| Karat: Common ground
New Delhi, April 7: The CPM's new political resolution today received its first stamp of approval from the 700 delegates who have gathered here for the 18th party congress.
Politburo member Prakash Karat, who presented the draft political resolution at the conclave this morning, said: 'This time there has been a wider acceptance of our party line with regard to our approach to the UPA government and the interventions we have made.'
Karat was making a comparison with the Hyderabad congress three years ago when delegates moved 4,800 amendments to the political resolution. The number this time is 2,800. Delegates move amendments when they want changes in the political resolution.
'The reduction in the amendments means the party now has a more common approach,' said Karat. There is speculation that the UPA government's pro-reform stance and its liberalisation policies ' some of which the government has pushed through regardless of the Left's opposition ' have not gone down well with the party workers.
Karat explained to the delegates that the CPM is not abandoning its 'independent' role because it is supporting the UPA government. The draft political resolution says: 'The CPM's role is to criticise and oppose such steps of the government which are against the people's interest or are a departure from the common minimum programme.'
'But this does not mean a 'blanket no' to reforms,' said a delegate. According to him, there is a change in the party's position. 'Earlier, there used to be unqualified opposition. Now, we are not just opposing but also giving alternative suggestions,' he said.
A booklet with notes of all the alternative suggestions the party has made with regard to the UPA government's economic policies was given to the delegates.
Today's discuss ions reflected the party's concern for its tactics in the Hindi belt. 'Some comrades felt there should be a more critical analysis of the CPM's united front tactics, particularly in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar,' the party said.
'The delegates wanted to know whether we or the regional parties have gained from these united fronts,' said Karat. The CPM maintains it will focus on the Hindi heartland where it has not only remained stunted but also lost ground to parties like the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
The amendment moved by the delegates to the political resolution says the CPM must take up social issues such as 'caste oppression and Dalit emancipation'.
'The party must take up all the issues connected with the problems of the tribal people and work in a planned manner in the tribal areas,' said the CPM.