms of so-called religious assemblies by toxic hate preachers masquerading as spiritual gurus. 

All the institutions of constitutional governance are being systematically subverted with the executive openly coercing the legislature and the judiciary and the Centre reducing the states to glorified municipalities by using the offices of Governors and other appointed institutional heads and various central agencies as instruments of control. The Constitution itself is being hollowed out and undermined from within with changes in citizenship laws, reservation policies and erosion of the existing rights of various sections of people, especially minorities, the working class, farmers, small traders, Dalits, Adivasis, women and youth. This assault on democracy and diversity is being spearheaded to the drumbeat of celebration of India’s assumption of G20 presidency in 2023 and the planned inauguration of Ram Mandir by January 1, 2024 as announced by the Union Home Minister. 

To counter this growing fascist frenzy and aggression, we need to strengthen the unity of the fighting people across India. The kind of unity and spirited assertion we saw in the citizenship movement before the Covid19 pandemic and the farmers’ movement that grew defying the harsh conditions of the Covid period and compelled the Modi government to repeal the disastrous farm laws, needs to be carried forward in building multiple powerful struggles against dispossession and privatisation and communal, caste and patriarchal violence, and to secure universal rights to food and housing, education and employment, public health and environmental protection. The popular political will to defeat fascism, save the Constitution and build a progressive and prosperous future for the people of India can only grow and succeed on the foundation of countrywide united assertion of the people.

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Second day of CPIML Party Congress adopts anti-fascist and national situation resolutions

CPI(ML) Liberation, February 17

After deliberating on the anti-fascist and national situation resolutions given in the draft document the CPIML delegates adopted the anti-fascist resolution and the resolution on the national situation on the second day of the 11th CPIML Party Congress. The resolutions recognise fascism as the main threat to people and democracy in the current juncture of Indian history. Indian democracy is threatened by fascism’s manifestation as a corporate-communal nexus.

Arundhathi Roy, renowned writer, expressed solidarity to anti-fascist struggles and the CPIML’s party congress. She said that anti-caste and anti-capitalist struggles have to come together to resist fascism. She welcomed the coming together of various political groups to form anti-fascist opposition.

In the international solidarity session, various fraternal organisations from Venezuela, Nepal, Ukraine, Australia, Palestine, and Bangladesh expressed their solidarity with the on-going people’s struggles in India and extended their cooperation and support in building a world that is just, democratic and plural.

The member of the Ukrainian international solidarity, Sotsialnyi Rukh, mentioned that they are resisting the ‘Great Russian Chauvinism’ led by Putin which is in stark opposition to Lenin’s position of extending sovereignty to Ukraine. He said that anti-capitalist struggles are as crucial for a better world  and Ukraine, which is free from exploitation. He thanked CPIML for standing with the people of Ukraine.

Jhala Nath Khanal of CPN(Unified Socialist) of Nepal said that there has been a long history of relationship between the communist parties in Nepal and CPIML since the 1970s, where Comrade Vinod Mishra, inspired and guided the struggles in Nepal, and also attended their 6th Party Congress. He said that Nepal is passing through changes, where even though the communist parties have been able to consolidate and win elections, the right-wing elements are penetrating society and trying to bring back monarchy. “We are launching a multidimensional class struggle within and outside the Parliament in Nepal and for us, the Left government and left unity in Nepal is of utmost importance to defeat such elements,” he added.

Expressing their solidarity, Ramon Augusto Lobo of Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) said, “From the land of Commander Hugo Chavez, a promoter of people’s unity to achieve comprehensive development and fight against all forms of oppression, through solidarity, integration and complementation, we express our firm belief in building a multipolar world that guarantees peace and justice.”

Solidarity messages were read out by Saiful Huq of Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh, Bazlur Rashid of Socialist Party of Bangladesh, Sam Wainwright of Socialist Alliance (Australia), Sarabjit Johal of South Asia Solidarity (UK), and Apoorva Gautam of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The Cuban Ambassador Alejandro Simancas Marin, MLPD Germany, Communist Party of Swaziland, Partido Communista Ecuatoriano, Partido Manggagawa (Labour Party Philippines), Union of Cypriots (Cyprus), Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (Laos) sent their solidarity messages to the party congress, which were read out.

Several organisations extended their congratulations to the 11th Party Congress of CPIML, including Left Radical of Afghanistan, Communist Party of Iran, Communist Party of Argentina, and Landless People’s Movement (Namibia).

Video solidarity messages were sent by Omar Barghouti, co-founder of BDS movement (Palestine), Swastika Arelingam, lawyer and activist from Sri Lanka, Sivarajan Arumugan, Secretary General of Socialist Party of Malaysia, Arnau Pique, international relations secretary, Communists of Catalonia and Akhtar Hussein, President of Awami Workers Party, Pakistan.

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'Save Constitution, Save Democracy, Save India’ Convention held on Day 3 of 11th CPIML Party Congress

CPI(ML) Liberation, February 18

On the third day of the 11th CPIML Party Congress, a ‘Save Constitution, Save Democracy, Save India’ convention was organised, where the Mahagathbandhan leaders, including Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, JD(U) president Lalan Singh, and senior leader of Indian National Congress and former cabinet minister Salman Khurshid and Member of Parliament and leader of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Liberation Panthers Party, Tamil Nadu) Thol. Thirumavalavan attended the convention. 

The keynote speech was addressed by CPIML General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, who welcomed all the leaders and said, “The point of this convention is very clear – if the Constitution and democracy are in danger, there is a need for a decisive struggle to save them from the fascist forces and we need a grand unity for that.” He added that time and again, Bihar has shown how opposition is built both in the streets and electorally. The General Secretary added that the convention being called as part of the 11th Party Congress is a clarion call for resistance and opposition to the emergency-like situation in the country. 

Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, who addressed the gathering said that the current regime is working in its own interest, and to fight against this, seven parties joined in the interest of the country and we came out of the alliance (with the BJP). “The decision we have taken towards the Mahagathbandhan has gone well with the people, so we will continue to work like this together. But we have a responsibility beyond Bihar, and in light of the 2024 election, we must fight together and get rid of the current regime,” he added. The Chief Minister added, “We have been together with the struggles and the people of CPI(ML), and we assure that we will be there in the future as well. We will continue to work together.” 

Deputy Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav, said “We do not have Ambani-Adani to bankroll us. We also don’t misuse the government institutions to crack down on opposition, yet despite the attacks on us, we came together in Bihar to teach BJP a lesson and establish a unity based on the country’s interest”. He added, “We have said it time and again that in places where regional parties are strong, they should be given the driving seat and where there is a two-sided fight between the Congress and BJP, we will support Congress.”

Salman Khurshid, senior leader of the Indian National Congress and former cabinet minister, said, “What we face today are fascist powers. But, they are cowards. Our unity will scare them to retreat.” He said that as against the hate model of BJP, Bihar model of oppositional unity will show the way forward. He assured that he will take forward the message of unity in the Congress party, which is also ready to build oppositional unity. 

Member of Parliament from Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Tamil Nadu, Thol. Thirumavalavan, said “We must oppose bigotry uncompromisingly. Fascism is hitting Indian democracy like a tsunami. It wants to make sure that a majority government will function as a majoritarian government.”

Today’s convention was held in the context of continuing the larger unity being built in Bihar among the anti-fascist forces. Bihar, which has played a historic role for such struggles, will show the way forward to build a large anti-fascist movement and solidarity. 

Mahboob Alam, leader of CPIML Legislative Group, Satyadeo Ram, CPIML MLA, Gopal Ravidas, CPIML MLA, CPIML Bihar Secretary Kunal, and others were present.

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Resolution on international situation and climate change adopted at the 11th CPIML Party Congress

CPI(ML) Liberation, February 19

The 11th Party Congress adopted the resolution on the International Situation, which specially addressed the Ukraine war, the approach towards Russia and China.

The CPI(ML) unequivocally condemned the Russian aggression towards Ukraine as fascistic and called for an end to the war. The party recognized NATO as a vehicle of US imperialism and called for its dismantlement.

The party also held the position that China is now a capitalistic state with Chinese characteristics. It has reduced socialism to basic welfare-ism, where capitalism is kept under control, but there is an acute lack of political freedom. Chinese capitalism’s role in Africa, Pakistan and other countries needs to be seen through a critical lens.

In the resolution on climate change and environment, CPI(ML) noted that climate change is impacting the poor and marginalised people the worst in the country. India has failed to address these issues at the global level and within the country has not ensured that those responsible for environmental destruction are held accountable. The mitigation and adaptation is also not being upheld. CPI(ML) extended solidarity to movements against environmental degradation in States like Uttarakhand, Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and others.  The resolution observed the Modi-led government as being in climate denial and giving a free hand to corporations to exploit India’s natural resources. The government is silent on the demands of the poor and marginalised regarding rising climate extremities. The policies resulting in environmental degradation must be withdrawn and corrected.

The party congress will continue to deliberate on the report on party organisation, and other documents.

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Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya re-elected as General Secretary of CPIML

CPI(ML) Liberation, February 21

On the last day of the 11th CPIML Party Congress, elections to the central committee and the central control commission took place, where Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya was re-elected as the General Secretary of CPI(ML) Liberation. A 76-member central committee was elected on the day, as was the five-member Central Control Commission, with Comrade Raja Bahuguna as the chairperson. Comrade Dipankar has been the General Secretary for over two decades.

The other central committee members include Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, Comrade Kunal, Bihar State Secretary, Comrade Abhijit Mazumdar, West Bengal state secretary, Comrade V. Shankar, AICCTU National President, Comrade Shashi Yadav, leader of Scheme Workers’ Federation, Comrade Asaithambi, Tamil Nadu state secretary, Comrade S. Balasubramaniam, Puducherry state secretary, Comrade N. Murthy, Andhra Pradesh state secretary, Comrade Mahboob Alam, leader of CPIML legislative group and sitting MLA, Comrade Bibek Das, Assam State Secretary, Comrade Sucheta De, former JNUSU President and former AISA National President, Comrade Radhakant Sethi of Odisha, Comrade Clifton D’ Rozario, state secretary of Karnataka, among others. 

Comrade Maitreyi Krishnan of Karnataka, Comrade Kailash Pandey of Uttarakhand, Comrade Indresh Maikhuri of Uttarakhand, Comrade Sweta Raj, former student leader and present ASHA Workers’ Union leader, Comrade Niraj Kumar, secretary of Revolutionary Youth Association, Comrade Farhat Bano of Rajasthan, Comrade Indrani Dutta, AIPWA leader, Comrade Manju Prakash, Comrade Kumar Parvez, Comrade Naveen Kumar, Comrade Prakash Kumar, Comrade Satyadev Ram (sitting CPIML MLA) of Bihar, and AISA General Secretary & sitting CPIML MLA Sandeep Saurav were also elected to the central committee. 

The House also assented to the setting up of a ‘Gender Justice Cell’ comprising of prominent social-legal activists/professionals to look into any complaints and appeals by any woman alleging sexual harassment by any member of a party committee of district level and above, and that such a Cell will be constituted at both the central and state levels.

After deliberations on 19.02.2023, the House adopted the document on party organisation, and passed the amendments to the party’s general programme and the party constitution. A report of the Central Control Commission was presented, after which the elections took place.

We will continue to strengthen our fight against fascism, and to save the Indian Constitution and democracy.