Recruit more youth, women, CPI-M tells cadre

March 31st, 2008 - 11:08 am ICT by admin  

By Liz Mathew
Coimbatore, March 31 (IANS) Worried about its fading popularity among the youth and educated, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has asked its activists to focus on inducting more youngsters, women, Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and Muslims into its cadre. In a self-critical organisational report, that the ongoing 19th party congress will be discussing Monday and Tuesday, the CPI-M expressed grave concern over the party’s failure in utilising the Muslim votes to strengthen its cadre, which is losing members at the rate of 7.73 percent.

But what is bothering the party more is its inability to attract more youngsters into its fold.

“The party should recruit young cadre from states and districts and deploy them in areas where it is weak,” the organisational report says.

It also asks its cadres to induct more women, Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and minorities, but sounds a note of caution: “The selection and promotion of cadre should be strictly on the basis of his or her political organisational capacity and performance.”

In the report, which has not yet been released publicly, the party did a detailed self-assessment.

It says the percentage of party members at the all India level up to the age of 30 years is 16.77 percent, between 31 to 40 is 29.31, between 41 to 50 is 31.77, between 51 to 60 is 13.79 and between 61 to 70 is 6.82 percent.

This is despite the fact that 35.31 percent of the party members were recruited after 2002.

“More efforts should be made to recruit youth into the party,” it says.

Although the CPI-M claims to be champion of the weaker and the downtrodden sections, only 19.93 percent of the party membership belongs to SC communities and the ST members constitute only 6.43 percent.

In states like Kerala, one of the three strongholds of the CPI-M, the percentage of the SC members has come down from 15.86 in 2004 to 14.97 last year.

While the party members belonging to the working class is 32.36 percent, agricultural labourers is 23.76, poor peasants is 18.93, middle peasants is 10.5, rich peasants is 0.59, middle class is 11.46, landlords is 0.08 and the bourgeois is 0.05 percent, the report says.

The CPI-M is also concerned about the low number of Muslims joining the party cadre. Although the party has been wooing the community that contributed largely to its votes in Kerala and West Bengal, the support is not being translated into party membership, the report says. Muslims constitute 10.22 percent of party members.

While Kerala showed a marginal increase in its Muslim membership (9.44 percent in 2004 to 10.35 in 2007), in West Bengal it has come down to 14.67 percent from 14.9 in 2004.

Women constitute 11.93 percent of the party members.

The report says 2.69 percent of the CPI-M members are postgraduates and 10.06 percent are graduates.

The report also criticises the party’s local units for its failure to collect levy from its members.

“Some committees failed to collect levy from party members as fixed by the central committee. There are also reports that a section of party members are giving false information about their income in order to give less levy than is due,” the report says.

“The payment of levy to the party is a matter related to the political-organisational consciousness of the concerned party member. The state committees should take appropriate steps for the collection of levy from the party members as fixed by the central committee,” it adds.

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