On the eve of the CPM’s plenum, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the party’s main agenda would be to develop mass lines to reconnect with people and strengthen the party.
He said the plenum would focus on “restructuring and streamlining” the party ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal, which would be one of the most important state elections.
“It will be important not just for Bengal, but equally so to preserve democracy in Parliament,” Yechury said, alluding to the Left’s endeavour to increase its visibility in national politics.
On of the Left’s strategy for the state elections, Yechury said that electoral plans will only be decided after the plenum but added that the party was open to alliance with other democratic forces.
The party’s plenum, which is being held after 37 years, will commence on Sunday and conclude on Thursday.
The state committee of CPM has the jurisdiction to decide on the basis of the situation in the state. But it has to be ratified by the central committee, Yechury said on the issue of possible tie-ups. “This is a very important battle for us in Bengal, which will decide not only the state’s future but also restoration of democracy, law and order and rule of law,” he said.
Asked whether CPM is prepared to meet challenges in West Bengal, Yechury said, “Every patriotic, well-minded, secular Indian according to us should be meeting these challenges. Now if you are talking in terms of electoral politics, this issue will be discussed after the plenum.”
Further, Yechury said the Left had a large number of senior leaders whose vast experience could not be discarded, but the Left does need to reach out to the youth, who are increasingly becoming a crucial factor in electoral politics.
“Attracting youth is an important issue that will be discussed in the plenum. But age also has to merge with experience. India is a country of youth. Without youth nobody has a future. CPM does not have a future,” he told reporters here.
The senior CPM leaders said that more than 10 lakh supporters are expected to attend the Brigade Rally here on Sunday; the Left expects this to be its biggest rally in the state since they lost power.
Implying that there has been a huge disconnect with people, Yechury said there had been a shift in labour forces since 1991. Unorganised labour forces increased in the state, with 93 per cent being contract labour and outside trade unions, which had the bargaining capacity to push for labour rights. Most students now study in private institutions and are cut off from student unions and student bodies, he added. “Under such depoliticised circumstances, we have to figure out a way to reach out to these people.”