Reception committee welcome address
We are deeply honoured to host this Congress in Visakhapatnam and thank the Central Committee for giving this great responsibility to us. Andhra Pradesh, the first state to be formed on linguistic basis, was recently divided into two states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Irrespective of this division, we had decided that this huge task of hosting the Congress is to be undertaken by the state committees of both the states. The Reception Committee too is accordingly formed. So, on behalf of all the people of these two states, I welcome you to the 21st Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
It will not be out of place to recall here, the glorious role played by the communists in the struggle for the formation of linguistic states. The then Communist Party led by Comrade P Sundarayya, championed the cause for Visaalandhra and stood for the unity of all the toiling people of the Telugu speaking regions. Under the leadership of communist party, the heroic Telangana peasants fought against the Nizam and his atrocious feudal rule. Thousands of fighters laid down their lives for the cause of the people. It is this legacy we proudly cherish and strive to uphold.
The lopsided policies pursued by the ruling classes since independence and the neo- liberal economic reforms initiated by the ruling classes later, had accentuated income inequalities and regional disparities. The backwardness of North coastal Andhra (where we are organising this Congress), Telangana and Rayalseema is all a result of these policies. Instead of correcting these wrong policies, which are responsible for regional disparities, the ruling class parties instigated fratricidal animosities to subvert the unity and divert peoples’ discontent. We can proudly state that it is only our Party that had championed the cause for the all-round development of the backward regions in the united state. Now, again, we are fighting against the corporate model of development being pursued by the two state governments.
While moving the Bill for the bifurcation of the state in the Parliament, Congress party had promised a lot for both the Telugu speaking states. The BJP, which had succeeded the Congress, is not showing any eagerness to honour even the demands it had made as an opposition party earlier. It will not be out of place to recall here, the glorious role played by the The lopsided policies pursued by the ruling classes since independence and While moving the Bill for the bifurcation of the state in the Parliament,
The recent moves of the BJP central government to increase the FDI in insurance, defence and steps to privatise PSUs are pointers to what the future portends. Thousands of public sector employees and workers, who form the backbone of this city, are justly concerned about their livelihoods and future.
The state government in Andhra Pradesh, in line with BJP led Rajasthan government has amended the Labour Act. This is intended to strike at the workers’ rights and as an incentive for foreign capital to invest in the state. Apart from this, state government had announced that it will acquire nearly 15 lakh acres of land from the farmers in the name of a ‘land bank’, to be presented to the corporates. Electricity tariff is increased to appease private electricity producers and funding agencies.
Hard won rights in our state, like the legislation on SC/ST sub-plan, are under threat as the government is not implementing them in the name of cutting revenue deficit. The government is pushing hard to open tribal lands rich in minerals like bauxite, for exploitation by big corporates. A huge resistance has to be built up to thwart these attempts and safeguard tribal rights.
People are concerned about the growing threat of religious fundamentalism, terrorism and the attacks on the hard-- won rights of the people. BJP is trying to utilise the growing discontent to communally polarise the society and expand its base. BJP, which has got nominal presence in South India, except Karnataka, is desperately trying to extend its reach. Along with spreading communal venom, it is trying to use regional and caste sentiments, to expand its base.
We hope that this Congress will provide proper direction to confront these twin dangers of neo-liberalism and communalism and formulate a plan of action.
50 years ago, on 7th July 1964, hoisting the Communist Party flag signaling the inauguration of the Tenali Convention, Comrade Muzaffar Ahmad, urged us to: “pledge to build a real Communist Party”. After decades of trials and tribulations the party is able to withstand the attack of imperialism and the setback to world socialism due to the militant tradition of the working class and people.
Today, the challenges before us are immense and the attacks severe. We sincerely hope that the 21st Congress with all its deliberations and decisions, will further contribute to the strengthening of the Party.
Visakhapatnam, is one of the important cosmopolitan cities in our state, with a rich historical legacy of various resistance struggles. The famous Manyam tribal rebellion, led by Alluri Sitarama Raju that challenged the imperial authority of the British, belongs to this region. It is from this region that in 1934, the famous Rytu Rakshana Yatra, (Save the Peasant Jatha) that traversed the entire state started. Similarly, the famous Mandasa peasant uprising in Srikakulam, the martyrdom of tribal leaders Koranna and Manganna, define the spirit of these lands. During the freedom struggle, it is communists who organised the port and jute workers and students as well. Communist Party played a key role in the struggle for the establishment of steel plant in public sector in this city.
Cultural artists, poets and writers of these lands stood by the people and strengthened the struggles for peoples’ wellbeing. Doyens of Telugu literature like Gurajada Appa Rao, Gidugu Ramamurti Pantulu, roused the patriotic fervour of the people by writing in colloquial tongue and taking literature to the masses. Mahakav ‘SriSri’, inspired the people to surge forward, breaking the chains of servitude and struggle for the establishment of an exploitation free society. There are many other stalwarts like Arudra, Kalipatnam Ramarao, Ravi Sastry who graced this soil. These lands still reverberate with such patriotic, anti-- imperialist and progressive traditions.
The beautiful city of Visakhapatnam, was severely ravaged by Hudhud cyclone recently. Several trees you find around, testify this fact. This devastation cast some doubts amongst us on our ability to organise this Congress. But all this were cleared when we approached the people of Visakhapatnam and the surrounding regions, who not only gave us the courage, but also helped us kindly with all their might in organising this Congress. The poor, workers, middle class employees and other well wishers – all of them had helped us in shouldering this task. Thousands of volunteers and members of various organising committees have been working day and night for the last several weeks to make the Congress a success. I take this opportunity to thank all of them. It is their belief on the Red Flag and their trust on the CPI(M) that overwhelms us.
We are aware of our limitations in organising this Congress. Still, we have made the best of our efforts to ensure that you have the right atmosphere to carry out deliberations. In spite of all this, there might be certain short-comings in the arrangements. We hope you will understand and bear with us. But please do bring them to our notice and the Reception Committee will certainly try to rectify them in the best possible way. Once again welcome you all.