Crucial CPI-M politburo, central committee meetings from Tuesday

Kolkata, Jan 16 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) top leadership would, during a four-day sitting beginning here Tuesday, discuss crucial documents determining the party’s future tactical line in national and state politics against the backdrop of the reverses it suffered in recent elections.

The ideological path in the light of the new experiments internationally in socialism would also be on the agenda.
While the politburo of the central committee – the party’s apex policy making group – meets Tuesday, the central committee would hold a full session at the CPI-M’s state headquarters, Muzaffar Bhavan, Jan 18-20.
The central committee members would finalise the draft ideological and political resolutions to be tabled at the 20th Party Congress slated to be held at Kerala’s Kozhikore April 4-9, CPI-M sources said.
The draft political resolution would take stock of the developments since the previous Party Congress in 2008 and decide on the party’s approach in the coming days.
At the time of the 19th Congress at Coimbatore, the CPI-M was providing crucial outside support to the United Progressive Alliance. In mid-2008, the CPI-M withdrew support to the UPA, opposing the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, but the Congress-led central dispensation survived by drawing support from other parties.
Since then, the CPI-M has suffered heavy setbacks in its strongholds of Kerala and West Bengal, while the Congress-led UPA central government still goes strong with support from parties like the CPI-M’s bete noire Trinmaool Congress.
“The draft political resolution will spell out our stand vis-avis the Congress, and whether the situation was ripe for cobbling up a third front with parties opposed to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party,” CPI-M sources said.
The ideological resolution will shape the party’s thinking in a world where the model of socialism experimented within erstwhile Soviet Union greatly relying on the state sector, forced collectivisation of agriculture, highly centralised planning with no market relations collapsed.
In a recent article, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat pointed out some of the distortions and defects of the soviet system “that resulted in bureaucratic centralism, lack of democracy and the merger of the party and the state”.
In contrast, Karat underlined the renovated contours of socialism in the 21st century pursued by China, Vietnam and Cuba, and in several Latin American countries – that now have Left-led governments.
The draft resolutions – once finalised – will be circulated among all CPI-M members and also put up on the party website for comments and discussions in the run-up to the party Congress.
Former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who has skipped all but one of the politburo meetings held since the party lost power in the state in May last year sparking speculations about his differences with Karat, would attend the sessions.
The only politburo meeting he attended was held in Kolkata.
The official reason given by the party leadership is that Bhattacharjee is a patient of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, that worsens with travel. However, the chain smoker has continued to travel to Bengal’s districts addressing rallies.