Communist Party of India

The Communist Party of India is the oldest communist political party in India, one of the eight national parties in the country.[5] The CPI was formed on 26 December 1925 at Kanpur.[2][6][7]

Communist Party of India
AbbreviationCPI
General SecretaryD. Raja
Parliamentary ChairpersonBinoy Viswam
Lok Sabha leaderK. Subbarayan
Rajya Sabha leaderBinoy Viswam
Founded26 December 1925 (1925-12-26)
HeadquartersAjoy Bhavan, 15, Indrajit Gupta Marg, New Delhi, India-110002
NewspaperNew Age
Mukti Sangharsh
Janayugom
Kalantar
Visalaandhra
Jana Sakthi
Praja Paksham
Kembavuta
Yugantar
Nuadunia
Student wingAll India Students Federation
Youth wingAll India Youth Federation
Women's wingNational Federation of Indian Women
Labour wing
  • All India Trade Union Congress
  • Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union
Peasant's wingAll India Kisan Sabha
IdeologyCommunism[1]
Marxism-Leninism[2]
Political positionLeft-wing[3]
International affiliationIMCWP
Colours  Red
ECI StatusNational Party[4]
Alliance
List
Secular Progressive Alliance, Tamil Nadu
Left Front, Tripura
Left Front, West Bengal
Left Democratic Front, Kerala
Left Democratic Front, Maharashtra
Left Democratic Manch, Assam
Mahagathbandhan, Bihar
Punjab Democratic Alliance
Seats in Lok Sabha
2 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
1 / 245
Seats in State Legislative Assemblies
Indian states
17 / 140
(Kerala Legislative Assembly)
2 / 243
(Bihar Legislative Assembly)
2 / 234
(Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly)
Seats in State Legislative Councils
2 / 75
(Bihar Legislative Council)
Number of states and union territories in government
2 / 31
Election symbol
Party flag
Website
www.communistparty.in

History

Formation

The Communist Party of India was formed on 26 December 1925 at the first Party Conference in Kanpur, which was then known as Cawnpore. S.V. Ghate was the first General Secretary of CPI. There were many communist groups formed by Indians with the help of foreigners in different parts of the world, Tashkent group of Contacts were made with Anushilan and Jugantar the groups in Bengal, and small communist groups were formed in Bombay (led by S.A. Dange), Madras (led by Singaravelu Chettiar), United Provinces (led by Shaukat Usmani), Punjab, Sindh (led by Ghulam Hussain) and Bengal (led by Muzaffar Ahmed).

Involvement in independence struggle

During the 1920s and the early 1930s the party was badly organised, and in practice there were several communist groups working with limited national co-ordination. The British colonial authorities had banned all communist activity, which made the task of building a united party very difficult. Between 1921 and 1924 there were three conspiracy trials against the communist movement; First Peshawar Conspiracy Case, Meerut Conspiracy Case and the Kanpur Bolshevik Conspiracy Case. In the first three cases, Russian-trained muhajir communists were put on trial. However, the Cawnpore trial had more political impact. On 17 March 1924, Shripad Amrit Dange, M.N. Roy, Muzaffar Ahmed, Nalini Gupta, Shaukat Usmani, Singaravelu Chettiar, Ghulam Hussain and R.C. Sharma were charged, in Cawnpore (now spelt Kanpur) Bolshevik Conspiracy case. The specific pip charge was that they as communists were seeking "to deprive the King Emperor of his sovereignty of British India, by complete separation of India from imperialistic Britain by a violent revolution." Pages of newspapers daily splashed sensational communist plans and people for the first time learned, on such a large scale, about communism and its doctrines and the aims of the Communist International in India.[8]

Singaravelu Chettiar was released on account of illness. M.N. Roy was in Germany and R.C. Sharma in French Pondichéry, and therefore could not be arrested. Ghulam Hussain confessed that he had received money from the Russians in Kabul and was pardoned. Muzaffar Ahmed, Nalini Gupta, Shaukat Usmani and Dange were sentenced for various terms of imprisonment. This case was responsible for actively introducing communism to a larger Indian audience.[8] Dange was released from prison in 1927. Rahul Dev Pal was a prominent communist leader

On 25 December 1925 a communist conference was organised in Kanpur.[9] Colonial authorities estimated that 500 persons took part in the conference. The conference was convened by a man called Satyabhakta. At the conference Satyabhakta argued for a 'National communism' and against subordination under Comintern. Being outvoted by the other delegates, Satyabhakta left the conference venue in protest. The conference adopted the name 'Communist Party of India'. Groups such as Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan (LKPH) dissolved into the CPI.[10] The émigré CPI, which probably had little organic character anyway, was effectively substituted by the organisation now operating inside India.

Soon after the 1926 conference of the Workers and Peasants Party of Bengal, the underground CPI directed its members to join the provincial Workers and Peasants Parties. All open communist activities were carried out through Workers and Peasants Parties.[11]

The sixth congress of the Communist International met in 1928. In 1927 the Kuomintang had turned on the Chinese communists, which led to a review of the policy on forming alliances with the national bourgeoisie in the colonial countries. The Colonial theses of the 6th Comintern congress called upon the Indian communists to combat the 'national-reformist leaders' and to 'unmask the national reformism of the Indian National Congress and oppose all phrases of the Swarajists, Gandhists, etc. about passive resistance'.[12] The congress did however differentiate between the character of the Chinese Kuomintang and the Indian Swarajist Party, considering the latter as neither a reliable ally nor a direct enemy. The congress called on the Indian communists to utilise the contradictions between the national bourgeoisie and the British imperialists.[13] The congress also denounced the WPP. The Tenth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, 3 July 1929  19 July 1929, directed the Indian communists to break with WPP. When the communists deserted it, the WPP fell apart.[14]

Portrait of 25 of the Meerut Prisoners taken outside the jail. Back row (left to right): K. N. Sehgal, S. S. Josh, H. L. Hutchinson, Shaukat Usmani, B. F. Bradley, A. Prasad, P. Spratt, G. Adhikari. Middle Row: Radharaman Mitra, Gopen Chakravarti, Kishori Lal Ghosh, L. R. Kadam, D. R. Thengdi, Goura Shanker, S. Bannerjee, K.N. Joglekar, P. C. Joshi, Muzaffar Ahmed. Front Row: M. G. Desai, D. Goswami, R.S. Nimbkar, S.S. Mirajkar, S.A. Dange, S.V. Ghate, Gopal Basak.

On 20 March 1929, arrests against WPP, CPI and other labour leaders were made in several parts of India, in what became known as the Meerut Conspiracy Case. The communist leadership was now put behind bars. The trial proceedings were to last for four years.[15][16]

As of 1934, the main centres of activity of CPI were Bombay, Calcutta and Punjab. The party had also begun extending its activities to Madras. A group of Andhra and Tamil students, amongst them P. Sundarayya, were recruited to the CPI by Amir Hyder Khan.[17]

The party was reorganised in 1933, after the communist leaders from the Meerut trials were released. A central committee of the party was set up. In 1934 the party was accepted as the Indian section of the Communist International.[18]

When Indian left-wing elements formed the Congress Socialist Party in 1934, the CPI branded it as Social Fascist.[12]

The League Against Gandhism, initially known as the Gandhi Boycott Committee, was a political organisation in Calcutta, founded by the underground Communist Party of India and others to launch militant anti-Imperialist activities. The group took the name ‘League Against Gandhism’ in 1934.[19]

In connection with the change of policy of the Comintern toward Popular Front politics, the Indian communists changed their relation to the Indian National Congress. The communists joined the Congress Socialist Party, which worked as the left-wing of Congress. Through joining CSP, the CPI accepted the CSP demand for a Constituent Assembly, which it had denounced two years before. The CPI however analysed that the demand for a Constituent Assembly would not be a substitute for soviets.[20]

In July 1937, clandestine meeting held at Calicut.[21] Five persons were present at the meeting, P. Krishna Pillai E.M.S. Namboodiripad, N.C. Sekhar, K. Damodaran and S.V. Ghate. The first four were members of the CSP in Kerala. The CPI in Kerala was formed in 31 December 1939 with the Pinarayi Conference.[22] The latter, Ghate, was a CPI Central Committee member, who had arrived from Madras.[23] Contacts between the CSP in Kerala and the CPI had begun in 1935, when P. Sundarayya (CC member of CPI, based in Madras at the time) met with EMS and Krishna Pillai. Sundarayya and Ghate visited Kerala at several times and met with the CSP leaders there. The contacts were facilitated through the national meetings of the Congress, CSP and All India Kisan Sabha.[17]

In 1936–1937, the co-operation between socialists and communists reached its peak. At the 2nd congress of the CSP, held in Meerut in January 1936, a thesis was adopted which declared that there was a need to build 'a united Indian Socialist Party based on Marxism-Leninism'.[24] At the 3rd CSP congress, held in Faizpur, several communists were included into the CSP National Executive Committee.[25]

In Kerala communists won control over CSP, and for a brief period controlled Congress there.

Two communists, E.M.S. Namboodiripad and Z.A. Ahmed, became All India joint secretaries of CSP. The CPI also had two other members inside the CSP executive.[20]

On the occasion of the 1940 Ramgarh Congress Conference CPI released a declaration called Proletarian Path, which sought to utilise the weakened state of the British Empire in the time of war and gave a call for general strike, no-tax, no-rent policies and mobilising for an armed revolutionary uprising. The National Executive of the CSP assembled at Ramgarh took a decision that all communists were expelled from CSP.[26]

In July 1942, the CPI was legalised, as a result of Britain and the Soviet Union becoming allies against Nazi Germany.[27] Communists strengthened their control over the All India Trade Union Congress. At the same time, communists were politically cornered for their opposition to the Quit India Movement.

CPI contested the Provincial Legislative Assembly elections of 1946 of its own. It had candidates in 108 out of 1585 seats. It won in eight seats. In total the CPI vote counted 666 723, which should be seen with the backdrop that 86% of the adult population of India lacked voting rights. The party had contested three seats in Bengal, and won all of them. One CPI candidate, Somnath Lahiri, was elected to the Constituent Assembly.[28]

The Communist Party of India opposed the partition of India and did not participate in the Independence Day celebrations of 15 August 1947 in protest of the division of the country.[29]

After independence

During the period around and directly following Independence in 1947, the internal situation in the party was chaotic. The party shifted rapidly between left-wing and right-wing positions. In February 1948, at the 2nd Party Congress in Calcutta, B. T. Ranadive (BTR) was elected General Secretary of the party.[30] The conference adopted the 'Programme of Democratic Revolution'. This programme included the first mention of struggle against caste injustice in a CPI document.[31]

In several areas the party led armed struggles against a series of local monarchs that were reluctant to give up their power. Such insurgencies took place in Tripura, Telangana and Kerala. The most important rebellion took place in Telangana, against the Nizam of Hyderabad. The Communists built up a people's army and militia and controlled an area with a population of three million. The rebellion was brutally crushed and the party abandoned the policy of armed struggle. BTR was deposed and denounced as a 'left adventurist'.

In Manipur, the party became a force to reckon with through the agrarian struggles led by Jananeta Irawat Singh. Singh had joined CPI in 1946.[32] At the 1951 congress of the party, 'People's Democracy' was substituted by 'National Democracy' as the main slogan of the party.[33]

Communist Party was founded in Bihar in 1939. Post independence, communist party achieved success in Bihar (Bihar and Jharkhand). Communist party conducted movements for land reform, trade union movement was at its peak in Bihar in the sixties, seventies and eighties. Achievement of communists in Bihar placed the communist party in the forefront of left movement in India. Bihar produced some of the legendary leaders like Kishan leaders Sahajanand Saraswati and Karyanand Sharma, intellectual giants like Jagannath Sarkar, Yogendra Sharma and Indradeep Sinha, mass leaders like Chandrasekhar Singh and Sunil Mukherjee, Trade Union leaders like Kedar Das and others. It was in Bihar that JP's total revolution was exposed and communist party under the leadership of Jagannath Sarkar fought Total Revolution and exposed its hollowness. "Many Streams" Selected Essays by Jagannath Sarkar and Reminiscing Sketches, Compiled by Gautam Sarkar, Edited by Mitali Sarkar, First Published : May 2010, Navakaranataka Publications Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore . In the Mithila region of Bihar Bhogendra Jha led the fight against the Mahants and Zamindars. He later went on the win Parliamentary elections and was MP for seven terms.

In early 1950s young communist leadership was uniting textile workers, bank employees and unorganised sector workers to ensure mass support in north India. National leaders like S A Dange, Chandra Rajeswara Rao and P K Vasudevan Nair were encouraging them and supporting the idea despite their differences on the execution. Firebrand Communist leaders like Homi F. Daji, Guru Radha Kishan, H L Parwana, Sarjoo Pandey, Darshan Singh Canadian and Avtaar Singh Malhotra were emerging between the masses and the working class in particular. This was the first leadership of communists that was very close to the masses and people consider them champions of the cause of the workers and the poor. In Delhi, May Day (majdoor diwas or mai diwas) was organised at Chandni Chowk Ghantaghar in such a manner that demonstrates the unity between all the factions of working classes and ignite the passion for communist movement in the northern part of India.

In 1952, CPI became the first leading opposition party in the Lok Sabha, while the Indian National Congress was in power.

Communist movement or CPI in particular emerged as a front runner after Guru Radha Kishan undertook a fast unto death for 24 days to promote the cause of textile workers in Delhi. Till than it was a public misconception that communists are revolutionaries with arms in their hands and workers and their families were afraid to get associated with the communists but this act mobilised general public in the favour of communist movement as a whole. During this period people with their families used to visit 'dharna sthal' to encourage CPI cadre.

This model of selflessness for the society worked for the CPI far more than what was expected. This trend was followed by almost all other state units of the party in the Hindi heartland. Communist Party related trade union AITUC became a prominent force to unite the workers in textile, municipal and unorganised sectors, the first labour union in unorganised sector was also emerged in the leadership of Comrade Guru Radha Kishan during this period in Delhi's Sadar Bazaar area. This movement of mass polarisation of workers in the favour of CPI worked effectively in Delhi and paved the way for great success of CPI in the elections in working class dominated areas in Delhi. Comrade Gangadhar Adhikari and E.M.S. Namboodiripad applauded this brigade of dynamic comrades for their selfless approach and organisational capabilities. This brigade of firebrand communists gained more prominence when Telangana hero Chandra Rajeswara Rao to be General Secretary of the Communist Party of India.

In the 1952 Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly election, Communist Party was banned, so it couldn't take part in the election process.[34] In the general elections in 1957, the CPI emerged as the largest opposition party. In 1957, the CPI won the state elections in Kerala. This was the first time that an opposition party won control over an Indian state. E. M. S. Namboodiripad became Chief Minister. At the 1957 international meeting of Communist parties in Moscow, the Communist Party of China directed criticism at the CPI for having formed a ministry in Kerala.[35]

Ideological differences led to the split in the party in 1964 when two different party conferences were held, one of CPI and one of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

During the period 1970–77, CPI was allied with the Congress party. In Kerala, they formed a government together with Congress, with the CPI-leader C. Achutha Menon as Chief Minister. After the fall of the regime of Indira Gandhi, CPI reoriented itself towards co-operation with CPI(M).

In the 1980s, CPI opposed the Khalistan movement at Punjab. In 1986, CPI's leader in Punjab and MLA in the Punjabi legislature Darshan Singh Canadian was assassinated by Sikh extremists. Altogether about 200 communist leaders out of which most were Sikhs were killed by Sikh extremists in Punjab.

Present situation

Communist Party of India (CPI) and CPI-M regional control.
  State/s which had a chief minister from the CPI.
  State/s which had a chief minister from the CPI-M.
  State/s which had chief ministers from both the CPI-M and the CPI.
  States which did not have/had a chief minister from the CPI-M or the CPI.
  Union territories without a state government.

CPI was recognised by the Election Commission of India as a 'National Party'. To date, CPI happens to be the only national political party from India to have contested all the general elections using the same electoral symbol. Owing to a massive defeat in 2019 Indian general election where the party saw its tally reduce to 2 MP, the Election Commission of India has sent a letter to CPI asking for reasons why its national party status should not be revoked.[36][37][38][39][40] If similar performance is repeated in the next election, the CPI will no longer be a national party.

On the national level they supported the Indian National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government along with other parliamentary Left parties, but without taking part in it. Upon attaining power in May 2004, the United Progressive Alliance formulated a programme of action known as the Common Minimum Programme. The Left bases its support to the UPA on strict adherence to it. Provisions of the CMP mentioned to discontinue disinvestment, massive social sector outlays and an independent foreign policy.

On 8 July 2008, the General Secretary of CPI(M), Prakash Karat, announced that the Left was withdrawing its support over the decision by the government to go ahead with the United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act. The Left parties combination had been a staunch advocate of not proceeding with this deal citing national interests.[41]

In West Bengal it participates in the Left Front. It also participated in the state government in Manipur. In Kerala the party is part of Left Democratic Front. In Tripura the party is a partner of the Left Front, which governed the state till 2018. In Tamil Nadu it is part of the Democratic Progressive Alliance. It is involved in the Left Democratic Front in Maharashtra. The current general secretary of CPI is D. Raja.

Presence in states

As of 2020, the CPI part of the state government in Kerala. Pinarayi Vijayan is Chief Minister of Kerala. CPI have 4 Cabinet Ministers in Kerala. In Tamil Nadu it is in power with SPA coalition led by M. K. Stalin. The Left Front governed West Bengal for 34 years (1977–2011) and Tripura for 25 years (1993–2018)

State Governments

S.No State/ Govt Since Chief Minister Alliance Coalition Seats in Assembly Last election
Portrait Name Party Seats Since
1 Kerala 26 May 2016 Pinarayi Vijayan CPI(M) 62 26 May 2016 Left Democratic Front (Kerala)
99 / 140
6 April 2021
2 Tamil Nadu 7 May 2021 M. K. Stalin DMK 133 7 May 2021 Secular Progressive Alliance
159 / 234
6 April 2021
Seats in State Legislative Assemblies
17 / 140
(Kerala Legislative Assembly)
2 / 243
(Bihar Legislative Assembly)
2 / 234

(Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly)

Seats in State Legislative Councils
2 / 75
(Bihar Legislative Council)

List of Member of Parliament

List of Rajya Sabha (Upper House) members

List of Rajya sabha members from Communist Party of India
No Name State Date of Appointment Date of Retirement
1 Binoy Viswam Kerala 02-Jul-2018 01-Jul-2024

List of Lok Sabha (Lower House) members

List of Lok sabha members from Communist Party of India
No Name Constituency State
1 K. Subbarayan Tiruppur Tamil Nadu
2 M. Selvarasu Nagapattinam Tamil Nadu

Leadership

The following are the members of the Central Control Commission, National Council and Candidate Members to National Council, National Executive, National Secretariat and Party Programme Commission were elected at the 23rd Party Congress of Communist Party of India held from 25 to 29 April 2018 in Kollam, Kerala.[42]

General Secretary

  • D. Raja

Central Control Commission

  1. Pannian Ravindran (Chairman)
  2. C. A. Kurian
  3. Dr Joginder Dayal (Punjab)
  4. C.R. Bakshi (Chhattisgarh)
  5. P.J.C. Rao (Andhra Pradesh)
  6. Bijoy Narayan Mishra (Bihar)
  7. Moti Lal (Uttar Pradesh)
  8. M. Sakhi Devi (Tripura)
  9. T. Narsimhan (Telangana)
  10. M. Arumugham (Tamil Nadu)
  11. Apurba Mandal (West Bengal)

National Secretariat

  1. S. Sudhakar Reddy
  2. D. Raja
  3. Atul Kumar Anjaan
  4. Amarjeet Kaur
  5. Ramendra Kumar
  6. K. Narayana
  7. Kanam Rajendran
  8. Binoy Viswam
  9. Bhalchandra Kango
  10. Pallab Sen Gupta

National Executive

  1. S. Sudhakar Reddy
  2. D. Raja
  3. Atul Kumar Anjaan
  4. Amarjeet Kaur
  5. Ramendra Kumar
  6. K. Narayana
  7. Kanam Rajendran
  8. Binoy Viswam
  9. Bhalchandra Kango
  10. Pallab Sengupta
  11. Nagendra Nath Ojha
  12. Girish Sharma
  13. Annie Raja
  14. Azeez Pasha
  15. K. Ramakrishna
  16. Satya Narayan Singh
  17. Janaki Paswan
  18. Ram Naresh Pandey
  19. Bhubneshwar Prasad Mehta
  20. K.E. Ismail
  21. Moirangthem Nara
  22. Dibakar Naik
  23. R. Mutharasan
  24. C. Mahendran
  25. Chada Venkata Reddy
  26. K. Subbarayan
  27. Swapan Banerjee
  28. Bant Singh Brar
  29. Munin Mahanta
  30. C.H. Venkatachalam
  31. Kanhaiya Kumar

Ex-Officio Members

  1. Pannian Ravindran (Chairperson, Central Control Commission)

Invitees

  1. Rama Krushna Panda
  2. Manish Kunjam

National Council Members

Members from Centre:

  • S. Sudhakar Reddy
  • D. Raja
  • Atul Kumar Anjaan
  • Ramendra Kumar
  • Amarjeet Kaur
  • K. Narayana
  • Nagendra Nath Ojha
  • Bhalchandra Kango
  • Binoy Viswam
  • Pallab Sengutpa
  • Kanhaiya Kumar
  • Azeez Pasha
  • Annie Raja - Women Front
  • CH Venkatachalam - Bank Front
  • B.V. Vijaylakshmi - TU Front
  • S. V. Damle - TU Front
  • Vidyasagar Giri - TU Front
  • R.S. Yadav - Mukti Sangharsh
  • Manish Kunjam - Tribal Front
  • C. Srikumar - Defence
  • Gargi Chakravarthy - Women Front
  • Anil Rajimwale - Education Department
  • Viswajeet Kumar - Student Front
  • R. Thirumalai - Youth Front
  • A.A. Khan - Minority Front

Andhra Pradesh

  • K. Ramakrishna
  • M.N. Rao
  • J.V.S.N. Murthy
  • Jalli Wilson
  • Akkineni Vanaja

Assam

  • Munin Mahanta
  • Kanak Gogoi

Bihar

  • Ram Naresh Pandey
  • Janki Paswan
  • Jabbar Alam
  • Rajendra Prasad Singh
  • Rageshri Kiran
  • Om Prakash Narayan
  • Pramod Prabhakar
  • Ram Chandra Singh
  • Nivedita

Chhattisgarh

  • R.D.C.P. Rao
  • Rama Sori

Delhi

  • Dhirendra K. Sharma
  • Prof. Dinesh Varshney

Goa

  • Chirstopher Fonseca

Gujarat

  • Raj Kumar Singh
  • Vijay Shenmare

Haryana

  • Dariyao Singh Kashyap

Himachal Pradesh

  • Shayam Singh Chauhan

Jharkhand

  • Bhubaneshwar Prasad Mehta
  • K.D. Singh
  • Rajendra Prasad Yadav
  • Mahendra Pathak

Jammu and Kashmir

Vacant

Karnataka

  • P.V. Lokesh
  • Saathi Sundaresh

Kerala

  • Kanam Rajendran
  • K.E. Ismail
  • K. Prekash Babu
  • E. Chandrasekharan
  • Adv. P. Vasantham
  • T.V. Balan
  • C.N. Jayadevan
  • K.P. Rajendran
  • J. Chinju Rani
  • Adv. N. Anirudhan
  • Adv. N. Rajan

Manipur

  • Moirangthem Nara
  • L. Sotin Kumar

Meghalaya

  • Samudra Gupta

Maharashtra

  • Tukaram Bhasme
  • Namdev Gavade
  • Ram Baheti
  • Prakash Reddy

Madhya Pradesh

  • Arvind Shrivastava
  • Haridwar Singh

Odisha

  • Dibakar Nayak
  • Ashish Kanungo
  • Abhaya Sahoo
  • Ramakrushna Panda
  • Souribandhu Kar

Puducherry

  • A. M. Saleem
  • A. Ramamoorthy

Punjab

  • Bant Singh Brar
  • Jagrup Singh
  • Hardev Singh Arshi
  • Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal
  • Jagjit Singh Joga

Rajasthan

  • Narendra Acharya
  • Tara Singh Sidhu

Tripura

  • Ranjit Majumdar

Tamil Nadu

  • R. Nallakkannu
  • D. Pandian
  • R. Mutharasan
  • C. Mahendran
  • K. Subbarayan
  • M. Veerapandian
  • T.M. Murthi
  • G. Palaniswamy
  • P. Padmavathi
  • P. Sethuraman

Telangana

  • Chada Venkat Reddy
  • Palla Venkat Reddy
  • K. Sambasiva Rao
  • Pasya Padma
  • K. Srinivas Reddy
  • K. Shanker
  • T. Srinivas Rao

Uttar Pradesh

  • Girish Sharma
  • Arvind Raj Swarup
  • Imtiyaz Ahmed
  • Prof. Nisha Rathor
  • Ram Chand Saras

Uttarakhand

  • Samar Bhandari

West Bengal

  • Swapan Banerjee
  • Manju Kumar Mazumdar
  • Santosh Rana
  • Shyama Sree Das
  • Ujjawal Chaudhury
  • Chittaranjan Das Thakur
  • Prabir Deb
  • Tarun Das

Candidate Members

  • Prof. Arun Kumar
  • N. Chidambaram
  • Arun Mitra
  • M. Bal Narsima
  • Mithlesh Jha
  • Suhaas Naik
  • Mahesh Kakkath
  • Kh. Surchand Singh
  • Richard B. Thabah
  • G. Obulesu
  • Vicky Mahesari
  • Shuvam Banerjee

Invitee Members

  • Bhupender Sambar
  • Periyaswamy
  • Gulzar Singh Goria
  • Aruna Sinha
  • Asomi Gogoi
  • Kannagi
  • Usha Sahani
  • Indra Mani Devi
  • Durga Bhavani
  • R. C. Singh
  • Amiya Kumar Mohanty

Party Programme Commission

  1. Pallab Sen Gupta
  2. Prekash Babu
  3. C.R. Bakshi
  4. Moirangthem Nara
  5. Anil Rajimwale

State Committee secretaries

Sources[42]

  • Andhra Pradesh : K.Ramakrishna
  • Assam : Munin Mahanta
  • Bihar : Ram Naresh Pandey[43]
  • Chhattisgarh : RDCP Rao
  • Delhi :Prof.Dinesh Varshney
  • Goa : RD Mangueshkar
  • Gujarat : Rajkumar Singh
  • Haryana : Dariyao Singh Kashyap
  • Himachal Pradesh : Shayam Singh Chauhan
  • Jharkhand : Bhubneshwar Prasad Mehta
  • Kerala : Kanam Rajendran
  • Karnataka : Saathi Sundaresh
  • Maharashtra : Prakash Reddy
  • Madhya Pradesh : Arvind Shrivastava
  • Manipur : L. Sotin Kumar
  • Meghalaya : Samudra Gupta
  • Odisha : Ashish Kanungo
  • Puducherry : A. M. Saleem
  • Punjab : Bant Singh Brar
  • Rajasthan : Narendra Acharya
  • Tamil Nadu : R. Mutharasan [44][45]
  • Telangana : Chada Venkat Reddy
  • Uttar Pradesh : Girish Sharma
  • Uttarakhand : Samar Bhandari
  • West Bengal : Swapan Banerjee

List of General secretaries and Chairmen of CPI

Article XXXII of the party constitution says:

"The tenure of the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary, if any, and State Secretaries is limited to two consecutive terms—a term being of not less than two years. In exceptional cases, the unit concerned may decide by three-fourth majority through secret ballot to allow two more terms. In case such a motion is adopted that comrade also can contest in the election along with other candidates. As regards the tenure of the office-bearers at district and lower levels, the state councils will frame rules where necessary."[46]

General secretaries and Chairmen[47] [48][49][50][51]
NoPhotoNameTenure
1stSachchidanand Vishnu Ghate1925-1933
2ndGangadhar Adhikari1933-1935
3rdPuran Chand Joshi1935-1948
4thB. T. Ranadive1948-1950
5thChandra Rajeswara Rao1950-1951, 1964-1990
6thAjoy Ghosh1951-1962
ChairmanShripad Amrit Dange1962-1981
7thE. M. S. Namboodiripad1962-1964
8thIndrajit Gupta1990-1996
9thArdhendu Bhushan Bardhan1996-2012
10thSuravaram Sudhakar Reddy2012-2019
11thD. Raja2019–Present

Party Congress

Party Congress [52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59] [60][61][62][63][64][65]
Party CongressYearPlace
Founding Conference1925 December 25 – 28Kanpur
1st1943 May 23–1 JuneBombay
2nd1948 February 28–27 MarchCalcutta
3rd1953 December 27 – 1, 954 January 4Madurai
4th1956 April 19 – 29Palghat
5th1958 April 6 – 13Amritsar
6th1961 April 7 – 16Vijayawada
7th1964 December 13 – 23Bombay
8th1968 February 7 – 15Patna
9th1971 October 3 – 10Cochin
10th1975 January 27–2 FebruaryVijayawada
11th1978 March 31–7 AprilBathinda
12th1982 March 22 – 28Varanasi
13th1986 March 2 – 17Patna
14th1989 March 6 – 12Calcutta
15th1992 April 10 – 16Hyderabad
16th1995 October 7 – 11Delhi
17th1998 September 14 – 19Chennai
18th2002 March 26 – 31Thiruvananthapuram
19th2005 March 29–3 AprilChandigarh
20th2008 March 23 – 27Hyderabad
21st2012 March 27 – 31Patna
22nd2015 March 25 – 29Puducherry
23rd2018 April 25 – 29Kollam

Principal mass organisations

  • All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)
  • All India Youth Federation (AIYF)
  • All India Students Federation (AISF)
  • National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW)
  • All India Kisan Sabha - AIKS (peasants organisation)
  • Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union - BKMU (agricultural workers)
  • Indian People's Theatre Association - IPTA (cultural wing)
  • All India State Government Employees Federation (State government employees)
  • Indian Society for Cultural Co-operation and Friendship (ISCUF)
  • All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO)
  • Progressive Writers' Association (PWA)

Former chief ministers

Former chief ministers [66][67][68]
PhotoNameTenureState
E. M. S. Namboodiripad(1957 1959) Kerala
C. Achutha Menon(1969 1970; 1970 1977)
P. K. Vasudevan Nair(1978 1979)

Notable leaders

  • Sachchidanand Vishnu Ghate - First general secretary of CPI, freedom fighter
  • P. Krishna Pillai - Founder and First secretary of CPI in Kerala
  • N.E. Balaram - Founding leader of the communist movement in Kerala, India
  • Mohit Banerji (Mohit Bandopadhay) (1912–1961)
  • M. N. Govindan Nair – Kerala state secretary during the first communist ministry and a freedom fighter
  • C. Achutha Menon – Finance minister in first Kerala ministry Former chief minister of Kerala
  • Hasrat Mohani – founding member
  • T. V. Thomas – Minister in first Kerala ministry
  • M. Kalyanasundaram – Parliamentarian
  • P. K. Vasudevan Nair – Former Chief minister of Kerala, Former AISF general secretary, Former AIYF general secretary
  • Puran Chand Joshi – first general secretary of the Communist Party of India
  • Indrajit Gupta – Parliamentarian, former general secretary and a former central minister
  • Bhupesh Gupta – Parliamentarian
  • S.S. Mirajkar – Trade Unionist, Freedom fighter
  • Ajoy Ghosh – Former general secretary of CPI, freedom fighter
  • Chandra Rajeswara Rao – former general secretary, Telangana freedom fighter
  • Jagannath Sarkar – former National Secretary, freedom fighter, builder of communist movement in Bihar and Jharkhand
  • Hirendranath Mukherjee-Parliamentarian & He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1990 and Padma Vibhushan in 1991 by the President of India for his lifelong services.
  • Geeta Mukherjee - Parliamentarian & Former President of National Federation of Indian Women
  • Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan – Former general secretary
  • Darshan Singh Canadian - Trade Unionist, fight against Khalistan movement
  • Chaturanan Mishra parliamentarian & former Central Minister of India
  • Gurudas Dasgupta - Parliamentarian & Former General Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) .
  • Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy – former general secretary of the party & parliamentarian
  • D. Raja – parliamentarian & General secretary of the party
  • Shripad Amrit Dange – Freedom fighter & former chairman of the party
  • Hijam Irabot – Founder leader of CPI in Manipur
  • P. S. Sreenivasan – Former Minister of Kerala
  • C. K. Chandrappan – Parliamentarian & former Kerala state secretary of the party
  • Annabhau Sathe - Samyukta Maharashtra movement leader
  • Pannyan Raveendran – Former Kerala state secretary of the party
  • Kanam Rajendran – Current Kerala state secretary of the party
  • Nallakannu – former Tamil Nadu state secretary of the party
  • D. Pandian - Parliamentarian & former Tamil Nadu state secretary
  • Binoy Viswam – Member of Rajya Sabha, Former minister in the Government of Kerala
  • Thoppil Bhasi – Writer, film director & parliamentarian
  • Veliyam Bharghavan – Parliamentarian & Former Kerala state secretary of the party
  • E. Chandrasekharan Nair – Senior leader and former Minister in the Government of Kerala
  • Ramendra Kumar – Former Parliamentarian, national executive member, national president AITUC
  • Meghraj Tawar – Udaipur district secretary
  • Govind Pansare – Prominent activist and lawyer
  • R.Sugathan - Prominent trade unionist, mass leader and member of Kerala Legislative assembly
  • Kanhaiya Kumar - CPI National Executive Member, Ex JNUSU President, Leader of AISF National Council
  • C. Divakaran - Senior leader, former minister and National Council Member from Kerala
  • C. N. Jayadevan - Senior leader, parliamentarian
  • Rajaji Mathew Thomas - Journalist, former MLA and CPI National council Member, from Kerala
  • Chittayam Gopakumar - Deputy Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly and State council member.[69]

General election results

Performance of Communist Party of India in Lok Sabha elections
Lok Sabha Year Lok Sabha
constituencies
Seats
Contested
Won Net Change
in seats
Votes Votes % Change in
vote %
Reference
First 19524894916-3,487,4013.29%- [70]
Second 195749410927 1110,754,0758.92% 5.63% [71]
Third 196249413729 0211,450,0379.94% 1.02% [72]
Fourth 196752010923 067,458,3965.11% 4.83% [73]
Fifth 19715188723 006,933,6274.73% 0.38% [74]
Sixth 1977542917 165,322,0882.82% 1.91% [75]
Seventh 1980529 ( 542* )4710 034,927,3422.49% 0.33% [76]
Eighth 1984541666 046,733,1172.70% 0.21% [77][78]
Ninth 19895295012 067,734,6972.57% 0.13% [79]
Tenth 19915344314 026,898,3402.48% 0.09% [80][81]
Eleventh 19965434312 026,582,2631.97% 0.51% [82]
Twelfth 19985435809 036,429,5691.75% 0.22% [83]
Thirteenth 19995435404 055,395,1191.48% 0.27% [84]
Fourteenth 20045433410 065,484,1111.41% 0.07% [85]
Fifteenth 20095435604 065,951,8881.43% 0.02% [86]
Sixteenth 20145436701 034,327,2980.78% 0.65% [87]
Seventeenth 2019 543 49 02 01 3,576,184 0.58%
0.2%
[88][89]

* : 12 seats in Assam and 1 in Meghalaya did not vote.

StateNo. of candidates 2019No. of elected 2019No. of candidates 2014No. of elected 2014No. of candidates 2009No. of elected 2009Total no. of seats in the state
Andhra Pradesh201020(25)(2014)/42(2009)
Arunachal Pradesh0000002
Assam20103014
Bihar20207040
Chhattisgarh10201011
Goa0020202
Gujarat10101026
Haryana10201010
Himachal Pradesh0000004
Jammu and Kashmir0000106
Jharkhand30303014
Karnataka10301028
Kerala40414020
Madhya Pradesh40503029
Maharashtra20403048
Manipur1010102
Meghalaya0010102
Mizoram0000001
Nagaland0000001
Odisha10401121
Punjab20502013
Rajasthan30302025
Sikkim0000001
Tamil Nadu22803139
Tripura0000002
Telangana2017
Uttar Pradesh120809080
Uttarakhand0010105
West Bengal30303242
Union Territories:
Andaman and Nicobar Islands0000001
Chandigarh0000001
Dadra and Nagar Haveli0000001
Daman and Diu0000001
Delhi0010107
Lakshadweep1[90]010001
Puducherry0010001
Total:502671564543

[88][89] [91] [92]

State election results

StateNo. of candidatesNo. electedTotal no. of seats in AssemblyYear of Election
Andhra Pradesh701752019
Assam101262021
Bihar622432020
Chhattisgarh20902018
Delhi30702020
Goa20402017
Gujarat201822017
Haryana40902019
Himachal Pradesh30682017[93]
Jammu and Kashmir30872014
Jharkhand160812019
Karnataka402242018
Kerala23171402021
Madhya Pradesh1802302018
Maharashtra1602882019
Manipur60602017
Meghalaya10602013
Mizoram00402013
Odisha1201472019
Puducherry10302021
Punjab2301172017
Rajasthan4202002018
Telangana301192018
Tamil Nadu622342021
Tripura10602018
Uttar Pradesh6804032017
Uttarakhand40702017
West Bengal1002942021

Results from the Election Commission of India website. Results do not deal with partitions of states (Bihar was bifurcated after the 2000 election, creating Jharkhand), defections and by-elections during the mandate period.

See also

Footnotes

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Further reading

  • Chakrabarty, Bidyut. Communism in India: Events, Processes and Ideologies (Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Devika, J. "Egalitarian developmentalism, communist mobilization, and the question of caste in Kerala State, India." Journal of Asian Studies (2010): 799-820. online
  • D'mello, Vineet Kaitan. "The United Socialist Front: The Congress Socialist Party and the Communist Party of India." Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. Vol. 73. (2012) online.
  • Haithcox, John Patrick. Communism and Nationalism in India (Princeton UP, 2015).
  • Kautsky, John H. Moscow and the Communist Party of India: A Study in the Postwar Evolution of International Communist Strategy. (MIT Press, 1956).
  • Kohli, Atul. "Communist Reformers in West Bengal: Origins, Features, and Relations with New Delhi." in State Politics in Contemporary India (Routledge, 2019) pp. 81-102.
  • Lockwood, David. The communist party of India and the Indian emergency (SAGE Publications India, 2016).
  • Lovell, Julia. Maoism: A Global History (2019)
  • Masani, M.R. The Communist Party of India: A Short History. (Macmillan, 1954). online
  • Overstreet, Gene D., and Marshall Windmiller. Communism in India (U of California Press, 2020)
  • Paul, Santosh, ed. The Maoist Movement in India: perspectives and counterperspectives (Taylor & Francis, 2020).
  • Pons, Silvio and Robert Service, eds. A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism (Princeton UP, 2010) pp 180–182.
  • Singer, Wendy. "Peasants and the Peoples of the East: Indians and the Rhetoric of the Comintern," in Tim Rees and Andrew Thorpe, International Communism and the Communist International, 1919-43. (Manchester University Press, 1998).
  • Steur, Luisa. "Adivasis, Communists, and the rise of indigenism in Kerala." Dialectical Anthropology 35.1 (2011): 59-76. online
  • N.E. Balaram, A Short History of the Communist Party of India. Kozikkode, Cannanore, India: Prabhath Book House, 1967.
  • Samaren Roy, The Twice-Born Heretic: M.N. Roy and the Comintern. Calcutta: Firma KLM Private, 1986.

Primary sources

  • G. Adhikari (ed.), Documents of the History of the Communist Party of India: Volume One, 1917-1922. New Delhi: People's Publishing House, 1971.
  • G. Adhikari (ed.), Documents of the History of the Communist Party of India: Volume Two, 1923-1925. New Delhi: People's Publishing House, 1974.
  • V.B. Karnick (ed.), Indian Communist Party Documents, 1930-1956. Bombay: Democratic Research Service/Institute of Public Relations, 1957.
  • Rao, M. B., Ed. Documents Of The History Of The Communist Party Of India(1948-1950), Vol. 7 (1960) online


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