Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CPI(Maoist) holds its first Party Congress

Successfully avoiding the huge security net thrown all around the country, the CPI(Maoist) has held its first Party Congress for about a month somewhere in the Orissa-Jharkhand border.Over 100 delegates from 16 states, comprising the core of the Maoist leadership of India, attended the party Congress, the re-elected general secretary of the party Ganapathy said in a statement emailed to HT.

The CPI(Maoist) was formed after the merger of the erstwhile CPI(ML) Peoples' War and Maoist Communist Centre of India in September 2004. The Party Congress, which concluded on February 19, elected a new central committee. It was the first such Congress after formation of the undivided CPI(ML) in 1970.Three companies of the party's military wing — the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) — cordoned off the area with several sentry posts keeping round-the-clock vigil around the venue of the Congress.

The people in the surrounding villages acted as the "eyes and ears of the party," the statement said."Few days prior to the Congress, Chandramouli alias Naveen, a member of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission and his wife and Divisional Committee member Karuna, were arrested, tortured and murdered by the APSIB. These two comrades stood steadfast in the torture chambers and gave up their lives but refused to divulge the venue of the Congress," Ganapathy said in the statement.The CPI(Maoist) Party Congress adopted five basic documents including the programme of the party, its constitution, the strategy and tactics of the Indian revolution and the political resolution on the current international and domestic situation.

The Party Congress also reviewed the past practice of the two erstwhile Maoist parties since their formation in 1969, the three-year post-Congress review of the erstwhile PW from 2001 to 2004 and also the two-year practice of the newly formed party. Prior to the Congress, the party had organised conferences at the area, district, regional and the state levels for the last two years and amendments to the documents had been sent to the Congress from below.The Party Congress decided to convert the PLGA into Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), the ongoing guerrilla war into mobile war and the Guerrilla Zones into Base Areas.

It also acknowledged the importance and significance of trade union work.Expressing concern over intensification of poverty and increasing incidents of suicides by farmers, the CPI(Maoist) blamed the Centre and the state governments for following "policies dictated by the IMF, World Bank and the WTO."The party criticised formation of the Special Economic Zones and said they would "create de facto foreign enclaves within India by grabbing lakhs of acres of prime agricultural land" and urged the people to resist the seizure of their lands "by whatever means possible."

Email Aloke Banerjee: alokebanerjee@hindustantimes.com

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