5th Assam State Conference

Come up Boldly for a Leftward Shift in Assam Movement

The 5th Assam State Conference of CPI(ML) was held at Shaheed Bhavan, Nagaon, (named as Shaheed Anil Baruah Khetra) from 8 to 10 September, 2001 in a very lively atmosphere that was full of revolutionary fervour. The delegates (numbering 95 from 10 districts including 20 women) along with hundreds of activists and sympathizers from Nagaon, mostly women, marched on the roads of the town shouting slogans “Vajpayee hatao, Desh bachao, Assam bachao”, “Both BJP and Congress betrayed with the cause of Assam” and reiterating Party’s commitment to carry forward the people’s democratic movement through to the end. After the flag hoisting and pledge-taking ceremony, homage was paid to the great heroes of the people and martyrs, whose portraits were hung inside the premises of “Shaheed Bhawan”.

Immediately after the 4th Conference in 1998, the newly elected state secretary and one of the most popular leaders of the Party, Comrade Anil Kumar Baruah was brutally murdered by the ULFA goons during an election campaign. This apart, due to surrender by Holiram Terang group before BJP and Congress(I) and their betrayal of the autonomous movement, the Party had run into rough weather as far as the movement of the ethnic/tribal people of Assam is concerned. Only through a hard struggle Party could gradually overcome and attain command over the situation and brace itself for the 5th conference. Leaders, cadres and masses from different parties, significantly from CPI(M) in Silchar and Nagaon, have joined us during this period. The conference resolved to leave no stone unturned to use the new situation to provide the people’s movement a leftward shift.

The conference noted that the backward economy of Assam had already crippled under the deadweight of globalisation and adverse consequences of free market economy had ruined the economy as a whole. Peasants are reeling under the problems of flood, lack of agricultural development, contraction of the market for agricultural products, corruption in panchayats and lack of democracy in the countryside. In such a situation people of various classes of the society are up in sporadic and partial movements and consequently no government is able to last long. But no ruling party can provide correct orientation to people’s discontent. The situation is thus favourable for communist revolutionaries to champion the cause and provide a strong leadership.

In reviewing the work, the conference reiterated its resolve to continue joint actions with other democratic forces for (i) withdrawal of unified command system, (ii) judicial enquiry of all ‘secret killings’, (iii) withdrawal of ‘tea-garden security force’ and (iv) scraping of the decision to grant general amnesty to the armed personnel guilty of gross violation of human rights in the northeast, etc. Side by side, Party will make consistent efforts for a genuine left unity.

The conference deeply felt that a hard and sincere effort is needed to develop a strong, disciplined party organization in the tribal areas, capable to combat all tendencies of ‘turning the Party into an appendage of the nationality organisation’. The Party should be able not only to guide and steer autonomy movement but also to organize and lead the masses on basic democratic issues.

The conference expressed satisfaction over the breakthrough of work in tea-gardens, the traditional vote-bank of the ruling parties, especially Congress(I). However, it emphasized the need of political intervention from above in order to expose ruling class parties and develop political cadres from among tea-garden workers.

Also, the conference held that in the given situation, popular support and credibility enjoyed by our trade union leaders in bank, oil and power sectors, if properly coordinated, can be instrumental to launch a powerful solidarity movement of the advanced working class in near future.

Besides consolidating and expanding our work among the rural poor, the conference outlined more vigorous role by mass organizations, including the role of our cultural personalities and troupes, for a better and wider interaction with the masses.

The conference seriously discussed the matter of Party consolitation and called upon all the comrades to fight pragmatism and various manifestations of libaralism and asked leading cadres in particular to get rid of ‘home-sickness’ and take all-out initiatives to make the best of the situation.

Following tasks were taken up:

(a) Intensifying “Vajpayee Hatao, desh bachao” campaign in Assam and linking up programmes of all the class and mass organizations with this campaign. We must continue to build anti-globalisation forum and conduct massive propaganda. Widespread propaganda and joint action must be developed against each and every anti-people step of Congress govt.

(b) In view of the forthcoming panchayat elections, take up the tasks of identifying panchayats in all the districts for concentration of work immediately.

(c) Membership of class and mass organizations must be increased by at least 50%. State-level movement planning should be coordinated with mass organisation membership campaigns.

(d) Special emphasis be laid on developing peasants’ and agrarian labourers’ organizations step-by-step at panchayat, block and district level.

Efforts be made to build state level agricultural organization by the year end.

(e) Party membership to be increased by 40% and in the coming three years, more than 5,000 party members to be recruited. This year, more than 60% branch committees to be made active and in three subsequent years increase this proportion to 80%.

(f) Organized state level school every year and at least four schools by district committees.

(g) Special efforts to double the distribution of ‘Liberation’ and ‘Bikalpa’.


The conference called upon the people to defeat the communal BJP and corrupt Congress(I) in the coming by-election and to vote for CPI(ML) candidate in Dibrugarh constituency and for CPI candidate in Titabar constituency. It condemned Advani’s statement on pardoning security forces guilty of human rights violation and held that NDA govt.’s purpose is to give green signal to launch repression on democratic movements in the name of curbing extremism. Ad-hoc councils for Mising, Tiwa and Rabha autonomous areas were opposed and proper delimitation of areas of these councils for holding of elections on that basis was demanded. The conference demanded effective measures to revive sick industries and condemned conspiracy to privatize tea-gardens belonging to the public sector Tea Corporation. Postponement of panchayat elections on flimsy grounds was opposed. It called upon all left and democratic forces in the state to launch a united movement against globalisation, price rise and corruption for safeguarding democracy.

The conference elected a 15-member state committee (with four new entrants and two women leaders) and Com. Rubul Sarma was elected its secretary.

Com. Mrinmoy Chakrabarty was the central observer and among others Comrades Swadesh Bhattacharya and Nandkishor Prasad, both Polit Bureau members, and Comrade Jayanta Rongpi, CC member and Secretary of HDPC were present as guests.