The CPI (M) has found its ranks swell since it came to play an important role at the Centre, backing the UPA Government.
Since 2004, the year in which UPA came to power with the help of the Left bloc, CPI (M) membership increased by 8.95 per cent. In real terms, it’s an increase of 77723 members from 867763 in 2004 to 945486 in 2006. For CPI (M), this is the sharpest growth ever in a two-year period.
The increase of new members was has been hefty in Andhra Pradesh. From 46742 members, the state unit now has 63,037 members, an increase of 16295 members.
It’s not only the Party that has grown. CPI (M)’s mass organisations too have registered growth in membership in lakhs. The biggest gainer is the Kisan front with an increase of 2840895 new members. There’s been an increase of members in the youth and student fronts as well, at 1068047 and 287906 respectively, the party document on `Report on Implementation of Organisational Tasks,’ recorded.
The report was finalised and adopted after the three-day Central Committee meet between September 24 and 26. In fact, the Party has done a detailed mid-term review of its internal organisation for the first time.
Senior Party leader and Central Committee member, Nilotpal Basu, attributes the increase to a ``distinct identity’’ that CPI (M) has been able to create since 2004. ``We have a political approach that is distinct from that of UPA. Though we support the UPA. We never fail to criticise the government on issues we feel that the government is taking a wrong decision. Whenever the government deviates from `common minimum programme’ (CPM), we take a stand. This approach has definitely been a factor in the increase of membership,’’ Basu said.
Basu added that the other factor is that the CPI (M) has been trying to explain complex economic issues, like the impact of globalisation on India, to the people in simple terms. ``It’s part of political education for the people. Economic issues are complex. But its important that people are informed about policy impacts,’’ Basu said.
The picture is not entirely pretty for the Party, however. The report talks about "droppage’" of members as well. The two main worrying states are Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Some of the main reasons for members dropping out are liberalism in recruitment procedure, lack of political-ideological and organisational training, lack of monitoring and factionalism.
Trends seen within CPI (M):
Income of the party members in general has increased
The number of less earning Party members has decreased
The trend of non-concealment of the real income of the Party members has developed
Impoverished section of the people are not being drawn or drawn marginally to the Party
Drop outs mostly belong to the lesser income group
People belonging to affluent sections are getting into the Party in more numbers.