CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress : Stop Corporate Plunder, Defend People’s Resources, People’s Rights

The CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress at Ranchi, Jharkhand, was a powerful assertion of the Left agenda and response to the challenges of today’s India. The theme of the Congress – calling for a defence of ‘ People’s Resources, People’s Rights’ against corporate plunder, smashing of the ‘Business-Politics Nexus’ and strengthening of a ‘People’s Politics’ emerging from people’s struggles – resonated strongly in the context of the daily mega-scams involving top corporate houses and politicians. It was especially apt in Jharkhand, where for over a decade since the formation of the State, ruling political parties and coalition governments of various hues have been united in facilitating corporate plunder of resources by evicting the resisting indigenous adivasis through ruthless repression. The CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress underlined the foremost task of the Left at such a juncture – to unite with people’s movements and seek to assert a people’s political alternative rooted in people’s resistance. A report.

The CPI(ML) 9th Congress began appropriately by saluting the legacy of the legendary adivasi anti-colonial hero Birsa Munda at the premises of the old Central Jail where he had been killed in colonial police custody. CPI(ML) general secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya addressed the gathering at the old Birsa Central Jail, saying that the historical legacy of the anti-imperialist resistance of adivasis and Birsa Munda is all the more relevant in the context of plunder by corporations and foreign MNCs, Operation Green Hunt and repression on all kinds of people’s movements today.

CPI(ML) leaders and delegates from twenty states, leaders of various left parties as well as foreign guests from Bangladesh, Australia and elsewhere then marched from the old Birsa Central Jail to the Birsa Samadhi and offered floral tributes.

The march then proceeded to the Zila School grounds, the venue of the 9th party congress, and the red flag was hoisted at the Zila School grounds by Central Committee member Comrade Khitish Biswal, and floral tributes were paid at the martyrs’ memorial by the foreign guests, CPI(ML) polit bureau members and leaders of left parties. The campus was named after the legendary Com. Ram Naresh Ram, and the stage after Com. Ibn-ul Hasan Basru, both CPI(ML) leaders whom we lost recently.

At the inaugural session of the congress, a Condolence resolution in memory of various left leaders, progressive intellectuals, cultural figures and CPI(ML) leaders who passed away or were martyred. A resolution was also passed calling for a celebration of the centenary year 2013-14 of the historic anti-colonial Ghadar movement. The inaugural session was addressed by leaders of a range of Left parties as well as representatives of the Jharkhand movement, who together asserted the spirited of united assertion of Left and people’s movements. B.P. Kesri, Chairperson of the Reception Committee welcomed all delegates and guests on behalf of the Ranchi-based reception committee. Prof. Nirmal Minz, ideologue of the Jharkhandi movement, talked of the need for a militant assertion of tribal identity and rights – and expressed hope that CPI(ML) would continue to strengthen movements for tribal rights and identity.

Apart from the CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, the inaugural session was addressed by CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy, and CPI(M) central committee member comrade JS Majumdar read out a message from CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat. Forward Block general secretary Debabrata Biswas, CPM(Punjab) general secretary Mangat Ram Pasla, RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya, Taramani Rai of CPRM, Vijay Kulkarni leader of Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), and Haladhar Mahto from Marxist Coordination Committee addressed the session. Veteran RSP leader Abani Roy and Comrade RB Rai (former Lok Sabha MP and CPRM President) as well as the international guests from CPN(UML), RWPB, and Socialist Alliance, Australia, were also present at the inaugural session.

From 2 April to 6 April, the delegate session took place, which was conducted by a 11-member Presidium. 1024 delegates and 163 observers deliberated on and adopted a wide range of policy resolutions that would guide the party’s practice – including the working class movement, agrarian and other rural struggles, women’s movement, student-youth movement, intervention in panchayats, the urban work of the Party, media and culture and environmental protection and people-centric development. he 9th Congress demanded justice for the victims of the war-crimes during the Bangladesh war of 1971, and the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The 9th Congress also committed itself to uphold the legacy of Hugo Chavez – who had fired the imagination of the Left worldwide with his bold anti-imperialist resistance, his assertion that socialism is possible, and his model of regional and neighbourly solidarity instead of war-mongering, all of which is especially relevant for the people of India and the sub-continent.

Late at night on April 6, the CPI(ML)’s Party Congress elected a new 59-member Central Committee, which in turn elected a 17-member Polit Bureau and re-elected Dipankar Bhattacharya as General Secretary. A 7-member Central Control Commission was also elected with Ramjatan Sharma as its Chairperson.

The guests from CPM Punjab, CPRM, and Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), as well as from RWPB and Socialist Alliance Australia, attended the Congress throughout.

Many artists and comrades had worked day and night to make the city of Ranchi and the venue of the Party Congress come alive beautifully with red flags, banners and other decorations. Paintings by the young painter Anupam Roy were displayed on the street next to the 9th Congress venue, catching every eye. Especially striking and evocative was an installation by sculptor Vineet, which had imaginatively used a fallen tree to convey the struggles of people against corporate land grab and environmental devastation. Teams and performers from various states held a Cultural Evening on 6 April.

The CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress concluded on April 7, 2013 with a massive ‘People’s Alternative Rally’ at the Vidhan Sabha Maidan at Ranchi. The rally called for a people’s political alternative to the UPA-NDA model of pro-corporate and anti-democratic governance. The Rally was presided by Bahadur Oraon, and addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Revolutionary Workers’ Party of Bangladesh General Secretary Saiful Haq; Sue Bolton of Socialist Alliance; Mangat Ram Pasla, Secretary of CPM Punjab; RB Rai, President of CPRM; and Vijay Kulkarni, Central Committee member of the Lal Nishan Party (Leninist); CPI(ML)’s MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly and newly elected Central Committee member Vinod Singh; All India Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary Raja Ram Singh; and CPI(ML) Polit Bureau members Kavita Krishnan and Dhirendra Jha.

Box matter

Excerpts from Statements of Left Leaders

CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy spoke about the global capitalist crisis and its impact on India, and various struggles against draconian laws like AFSPA, against neo-liberal policies and forcible land grab in Jagatsinghpur, Jaitapur and elsewhere.

CPI(M) Central Committee member Comrade JS Majumdar read out a message from CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat saying that while the All-India Strike “should provide a fillip to more united struggles and broad-based movements, it must be recognized that the Left has still not been able to reach out to large sections of the working people in different parts of the country and to organize them and to bring them into the movement. This requires a more united effort by the Left forces. Differences in ideological and programmatic positions should not come in the way of unity in action, in building united Left platforms to fight against imperialism, neo-liberal policies and communalism.”

Forward Block general secretary Debabrata Biswas said that in Jharkhand, we have seen not just corporate loot of resources, but also cultural and social subjugation along with economic subjugation. The fact that this Congress is being held in Ranchi is a big message to the entire left, and is very significant. It is also to be noted that CPI(ML) is trying to bring together all left and democratic forces, not just left parties – all forces fighting against land grab, against state repression, against corporate loot. “We are being told that the biggest problem is not inequality, poverty and environmental degradation, but so-called ‘Naxalism’: we must challenge this propaganda.”

RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya stressed the need for left unity at a time when democracy is at peril. He said that on all people’s issues – unemployment, violations of rights, corruption, attacks on women, price rise, environmental degradation – united left struggles need to be waged. He appreciated the fact that CPI(ML) has taken the initiative to prepare a document on environment and ecology, which has emerged as a serious concern. Overall, he felt there is a need to challenge and discard the dominant paradigm of development and the existing developmental orientation.

CPM Punjab General Secretary Mangat Ram Pasla said that “The present challenge is to make people realize that we have an alternative model of development. We have to break the ideological hegemony of the ruling classes, convince people and prove to them that left is the only alternative available to the present crisis. We have to use every occasion possible to highlight this alternative and the need for it. People have to be made to feel the need for the left and this is possible only through uncompromising fighting left unity.”

Comrade Taramani Rai of CPRM began by highlighting the discrimination being faced by Gorkhas in India, where they are made to feel like outsiders, and therefore they want a separate state in India’s federal structure. He highlighted the need for the communist movement to understand the “unseen contradictions” of caste, race, nationality and language.

Comrade Vijay Kulkarni, Central Committee member of the Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) stressed the need to challenge the growing assault on workers’ rights. He spoke about how corporations and ruling class politics had become coterminous in Maharashtra.

Comrade Haladhar Mahato from MCC called for united Left assertion against displacement, against the land and coal mafia, against corruption and to defend people’s rights over land and livelihoods.

International Greetings

International guests - the CPN(UML) General Secretary Ishwar Pokhrel, RWPB General Secretary Saiful Haq, and Socialist Alliance representative Sue Bolton, were felicitated by the Congress, and addressed the 9th Congress on the night of April 2nd. Solidarity messages from various international parties that could not attend, were read out. Below are excerpts from international messages of greeting and solidarity.



I would like to revive my memories of those days when the people of Jhapa and Naxalbari had such deep relations not only of physical proximity but of class friendship.

We are aware that India has made gret economic strides today. But the question is – what is the cost and whether India is ready to share this prosperity with its poor neighbours like Nepal. If the prosperity of India is only for a small section of capitalists and ruling class of India, and the vast majority is still denied basic necessities, then such progress means nothing to Indian people and even less for Nepal people. We request all progressive forces of India to raise their voice for an equitable relation with Nepal and cancellation of all unequal treaties between the two countries. We also express our solidarity with the Indian people in their struggle for a just society and against feudalism and imperialism.

The frequent exchange of visits and ideas and experiences between our two parties have been very helpful for both of us and we hope that our relations develop even further in the coming days. I wish many successes for CPI(ML) Liberation in the coming days and express my best wishes for the success of this Congress.

- Ishwar Pokhrel,

General Secretary


We received your invitation in time, and we were very eager to participate in the Congress. But due to the political complexity and uncertainty, we regret to state that delegates from our party will not be able to take part in the Congress. We are desirous to strengthen the existing fraternal relations between our two parties in the days to come. We feel proud if leaders from the both parties join their hands for such purpose.

We would like to convey our best wishes for the grand success of the upcoming congress.

Surendra Kumar Karki ‘Partha’

In-Charge, International Bureau


Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh (RWPB)

We are here at a moment when in Bangladesh we are witnessing an unprecedented wave of youth and students rising, demanding just trial and punishment of war criminals, banning of communal outfits and for a genuine democratic secular state on the basis of the spirit of our great liberation struggle in 1971. It is the left and left-leaning student, youth, cultural organizations along with progressive bloggers who are playing a very significant role within this mass uprising.

Because of the particular objective situation in our respective countries there are unique problems and issues and differences of strategy and tactics among revolutionary parties, but obviously there are common grounds among us, based on which we can come closer and share our experiences and ideas, and coordinate our campaign. Let us stand together with revolutionary courage and commitment. Once again I congratulate all of you and wish every success to the 9th Congress of CPI(ML) Liberation.

Saiful Haq,

General Secretary, RWPB

New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party, Sri Lanka

We appreciate the principled and consistent stand of your Party on the Sri Lankan national question whereby it steered clear of narrow nationalism while unreservedly criticizing the chauvinist state.

Our Party highly treasures the goodwill between the peoples of India and Sri Lanka and the friendly relationship between our two parties. It particularly appreciates the sustained support that you have given it by publicising important statements and other publications, and the continuous provision by your Party Secretariat of important political documentation on national and global issues.

While the Politburo of the Party regrets its inability to attend the 9th Party Congress at a time when things are taking a critical turn globally and in India and Sri Lanka, it sends its sincere fraternal revolutionary greetings to your Party on the occasion of its 9th Congress, reaffirms the solidarity of our Party with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist,), and wishes the 9th Party Congress a well deserved grand success.


Comrade SK Senthivel

General Secretary, New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party


Socialist Alliance, Australia

I was inspired by the account of the Ghadar movement at the beginning of your congress. This rebellion shows the true spirit of internationalism with Punjabi migrants in North America and Canada protesting against the racial discrimination they experienced. These Punjabi migrants were radicalised by this protest movement as well as being inspired by the Mexican revolution and the Irish uprising so that they returned to India to fight colonial rule.

That story conveys the true spirit of internationalism.

More recently, our comrades in Socialist Alliance have been inspired by the CPI-ML comrades in you campaign against rape culture and for freedom for women. We had a similar incident in my city, Melbourne, where there was an outpouring of sentiment against rape. This has led to a new rise in the women’s movement, with feminist campaigning for the first time in many years.

The role your comrades played in putting forward progressive politics, highlighting the need for fight against sexist culture and highlighting rapes by the military and police and marital rape was an example of the important role that left parties can play in helping spontaneous movements develop in a progressive direction.

The world is more linked now than ever, with capitalists chasing lower and lower wages as they shift production from country to country.

In a big warehouse strike in Melbourne early this year, Indian workers played an important role as part of the strike.

We’ve also got the situation of South Asian students experiencing super-exploitation as they work for jobs under the minimum wage and experience racism. Some of these students have gone on to get involved in unions and local movements.

The capitalist political parties in Australia tell us that Australia has escaped the world economic crisis. But it’s highly unlikely that we will escape.

We are trying to develop a stronger left response in preparation for the economic austerity that we know is around the corner by exploring left unity with one of the other left parties.

We know that this period has great challenges for the left. In times of economic crisis it isn’t inevitable that people will look to the left. Some will look towards the right. In Greece, as well as the spectacular rise of the left, the far right has also grown with a section of the population blaming migrants and refugees for the crisis.

It’s not enough to be against what capitalism is doing. People have to understand that there is an alternative.

The left has to help people imagine an alternative to capitalism and imagine the possibility of a socialist world. We have to come up with the slogans which point in the direction of a world that isn’t controlled by the corporations.

Let’s make socialism an alternative that people can relate to.

I hope you have a successful 9th congress.

Long live the struggle for socialism.

Sue Bolton

French Communist Party (PCF)

We are confronted, in France, with a complex political situation where the win of the candidate of the Socialist Party, with decisive support of our Left Front, has lead in some months to a big disenchantment in the face of the absence of resistance to the diktats of “financial markets” from the new government and from the French President.

The crisis of capitalism imposes dramatic consequences on living conditions and on hopes of human beings for the great majority of the populations of our countries. Mankind deserve better. We can make it better. We must surely reinforce our collaboration. Full success to findings of your congress in this right way.

Lydia Samarbakhsh

Member of national coordination in charge of foreign relations ships


Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in India

Comrades and participants of the CPI(ML) 9th Party Congress, warm greetings from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The legacy of Commander Hugo Chavez, the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, is already being carried out in all spheres. In this revolution’s unending struggle against imperialism, Chavez took a stand against the world order imposed by the superpowers. The ideas of the Commander, expressed as a liberating school of thought known as ‘chavismo,’ apart from having class consciousness, is anti-imperialist, socialist, and consequently, against capitalism.

The Socialism of the 21st Century is not just for Venezuela or Latin America. It is a model for the oppressed people of the world, a guide to fight capitalism.

The people and the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela wish success to the participants of the CPI(ML)’s 9tjh Party Congress in its deliberations and outcomes in order to gradually move towards the achievement of a more just and egalitarian society with greater social justice.

Long Live Hugo Chavez!

Long Live the Bolivarian Revolution and Socialism of the 21st Century!

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) the assurances of my highest consideration.

Truly yours,

Milena Santana-Ramirez,

Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) conveys its warm greetings of solidarity to the leadership and membership of the Communist Party of India (ML) on the auspicious occasion of your 9th Party Congress on 2-8 April 2013.

We wish you utmost success in consolidating and expanding your ranks in pursuing the manifold revolutionary tasks in upholding and defending the fundamental interests of the Indian people, fighting against the ever worsening oppression and exploitation by imperialist powers and their local cohorts, and advancing the struggle for the national and social liberation of the Indian people.

We in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines are also waging a revolutionary struggle against US imperialism and the local reactionaries presently led by the Aquino regime.

Dear comrades, we wish you a victorious 9th Party Congress! The revolutionary struggle of the Indian people is a very significant part of the worldwide revolutionary struggle against imperialism and for socialism.

Long live the solidarity between the Indian people and the Filipino people!

Long live anti-imperialist international solidarity!

Comrade Luis Jalandoni

National Democratic Front of the Philippines


Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA

Revolutionary Greetings to the 9th Congress of the CPI (ML)-Liberation! In the spirit of proletarian internationalism, we send our best wishes that the 9th Congress of your party being held in Ranchi, Jharkhand, India, will provide positive steps for the Indian masses and your proletarian vanguard forces to advance the struggle against the Indian state and imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism, and for national democratic and socialist revolution in your country and throughout the world.

As representatives of the revolutionary proletariat “in the belly of the U.S. imperialist beast,” we pledge to continue to do our best to contribute to this global struggle. We look forward to future revolutionary collaboration of our two organizations in the interest of all the oppressed and exploited of the earth.

With comradely regards,

Rose, for the

Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA

Socialist Alternative, Australia

Please accept our warmest regards and revolutionary greetings on the occasion of your 9th Party Congress. We acknowledge the tremendous sacrifices that have been made and the tireless work carried out by your comrades in the struggle for socialism in India.

We send the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) our solidarity and wish you all the best for the future. We look forward to developing closer relations between our respective organisations.

The fight for socialism is a world-wide fight and we stand with you in this our struggle: Workers of the world unite!

Comradely regards

Tom Bramble,

On behalf of Socialist Alternative

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