CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA
(As amended by the 21st Party Congress held at Patna in March 2012)
The Communist Party of India is the political party of the Indian working class. It is a voluntary organisation of workers, peasants, toiling people in general, intelligentsia and others devoted to the cause of socialism and communism.
The Communist Party of India remains firmly wedded to the goal of a just socialist society in which equal opportunities for all and guarantee of democratic rights will clear the way for ending all forms of exploitation, including caste, class and gender, and exploitation of man by man, a society in which the wealth produced by the toiling millions will not be appropriated by a few. The science of Marxism-Leninism is indispensable for charting the path to such a new socialist system. Of course, this path will be determined by the specific historical conditions obtaining, as well as the particular characteristics and features of our own country, its history, tradition, culture, social composition and level of development. This goal cannot be achieved without hard struggle and a firm commitment to democratic norms and values.
For building of socialism, the achievement of power by the working people, based on socialist democracy, is essential. With unflinching loyalty to the working people and their historic mission, the Communist Party of India will work for the realisation of this mission and go forward to its ultimate goal of establishing a communist society in India.
The socialist society and socialist state of India shall fully safeguard the right of individual liberty, freedom of speech, press, association, conscience and religious belief. It shall also guarantee the right to form opposition parties provided they are committed to abide by the Constitution. The socialist constitution shall always keep vigil and prevent the destruction of democracy and violation of people’s basic rights. The perspective and political policies of the party will be decided on the basis of objective reality. The accumulated experience of our party and the world revolutionary movements shall assist the party in the process. Life has shown that this task cannot be fulfilled by pursuing the capitalist path and as long as the bourgeois class is in control of state power.
The Communist Party of India organises itself and its work on the basis of democratic centralism and on full inner party democracy. The party also firmly believes that unity in action is indispensable. The decisions of the Party Congress and the National Council shall be binding on all party units and party members. Minority opinions on substantial political issues shall be made known to all party units and party members. Formation of factions and groups on the basis of political, organisational or opportunist reasons shall not be permissible. The party believes in free and frank debates. The party shall respect dissenting opinions.
Imbued with lofty ideas of patriotism, the Communist Party of India upholds the independence and sovereignty of India, fights for national unity and national integration, firmly opposes all disruptionist and obscurantist conceptions, communalism, revivalism, untouchability, casteism, religious intolerance and discrimination against and denial of equal rights to women and fights against chauvinism and bourgeois nationalism. The Communist Party of India also firmly upholds the right of all sections of our society to profess the faith of their choice and practice, but it shall not permit preaching of hatred against any religion.
The Communist Party of India shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy, and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
The Communist Party of India shall strongly fight for the cause of social justice. The age-old outlook and practices of social inequality are very strong in our society. Social and economic inequality has become a most formidable block to the advance of our society. The fight against caste thinking and caste practices is essential for the unity of our people. Noble traditions, historical experience, rich cultural heritage and valuable teachings of great social reformers and thinkers of our country will help the party to cultivate scientific temper and socialist ideals.
Fight for peace and against neo-colonialism along with fight for a just society is common ground for all progressive forces of the world. Adhering to the principle of independence, equality and non-interference, the Communist Party of India shall make every effort to build friendship with other parties of the working people and the forces fighting against imperialism and for social progress. The Communist Party of India firmly believes that real and basic interests of the people of the world are the same and hence we stand for proletarian internationalism. Solidarity with just and progressive causes in other parts of the world will help our own struggle.
The name of the party shall be the Communist Party of India.
The emblem of the party shall be a crossed Hammer and Sickle in white against a red background with a circular inscription in white: Communist Party of India
The flag of the party shall be a Red Flag of which the length shall be one-and-a-half times its width. At the centre of the flag there shall be a crossed hammer and sickle in white.
- Any Indian citizen, eighteen years of age or above, who accepts the programme and constitution of the party, agrees to work in one of the party organisations, to pay regularly the party membership fee and levy and to carry out decisions of the party shall be eligible for membership.
- New members are admitted to the party on individual application and through a party branch on the recommendation of two members. Party councils at all levels also have the power to admit new members to the party. Party members who recommend an applicant must furnish the party branch or council concerned truthful information about the applicant from personal knowledge and with due sense of responsibility. All applications for membership must be placed before the appropriate council within a month of their presentation and recommendation.
- The general body meeting of the party branch shall decide on the question of admission and, if the applicant is admitted to the party, he or she shall be regarded as candidate member for a period of six months commencing from the date of such admission.
- If a leading member from another political party — local, district or state level — comes over to the party, in addition to the sanction of the local party unit of district or state council, it is necessary to have the sanction of the next higher unit of the party before he or she is admitted to membership of the party.
- Members once expelled from the party can be readmitted only by the decision of the unit which confirmed their expulsion or by a higher unit, after considering the views of the unit from which he or she was expelled.
- Candidate members have the same duties and rights as full members except that they have the right to elect or be elected or to vote on any motion.
- The party branch or unit admitting candidate members shall arrange for their elementary education on the programme, constitution and the current policies of the party and observe their development through providing their functioning as members of a branch or unit.
- By the end of the period of candidature, the party branch or unit concerned shall discuss whether the candidate member is qualified to be admitted to full membership. The branch or the unit concerned may admit candidates to full membership or prolong the period of candidature for another term not exceeding six months. If a candidate member is found unfit, the branch or unit may cancel his or her candidate membership. A report of recruitment of candidates and of recommendations for admission to full membership shall be regularly forwarded by the branch or unit concerned to the next higher party unit.
- The higher unit may, on scrutiny of the report, alter or modify any such decision after consultation with the branch or unit which has submitted the report. The district and state councils will exercise supervisory powers over the recruitment of candidates and over admissions to full membership and have the right to modify or reject the decision of the lower units in this respect. Such supervisory powers shall be especially exercised where the membership of a unit is highly disproportionate to the influence of the party and the strength of the mass organisations and movement or where there is sudden and excessive fall or rise in party membership as compared to the previous year.
- If no decision to extend or cancel candidate membership is taken or no report prepared by the concerned branch even after a month following the completion of the period of candidature the candidate member will become a full member.
- A member may transfer his or her membership from one unit to another with the approval of the unit from which transfer is sought and by presenting a letter of introduction from the same to the new unit he or she wishes to join. In case of transfer outside the district or state, approval by the district or the state council concerned shall be necessary.
All candidates as well as full members shall sign the party pledge. This pledge shall be:
“I accept the aims and objectives of the party and agree to abide by its constitution and loyally to carry out decisions of the party.
“I shall strive to live up to the ideals of communism and shall selflessly serve and fight for the working class and the toiling masses and the country, always placing the interests of the party and people above personal interests.”
Party Membership Cards
- On admission to membership, every party member shall be issued a membership card.
- Party cards shall be uniform throughout the country and shall be issued by the state councils. Their form and contents shall be decided upon by the National Executive.
Renewal of Membership
- There shall be an annual renewal of party membership. Renewal shall be made on the basis of a check up by the party organisation to which the member belongs under the direction and supervision of the state council. Party membership will not be renewed in the case of any member who for a continuous period of more than six months and without proper reason has failed to take part in party life and activity or to pay membership fee and levy.
- Renewal of party membership shall be on the basis of a checkup at a meeting of party members of a branch or unit and in the case of refusal of renewal the reason thereof shall be communicated to the member concerned who shall have the right of appeal to the next higher unit.
- A report on such renewal of party membership or unit concerned shall be sent to the next higher unit for confirmation and registration.
- The state council and the district council shall have the right to scrutinise the list of party members.
Resignation from Party Membership
- A member wishing to resign from the party shall submit his or her resignation to the party branch concerned, which by a decision of its general body meeting may accept the same and decide to strike off his or her name from the rolls and report the matter to the next higher unit.
- The party branch or unit concerned may, if it thinks necessary, try to persuade such a member to revoke his or her wish to resign.
- In the case where a member wishing to resign from the party is liable to be charged with serious violation of discipline which may warrant his or her suspension or expulsion and where such a charge is substantial, the resignation may be given effect to as expulsion from the party.
- All such cases of resignations given effect to as expulsions shall be immediately reported to the next higher party unit and be subject to the latter’s confirmation.
All members, full as well as candidate, shall pay a party membership fee of Rs 5 (five rupees) per year. This annual party fee shall be paid at the time of admission into the party or at the time of the renewal of the party membership.
Distribution of Party Fee
Party fee collected from members by branches or units shall be distributed as follows:
20 per cent for the national council;
40 per cent for the state council; and
The remaining 40 per cent shall be divided among the district council, the branch and the local unit where it exists, in such proportion as decided by the state executive concerned.
The state executive and the national executive shall fix levies on members in accordance with the guiding rules approved by the national council.
Duties of Party Members
The duties of members are as follows:
(a) To regularly participate in the activity of the party organisation to which they belong, to faithfully carry out the policy, decisions and the directives of the party, and to pay regularly the levy fixed by the party.
(b) To fight for the interests of the working people against all forms of exploitation and oppression of the masses, to devotedly serve the masses and consistently strengthen their bonds with them, to learn from the masses and report their opinions and demands to the party, to work in a mass organisation, unless exempted, under the guidance of the party.
(c) To study the science of Marxism-Leninism and endeavour to raise their level of understanding.
(d) To read, support and popularise party journals and publications.
(e) To observe the party constitution and party discipline and behave in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and in accordance with the noble ideals of communism.
(f) To place the interests of the people and the party above personal interests.
(g) To fight consistently against all oppression or discrimination based on religion, caste or sex and firmly oppose such fissiparous tendencies as communalism and casteism and national and regional chauvinism.
(h) To cultivate comradely relations towards one another and constantly develop a fraternal spirit within the party.
(i) To practise criticism and self-criticism with a view to helping each other and improving individual and collective work.
(j) To be frank, honest and truthful to the party and not to betray the confidence of the party.
(k) To safeguard the unity and solidarity of the party and to be vigilant against the enemies of the party, the working class and the country.
(l) To defend the party and uphold its cause against the onslaught of the enemies of the party, the working class and the country.
(m) To deepen their understanding of the noble traditions, history and cultural heritage of the Indian people.
- Every party organisation, every member and every candidate member shall protect the party against anti-party influences and against factionalism and shall work for the unity and purity of the party on the foundations of Marxism-Leninism. Party members shall have the duty to remain vigilant in order to prevent enemies of the working class from destroying the unity of the party through the formation of splinter groups or other forms of disruptive activity.
- It shall be the task of party organisation to ensure the fulfillment of the above duties by members and help them in every possible way in the discharge of these duties.
Rights of Party Members
- Rights of the party members are as follows:
(a) To elect, party organs and committees and be elected to them.
(b) To participate freely in discussions in order to contribute to the formulation of party policy and decisions of the party.
(c) To make proposals regarding their own work in the party, to get work assigned to themselves in accordance with their ability and situation in life.
(d) To make criticism about party units and functionaries at appropriate party forums. Such criticism shall be sent to the comrade or unit criticised and the reply reported to the unit concerned within a reasonable time.
(e) To demand to be heard in person when any party unit or organisation discusses disciplinary action against any member or evaluates his or her personal behaviour or work in connection with serious mistakes which he or she is alleged to have committed.
(f) When any member disagrees with any decision of a party unit or organisation, he or she has a right to submit his or her opinion to the higher committee, including and up to the national council and the Party Congress. In all such cases the members shall, of course, carry out the party decisions and the differences shall be sought to be resolved through the test of practice and through comradely discussions.
(g) To address any statement, appeal or complaint to any higher party organisation up to and including the national council and the party congress and to receive the answer to the appeal or redressal of one’s complaint within a reasonable time.
- It shall be the duty of party organisations and functionaries to see that these rights are respected.
Principles of Democratic Centralism
1) The Communist Party of India organises itself and its work on the basis of democratic centralism and on full inner-party democracy.
In the sphere of the party structure, the guiding principles of democratic centralism are:
(a) All leading organisations of the party from top to bottom shall be elected by secret ballot, the principle of maintaining continuity as well as ensuring promotion of new cadres into leadership shall be continuously applied throughout the party.
(b) The minority shall carry out the decisions of the majority, the lower organisations shall carry out the decisions and directives of the higher organs or units, the individual shall carry out the will of the collective. All organisations shall carry out the decisions and directives of the Party Congress and of the national council.
(c) All party units shall periodically report on their work to organisations immediately below and all lower units shall likewise report to their immediate higher units.
(d) All party units, particularly the leading units, shall pay constant heed to the opinions and criticisms of the lower organisations and the rank-and-file party members and shall pay due consideration to the issues raised by them and send suitable reply at the earliest.
(e) All party units shall function strictly on the principles of collective decisions and checkup combined with individual responsibility.
(f) All questions of international affairs, questions of all-India character, or questions concerning more than one state or questions requiring uniform decisions for the whole country, shall be decided upon by the all-India party organisation. All questions of a state or district character shall be ordinarily decided upon by the corresponding party organisation. But in no case shall such decisions run counter to the decisions of a higher party organisation. When the central party leadership has to take a decision on any issue of major state importance, it shall do so after consultation, with the state organisation concerned. The state organisation shall do likewise in relation to districts.
(g) On issues which affect the policy of the party on all-India scale, but on which the party’s standpoint is to be expressed for the first time, only the central 1eadership is entitled to make a policy statement. The lower units and individual members can and should send their opinions and suggestions in time for consideration by the central leadership.
- Basing itself upon the experience of the entire membership and of the popular movement, in the sphere of the internal life of the party the following guiding principles of democratic centralism are applied:
(a) Free and frank discussion within the party unit on all questions affecting the party, its policy and work.
(b) Sustained efforts to activise the members in popularising and implementing party policies, to raise their ideological-political level and improve their general education so that they can effectively participate in the life and work of the party.
(c) When serious differences arise in a party unit every effort should be made to arrive at an agreement; failing this, the decision should be taken by a majority vote.
(d) However, if the issue is not of immediate import and action, it is not necessary to close the discussion.
(e) Minority opinions on substantial political issues shall be made known to all party units and party members.
(f) Encouragement of criticism and self-criticism at all levels from top to bottom, especially criticism from below.
(g) Consistent struggle against bureaucratic tendencies at all levels. All members of leading units have a special responsibility for democratic and collective functioning of the units.
(h) Impermissibility of factionalism and factional groupings inside the party in any form.
(i) Strengthening of the party spirit by developing fraternal relations and mutual help, correcting mistakes by treating comrades sympathetically, judging them and their work not on the basis of isolated mistakes or incidents, but by taking into account their whole record of service to the party.
All India Party Congress
- The supreme organ of the party for the whole country shall be the all-India Party Congress.
(a) The regular Party Congress shall be convened by the national council ordinarily every three years. In case of any delay due to any unavoidable reason, the national council shall submit a report to the Congress explaining the same.
(b) An extraordinary Party Congress shall be called by the national council at its own discretion, or when it is demanded by the state party organisations representing not less than one-third of the total membership.
(c) The date and venue of the Party Congress or of the extraordinary Party Congress shall be decided by the national council.
(d) A regular Party Congress shall be composed of delegates elected by the state conferences as well as by conferences of party units directly under the all India party centre.
(e) The basis of representation to a party congress shall be decided by the national council.
(f) The basis of representation and the method of selection of delegates to the extraordinary Party Congress shall be decided by the national council.
(g) The members of the national executive and of the central control commission shall have the right to participate as full delegate in the Party Congress, whether, regular or extraordinary. Other members of the national council shall be entitled to attend the Party Congress as delegates without vote unless elected.
(h) The membership from any state for which the quota of membership fee due to the national council has been fully paid and accepted by the national council shall be taken as the basis for calculating the number of delegates from the state to the Party Congress.
- Functions and powers of the regular Party Congress are as follows:
(a) To discuss and act on the political and organisational reports of the national council.
(b) To revise and change the party programme and the party constitution.
(c) To determine the tactical line and the policy of the party on the current situation.
(d) To elect the central control commission by secret ballot.
(e) To elect the national council by secret ballot.
(f) To hear and decide on the report of the central control commission as well as on appeals.
(g) To hear and decide on the report of the audit commission.
- The Congress shall elect a presidium for the conduct of its business.
- The national council, which shall be elected by the Party Congress, shall consist of not more than 125 members, the exact number being determined by the Party Congress. It will also consist of candidate members, their number not exceeding 10 per cent of the number of full members of the national council. The candidate members have a right to attend the sessions of the national council and participate in the discussions but no right to vote.
(a) The outgoing national council shall propose to the Congress a panel of candidates.
(b) The panel of candidates shall be prepared with a view to create a broad-based, capable leadership, closely linked with the masses, firm in the revolutionary outlook of the working class and educated in Marxism-Leninism. The panel shall bring together the best talent and experience from all states, from mass fronts and other fields of party activity and include at least one representative from every state.
Special attention must be paid to give fully adequate representation on the panel to women and to working class, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backwards.
(c) At least one-fifth of the panel of candidates shall be persons who were not members of the outgoing national council.
(d) Any delegate can raise objection with regard to any name in the panel proposed as well as propose any new name or names.
(e) Anyone whose name has been proposed shall have the right to withdraw.
(f) The panel finally, proposed together with the additional nomination by the delegates, if any, shall be voted upon by secret ballot, and by the method of single distributive vote.
- The national council shall have the power to co-opt members to fill any vacancies subject to the condition that such co-option does not exceed more than 10 per cent of the membership of the council and shall be valid only if two-thirds of the members of the council attending its meeting vote for the proposal.
Vacancies in the national council shall ordinarily be filled from among candidate members.
The national council shall also have the power to co-opt candidate members to fill any vacancies that may occur among the candidate members subject to the condition that such cooption shall be valid only if two-thirds of the members of the national council attending its meeting vote for the proposal.
Functions of National Council
- The national council shall be the highest authority of the party between two all-India Party Congresses.
- It is responsible for enforcing the party constitution and for carrying out the political line and decisions adopted by the Party Congress.
- The national council shall represent the party as a whole and be responsible for directing the entire work of the party. The national council shall have the right to take decisions with full authority on any question facing the party.
- The national council shall elect from among its members a national executive of not more than 31 members to carry on the work of the national council between its two sessions. It shall also elect from among the members of the national executive the general secretary and secretaries and if deemed necessary one of the secretaries as deputy general secretary. These together shall constitute a national secretariat of not more than nine members. The panel for the national executive shall be proposed by the outgoing national executive. The panel for the national secretariat including the general secretary and deputy general secretary, if any shall be proposed by the new national executive.
- The panel may be the exact number to be elected or more as it thinks fit. With more names added from the floor, if any, the list will be voted upon. In such cases the names finally proposed will be in the alphabetical order. This applies to lower levels also.
- The national council shall elect a treasurer. It may also elect an assistant treasurer. It shall also elect an audit commission to audit the accounts and report on the same to the national council annually.
- The national council shall have the right to fill up vacancies in and remove any member from the national executive and reconstitute the same.
- The national council shall fill up any vacancy that may occur in the central control commission.
- The national council shall meet at least once in every six months or whenever one-third of its total members make a requisition.
- The national council shall discuss and decide on the political and organisational reports and other matters placed before it by the national executive. The national council may decide to take up any other proposal or question.
- The national council shall submit its political and organisational report and the report of the audit commission before the Party Congress, whenever it is convened.
- The national executive shall direct the work of the party during the period between two sessions of the national council. It shall be responsible for the implementation of the decisions and directives of the national council. It shall decide on any political or organisational question as well as on the problems of mass movement and shall guide the state councils. It shall submit a report on its work and discussions to the next meeting of the national council.
- Carrying out its responsibilities on behalf of the national council, the national executive shall perform the following tasks:
(a) Convene regular sessions of the national council and prepare reports and resolutions for the same and circulate them to its members at least one week before the date of the national council meeting.
(b) Guide and assist state councils.
(c) Guide the party press and publications.
(d) Direct the work of the CPI group in Parliament.
(e) Direct the party’s work in all mass fronts.
(f) Organise party education.
(h) Maintain relations with fraternal parties.
- The function of the general secretary, deputy general secretary, if any, and the national secretariat is to direct and carry out the current work on behalf of the national executive.
The national executive will meet at least once in every two months.
The national executive shall set up departments and committees for discharging specific tasks on its behalf. The departments shall work according to the guidelines laid down by the national executive.
State Party Organs
- The highest organ in the state shall be the state conference.
- The regular state conference shall be convened by the state council once in every three years.
- An extraordinary state conference shall be called by the state council at its own discretion, or when this is demanded by party units which represent not less than one third of the membership. Such an extraordinary state conference, called on demand of one-third of the membership, may be convened after consulting the national executive.
- A regular state conference shall be composed of delegates elected by district conferences and by the conferences of party units, if any, directly under the state executive.
- The basis of representation at state conference shall be determined by the state council.
- The basis of representation and the method of election of delegates to the extraordinary state conference shall be decided by the state council.
- Members of the state executive and of the state control commission shall have the right to participate as full delegates in the state conference, whether regular or extraordinary. Members of the state council shall attend the state conference as delegates without vote unless elected.
- The membership from any district for which the quota of party membership fee due to the state council has been fully paid and accepted by the state council shall be taken as the basis for calculating the number of delegates from the district to the state conference.
- Functions and powers of a regular state conference are:
(a) To discuss and act on the political and organisational reports of the state council.
(b) To determine the line of the party and mass work in the state in accordance with general policies and approach of the party and their own experience and to suggest changes in the all India policies and the general line of the party.
(c) To elect delegates to the all India Party Congress.
(d) To elect the state control commission.
(e) To elect the state council.
(f) To hear and decide on the report of the state audit commission.
(g) To hear and decide on the report of the state control commission.
(h) The state conference shall elect a presidium for the conduct of its business.
- The state council which should be elected by the party conference shall consist of not more than 125 members. The exact number shall be determined by the conference. It will also consist of candidate members, their number not exceeding 10 per cent of the number of full members of the state council. The candidate members have a right to attend the sessions of the state council and participate in its discussions but have no right to vote.
- The outgoing state council shall propose a panel of candidates.
- The list of candidates shall be prepared with a view to constitute a leadership to meet the needs of the growing mass movement and party activity in the state but bearing in mind the general considerations under section (b) in article XVI.
- The selection of the state council at the conference shall be governed by the same rules and principles as laid down in sections (c) to (f) in article XVI.
- The state council shall be the highest authority of the state party organisation between two party conferences.
- The state council shall represent the state party organisation as a whole and shall be responsible for directing its work between two conferences. The council shall have the right to take decisions with full authority on questions of state nature but in conformity with the policies laid down by the Party Congress and the national council.
- The state council shall elect a state executive of not more than 31 members to carry on the work of the state council between its two sessions: It shall also elect from among the members of the state executive a secretary. It may also elect one or two assistant secretaries. The panel for the state executive shall be proposed by the outgoing state executive. The state council may decide, wherever necessary, to elect a secretariat of not more than nine members, including the secretary and assistant secretaries, if any. The panel for the secretary and assistant secretaries and the secretariat if any shall be proposed by the new state executive.
- The state council shall have the right to fill up vacancies in or remove any member from the state executive or reconstitute the same.
- The state council shall fill up any vacancy that may occur in the state control commission.
- The state council shall meet at least once in four months or earlier if one-third of its members make a requisition.
- The state council shall discuss and act on the political and organizational report and other matters placed before it by the state executive. The council may take up any other matter.
- The state council shall elect a treasurer. It shall also elect an audit commission to audit the accounts and to report on the same to the state council annually and to the conference.
- The state council shall have the power to co-opt members to fill any vacancies subject to the conditions that such co-option does not exceed more than 10 per cent of the membership of the council and shall be valid only if two-thirds of the members attending its meeting vote for the proposal.
- The state council shall have the power to co-opt candidate members to fill any vacancies that may occur among the candidate members subject to the condition that such co-option shall be valid only if two-thirds of the members of the council attending its meeting vote for the proposal.
- The state executive shal1 direct the work of the state party organs during the period between two sessions of the state council. It shall be responsible for the implementation of the decisions and the directives of the state council and higher bodies. It shall decide on any political and organisational questions as well as on the problems of mass movement and shall report on the same to the state council.
- To carry out these responsibilities on behalf of the state council the state executive shall perform the following tasks:
(a) Convene regular meetings of the state council and prepare reports and resolutions for the same.
(b) Guide and assist the district councils.
(c) Guide the state party press and publications.
(d) Direct the work of the party members in the state legislatures, regional councils, municipalities and other local bodies.
(e) Direct the party’s work in the mass organisations.
(f) Organise party finances.
- The state executive shall meet at least once in two months.
- The function of the secretary and assistant secretaries and secretariat, if any, are to direct and carry out the current work on behalf of the state executive. To handle the work of the state executive, the state executive shall set up departments and committees to carry out specific tasks on its behalf. These bodies shall function under the guidance of the executive.
- In case there is no state secretariat, the state executive shall elect a finance sub-committee of five members including state secretary, assistant secretaries, if any, and the treasurer to look after financial matters on its behalf.
District Party Organs
- The highest organ in a district shall be the district party conference.
- A district conference shall be convened by the district council once in every three years.
- An extraordinary district conference shall be called by the district council at its own discretion, or when demanded by party units which represent not less than one-third of the total membership, subject to the approval of the state executive.
- A regular district conference shall be composed of delegates elected by branch conferences or by conferences of the local intermediary units where such units exist.
- The basis of representation at the district conference shall be determined by the district council.
- The basis of representation and method of electing delegates to the extraordinary district conference shall be decided by the district council.
- Members of the district secretariat or of the district executive, as the case may be, shall have the right to participate as full delegates in the district conference, both regular as well as extraordinary. Members of the district council shall attend the conference as delegates without vote unless elected.
- The membership from any branch or local organisation for which the quota of party membership fee due to the district council has been fully paid and accepted by the district council shall be taken as the basis for calculating the number of delegates from the branch or the local unit for the district conference.
- Functions and powers of a regular district conference are:
(a) To discuss and act on the political and organisational reports of the district council.
(b) To determine the line of the party and mass work in the district in conformity with the decisions of the higher party organs.
(c) To elect a district council.
(d) To elect delegates to the state conference.
(e) To hear and decide on the report of the district audit commission.
(f) The district conference shall elect a presidium for the conduct of its business.
- The district council shall be elected by the district conference. The exact number of members shall be decided by the district conference. The district conference shall elect a number of candidate members of the district council not exceeding 10 per cent of the full members of the council.
- The election to the district council shall be governed by the same rules as laid down in section (c) to (f) of Article XVI.
- The district council shall be the highest authority in the district between two district conferences.
- The district council shall represent the district organisation as a whole and direct the entire work of the party between two district conferences.
- The district council shall have the full right to take decisions concerning the work of the district party organisation but in conformity with the line of the party and decisions of the higher organs.
- The district council shall elect a district secretariat or district executive including a secretary from amongst its members to carry on the work of the party between two sessions of the district council. It may also elect one or two assistant secretaries. The number of the members of the district secretariat or district executive is to be decided by the district council. The panels for the district council and executive or secretariat shall be proposed by the outgoing district council, executive or secretariat respectively.
(a) In the case of a district with large membership or a district with a distinct feature, the state council may allow the district council to elect both the district executive and district secretariat.
- The district council shall have the right to fill up vacancies in and remove any member from the district secretariat or district executive and to reconstitute the same.
- The district council shall meet at least once in two months and earlier if one-third of its members make a requisition.
- The district council shall discuss and act on the political and organisational reports and other matters placed before it by the district secretariat or district executive. The council may take up any other matter.
- The district council shall elect a treasurer. It shall elect an audit commission to audit the accounts and to report on the same to the district council annually and to the conference.
- The district council shall have the power to co-opt members to fill any vacancies subject to the conditions that such co-option does not exceed more than 10 per cent of the membership of the council and shall be valid only if two-thirds of the members of the council attending its meeting vote for the proposal.
District Secretariat or Executive
- The district secretariat or district executive shall direct the work of the district party organisation during the period between two sessions of the district council. It shall be responsible for the implementation of the decisions and directives of the district council and higher organs.
- It shall decide on political and organisational questions affecting its work within the district and shall guide the lower bodies. The responsibilities of the district secretariat or district executive shall be discharged in conformity, with the decisions of the district council and higher organs.
- The responsibilities of the district secretariat or district executive shall include:
(a) Convening regular meetings of the district council and prepare reports and resolutions for the same.
(b) Checking up the work of the lower units.
(c) Guiding and giving practical assistance to the mass organisations.
(d) Circulation of party journals and literature.
(e) Direction of party members’ work in the municipalities and local bodies.
(f) Controlling district finances.
(g) Organisation of district party school and party education.
Intermediate Party Organs
- Between the branch and district council there may be formed one or more intermediary local party organ such as taluq, sub-division, tehsil, block, mauza, mandalam or town council and area council (in the town), when the state council so decides.
- The highest organ of such a local unit or local organ shall be the local conference consisting of the delegates elected by the conferences of the branches in the area. The members of the local council shall have the right to participate as full delegates in the conference.
- The local and branch conferences will be held annually or bi-annually according to the schedule decided by the respective state council and generally they will be held after the membership renewal campaign.
- The conference of the local units in the taluq, sub-division, tehsil, block, mauza, mandalam or town shall elect a local council and delegates to the district conference.
- The local council will be responsible for the conduct of the work in the area concerned and for the coordination of the work of the party branches directly under it.
- The local council shall elect its own secretary, and may also elect an assistant secretary, and where necessary, subject to the decision of the state executive, an executive or secretariat to carry on the current work.
- The local council will report on its work to the district secretariat or district executive once in every month.
- The local council will meet at least once a month.
- The local council shall work under the direction of the district secretariat or district executive.
Any comrade who has put in a long period of service for the party and the working people and has been member of any party council and whose contribution in the deliberations of the council, is considered useful and beneficial but who is now unable, for .reasons of old age or sickness, to carry on active day-to-day work, may be made permanent invitee to the meetings of the party council concerned with a view to giving the party the benefit of his experience and advice
- The primary unit of the party shall be the branch.
- The highest organ of the primary unit shall be the general body meeting of the branch.
- The branch shall be responsible for maintaining direct day-to-day contact with the masses and for organising party activity in its sphere.
- The branch shall discuss all questions regarding its work and mass activity and take necessary practical decisions.
- The membership of a branch may be divided into groups of convenient size. Each group shall have its own convener.
- The function of the group shall be to distribute and check up the work of individuals. Where necessary for facilitating political discussion in the branch, preliminary discussions may be organised in the groups.
- The branch is organised on the basis of the village, panchayat, municipal ward, street, mohalla, industry, individual factory, occupation and institution. The maximum membership of the branch shall be fixed by the state executive.
- Functions of the branch are:
(a) To carry out the directions of the higher committees.
(b) To win the masses in its locality or sphere of activity for party’s political and organisational decisions.
(c) To build up and participate in mass organisations in its locality or sphere of activity.
(d) Sale of party journals and publications.
(e) Collection of membership fee and levy and party finances.
(f) To draw sympathisers and militants into the party, educate them and to help the illiterate to become literate.
(g) To help higher committees in day-to-day organisational and agitational work.
- The branch at a general body meeting shall elect a secretary and an assistant secretary to conduct its current work and, where membership of the branch exceeds 25 persons, it shall elect a branch committee including its secretary and assistant secretary.
- The general body of the branch shall meet at least once a month at which the branch committee or the branch secretary shall submit a report of the work done and its proposals.
- The general body of the branch shall elect delegates to the conference of the party organ immediately above.
- The secretary of the branch committee shall submit to the next higher committee and to the district council every two months a report on the new candidates and full members enrolled by it.
- Where necessary a member, besides being a member of a branch in his own place of work or residence, may also be attached as an associate member to the unit of his place of work or residence, as the case may be, without the right to vote.
Central Control Commission
- There shall be a central control commission elected by the Party Congress consisting of not more than 11 members.
- The national council shall propose a panel of names for the central control commission to the Party Congress. In proposing the names for nomination, standing of the candidates in the party, which shall not be less than 10 years, and experience in party organisation and personal integrity shall be taken into account.
- The procedure of election shall be the same as in the case of the national council. But the election of the central control commission shall be held before the election of the national council.
- The central control commission (CCC) shall elect its own chairman who shall have the right to attend all the meetings of the national executive with the right to vote except in cases of disciplinary actions. All members of the central control commission shall have the right to attend and vote in the meetings of the national council.
- The central control commission shall take up:
(a) Cases referred to it by the national councilor the national executive.
(b) Cases where disciplinary action has been taken by the state executive or state council.
(c) Cases against which appeal has been made to the state control commission (SCC) and rejected and the comrade concerned has, made an appeal to the central control commission.
(d) Cases alleging corruption, serious irregularities by any member against a member of a state council or national council including the respective executive and secretariat members. The CCC may dispose off the case itself, in the case of an allegation against a state council member or refer it to the SCC for disposal. The CCC shall make every possible effort to decide all cases/appeals within a period of six months from the date of receipt.
- The central control commission shall draw the attention of the national executive, national council, state and district councils to any case of breach of the constitution or any injustice or infringement of rights of party members which may come to its notice.
- The decision of the central control commission shall be final. It should be implemented at the earliest. The national executive may by two-thirds majority stay the implementation of a decision of the central control commission, and shall refer it at the first available opportunity to the national council for final decision.
- In all cases there shall, however, be the right to appeal to the Party Congress.
- The CCC may, either when asked by the national council or the national executive or on its own, undertake scrutiny of party membership of any unit.
- The CCC may organise a conference of members of CCC and chairmen of the state control commissions with a view to exchange experiences and to consider common problems and take decisions on important general issues concerning its sphere of work, once in three years.
State Control Commission
- There shall be a state control commission elected by the state conference consisting of not more than nine members.
- The guiding principles of proposing candidates shall be the same as in the case of the central control commission.
- The state control commission shall elect its own chairman who shall have the right to attend and vote in the meetings of the state executive except that he or she shall not have the right to vote in cases of disciplinary action. All members of the state control commission shall have the right to attend and vote in the meetings of the state council.
- The state control commission shall take up:
(a) Cases referred to it by the state councilor state executive.
(b) Cases where disciplinary action has been taken by the district councilor district secretariat or district executive and in which appeal has been made by the comrade concerned.
(c) Cases against which an appeal has been made to district council or district secretariat or district executive and rejected.
(d) Cases alleging corruption, serious irregularities by any member against a member of a district council or state council.
(e) Cases referred to the SCC by the CCC under Article XXVIII. The SCC shall make every possible effort to decide all cases/appeals within a period of six months from the date of receipt.
- The state control commission shall draw the attention of the state and district councils to any case of breach of the constitution or any injustice done to a party member or infringement of the rights of a party member that may come to its notice.
- The decisions of the state control commission shall be ordinarily final. The state executive may by two-third majority stay the implementation of the decision of the state control commission and shall refer it immediately to the central control commission or to the state council.
- The SCC may undertake scrutiny of party membership of any unit either when asked by the councilor state executive or on its own.
- The SCC may have its own rules of functioning.
- Discipline is indispensable for preserving and strengthening the unity of the party, for enhancing its strength, its fighting ability and its prestige, and for enforcing the principles of democratic centralism. Without strict adherence to discipline, the party cannot lead the masses in struggle and action, nor discharge its responsibility towards them.
- Discipline is based on conscious acceptance of the aims, the programme and the policies of the party. All members are equally bound by party discipline irrespective of their status in the party organisation or in public life.
- Violation of party constitution and decisions of the party as well as any other action and behaviour unworthy of a member of the communist party shall constitute a breach of party discipline and liable to disciplinary actions.
- The disciplinary actions.
(c) Public censure.
(d) Removal from the post held in the party.
(e) Suspension from full membership for any period but not exceeding one year.
- Disciplinary action shall normally be taken where other methods, including methods of persuasion, have failed to correct the comrade concerned. But even where disciplinary measures have been taken, efforts to help the comrade to correct himself or herself shall continue. In cases where the breach of discipline is such that it warrants an immediate disciplinary measure to protect the interests of the party or its prestige, the disciplinary action shall be taken promptly.
- Members found to be strike-breakers, habitual drunkards, moral degenerates, betrayers of party confidence, guilty of financial irregularities, or members whose actions are detrimental to the working class and to the party, shall be dealt with properly by the party unit to which they belong or by a higher unit.
- Disciplinary action may be taken against any member either by the unit of which he or she is a member, or by any higher unit. In case he or she belongs to more than one unit, disciplinary action as under clauses (e) and (f) of section 4 may be taken only by the highest unit to which he or she belongs either on its own initiative or on recommendations of the lower unit. All other disciplinary actions may be taken by any unit of which he or she is a member.
- Expulsion from the party is the severest of all disciplinary measures and this shall be applied with utmost caution, deliberation and judgement.
- A disciplinary measure involving suspension or expulsion of a member shall not come into effect without confirmation from a higher committee. Such a decision shall be immediately conveyed for confirmation to the next higher party unit which shall give its decision within three months or its meeting held after receipt of the information if such a meeting is not held within three months. During the period between the decision of expulsion or suspension and confirmation by the higher committee, the comrade involved will stay removed from the post he or she holds.
- The comrade against whom a disciplinary measure is proposed shall be fully informed of the allegations charges and other relevant facts against him or her. He or she shall have the right to be heard in person by the party unit in which his or her case is discussed.
- There shall be right of appeal in all cases of disciplinary action.
- The national council or a state council shall have the right to dissolve or take disciplinary action against a lower committee in cases where a persistent defiance of party decision and policy, serious factionalism or a breach of party discipline are involved or where the lower committee suffers from persistent inactivity and fails to implement party decisions despite repeated urgings, after giving the committee concerned reasonable chance of explaining its position.
Party Members in Elected Public Bodies
- Party members elected to Parliament, the state legislatures or administrative council shall constitute themselves into a group and function under the appropriate party committee in strict conformity with the line of the party its policies and directives.
- Communist legislators shall unswervingly defend the interests of the people. Their work in the legislature shall reflect the mass movement and they shall uphold and popularise the policies of the party .The legislative work of the communist legislators shall be closely combined with the activity of the party outside and mass movements and it shall be the duty of all communist legislators to help build the party and mass organisations.
- Communist legislators shall maintain the closest possible contact with their electors and masses keeping them duly informed of their legislative work and constantly seeking their suggestions and advice.
- Communist legislators shall maintain a high standard of personal integrity, lead an unostentatious life and display humility in all their dealings and contacts with the people and place the party above self.
- Communist legislators and those on elected public bodies drawing salary or allowances shall pay regularly and without default a levy on their earnings fixed by the appropriate party committee. These party levies shall be the first charge on their earnings.
- Party members elected to corporations, municipalities, local bodies and gram-panchayats shall function under the appropriate party committee or branch. They shall maintain close day-to-day contact with their electors and the masses and defend their interests in such elected bodies. They shall make regular reports on their work to the electors and the people and seek their suggestions and advice. The work in such local bodies shall be combined with intense mass activity outside.
- All nominations of party candidates for election to Parliament shall be subject to approval by the national executive.
Nomination of party candidates to the state legislatures or the councils of centrally-administered areas shall be finalised and announced by the state executive committee concerned.
Rules, governing the nomination of party candidates for corporations, municipalities, district boards, local boards and panchayats, shall be drawn up by the state council or in their absence by the state executive.
Tenure of the Office-Bearers
The tenure of the general secretary and deputy general secretary, if any, and state secretaries is limited to two consecu1ive terms — a term being of not less than three 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. At the state level, if the state council resolves by three-fourth majority through secret ballot to give an additional term over and above the fourth term, the same needs to be endorsed by the national council. As regards the tenure of .the office-bearers at district and lower levels, the state councils will frame rules where necessary.
Mode of Election
All elections to Party Organs at various levels as also election of delegates to Party Congress and conferences will be by secret ballot, if necessary. In case of plural constituencies, the election will be on the basis of single distributive vote. Every candidate outside the panel shall have to be proposed by another comrade. Every comrade whose name is proposed either in the panel or by an individual has the right to withdraw his name.
A comrade whose name is proposed to be added to the official panel at an election in his or her absence will be required to have given his prior written consent before such a proposal is accepted. In such cases the proposer can also be authorised in writing by the candidate to withdraw his or her name on his or her behalf, if needed.
ARTI CLE XXXIV
Inner Party Discussions
- To unify the party and for evolving its mass line inner-party discussion shall be a regular feature of party life. Such discussion shall be organised on an all-India scale or at different levels of the organisation depending on the nature of the issue.
- Inner-party discussion shall be organised:
(a) On important questions of all-India or state importance, where immediate decision is not necessary, by the central or the state organs of the party as the case may be before the decision is taken.
(b) Wherever an important question of policy, there is not sufficient firm majority inside the national councilor in the state council.
(c) When an inner-party discussion on an all-India scale is demanded by a number of state organisations representing one-third in the total membership or at the state level by district organisations representing the same proportion of the total membership of the state.
- Inner-party discussion shall be conducted under the guidance of the national or the state council which shall formulate the issues under discussion. The party council which guides the discussion shall lay down the manner in which the discussion shall be conducted.
Discussion Preparatory to
Party Congresses and Conferences
At least two months before the Party Congress, the national council will release the draft resolutions for discussion by all units of the party. Amendments to the resolutions will be sent directly to the national executive to be sorted and placed before the Party Congress. The draft political and organisational resolutions shall contain a brief review of the past period, summing up the conclusions and lessons so that party units can also opine on that. All draft resolutions and documents will be circulated to the state councils.
Party Members Working in Mass Organisations
Party members working in mass organisations and their executives shall work in an organised manner under the guidance of the appropriate party committee. They must always strive to strengthen the unity, mass basis and fighting capacity of the mass organisations concerned.
The national council may frame rules under the party constitution and in conformity with it. Rules under the party constitution and in conformity with it may also be framed by the state councils subject to confirmation by the national council.
The party constitution shall be amended only by the Party Congress or in cases of emergency by the national council by a two-thirds majority. In either cases, the notice or proposals for amending the constitution shall be given two months before the Party Congress or national council meets provided that in cases of emergency and for reasons to be placed by the national council before the Party Congress notice may be waived by a two-thirds majority.
RULES TO PARTY CONSTITUTION
- Under Article IV: In the case referred to in section 4.
The higher unit concerned may decide to admit such members as candidates or full members, depending on the merit of each case.
A party member, other than a whole-timer, moving of one locality to another should inform his or her unit and get a letter of transfer of membership from his or her unit countersigned by the secretary of the appropriate party committee. If he is moving from one taluq to another within the same district, or from one district to another within the same state, the district council or executive is the appropriate authority. A party branch is not to accept any member from another unit without suitable notification of transfer being received through the appropriate party council.
No whole-timer of the party will move from one locality to another without the prior permission of the party unit or council to which he belongs.
- Under Article V: New entrants into the party have to take the pledge in general body meetings, besides signing it along with their membership forms. The pledge will be administered to the new entrants by the chairman of the meeting.
- Under Articles VI and VII: A candidate member will also be given a membership card, but with a distinctive mark indicating that he or she is a candidate. Issuing of party cards should be regularised and full and proper entries be made in the cards. Every card must bear the signature of the state secretary or its facsimile and the signature of the district secretary.
- Under Article VI: If a party member whose membership has not been renewed for inactivity but against whom there was nothing else seeks readmission and fulfills all conditions of membership, he or she may be readmitted as a full member subject to confirmation by the higher committee.
- Under Article VII: A party member, whose membership has not been renewed within the period fixed by the national council because of the failure of the party unit to which he or she belongs will have the right to get his or her membership renewed even after the stipulate period, provided he or she applies directly to the next higher committee for the renewal of his or her membership by the end of February (that is, within four weeks of the last date for renewal of membership) and pays his or her membership fee and levy due against him or her to the committee to which he or she has made the application for renewal.
In such cases, the applicant must state in his or her application what efforts he or she has made in his or her own unit in order to get his membership renewed. The committee which receives such an application for renewal will examine the grounds for appeal and take appropriate decision on the application. .
- Under Article XI: Party levy will be fixed on a monthly basis for those earning wages, salaries or similar income but it will be fixed on an yearly basis for those having a seasonal income.
A party member who fails to pay his or her party levy for four months after it is due will be given a warning by his or her unit. If a member has not paid his or her levy by the time of the annual renewal of party membership; his or her membership will not be renewed. If within three months of the above decision, the member pays up all arrears and applies for readmission, he or she may be readmitted and granted continuity of membership.
A member may be exempted from payment of party levy in special cases of hardship —unemployment, continuous illness; crop failure, etc — by the unit of which he or she is a member, subject to confirmation by the higher unit. All party cards will contain regular entries regarding payment of membership fees and party levy.
- Guidelines will regularly be issued well before the Party Congress by the party centre and state conferences by the state centre. These will include, among other things, concrete direction to ensure greater representation to women and to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and to the backwards in the leading bodies at different levels. There will be a report back and constant check up and review of the implementation of the urgent need to radically improve the social composition of the leading bodies along with checkup of the other guidelines.
- (a) Under Article XVI and XX: “The national council or the state council as the case may be if it thinks necessary and urgent invite members not exceeding 10 or 10 per cent of the council membership, whichever is less, to be permanent invitees in respective councils, without the right to vote. Generally this will be for giving adequate representation to sections and movements.
- Under Article XVIII: For zonal coordination in certain spheres of work, the national executive may call occasional meetings of representatives of the state councils concerned or set up a zonal coordination committee, where found useful and necessary.
- Under Article XIX — Section 9 (c): In case a state is unable to hold a regular conference, the mode of electing delegates for the Party Congress from the state concerned will be decided by the national council or the national executive, similarly, in case of a district, the decision will be taken by the state council or the state executive.
A comrade cannot be elected a delegate to a party conference from a unit of which he is not a member.
Party conferences are empowered to elect alternate delegates in order of preference, their number not exceeding one-tenth of the delegates. Alternate delegates are entitled to attend and participate in the Party Congress, as well as party conferences at different levels, but without vote except in cases where the alternate delegate has become a full delegate in place of an absent delegate from the state concerned. This applies to lower levels also.
- Under Article XXV: The general body or a party branch is empowered to take decisions on all matter within its jurisdiction. But area general body meetings held for purposes of reporting on party decisions or in connection with some mass campaign will confine themselves to the issues concerned and any decision taken by them will be of a recommendatory nature, the party committee of that level having the right to take a final decision.
- Under Article XXVII: The state control commission shall prepare an annual report of its work and functioning during the year and send it to the central control commission and a copy to the state council. The central control commission shall review and send its suggestions, if any, to the state control commission concerned.
- Under Article XXXI — Section 5: The rule framed above with regard to action in cases of non-payment of party levy will be applicable to members of legislatures and MPs also, but with the provision that the decision regarding non-renewal of party membership will be taken by the state council or executive in the case of state legislators and by the national council or the national executive in the case of members of Parliament.
- Conducting of Meetings and Functioning of Committee: The normal meeting of a council at the national, state or’ district level requires at least two weeks’ notice and of an executive one week’s notice. The agenda should normally be circulated with the notice of the meeting. Emergent meetings may be called at short notice.
The Quorum: For a regular meeting of the national council and state council and an emergent meeting of the executive will be one-half; for a normal meeting of the national or state executive two-thirds; for party councils at district and intermediate level, two-fifths and for party branches one-third of the total membership of the unit concerned. If the quorum is lacking, the meeting may collect reports or hold some informal discussions or consultations. But its decisions will have the authority of unit decisions only when the required quorum is there.
Any member of a party body who wants any item to be included in the agenda must give notice of the same to the secretary of the unit concerned, which is fully empowered to take any decision about inclusion or non-inclusion of any item on the agenda.
The first item on the agenda of every meeting of a unit except an emergency meeting called for some special purpose will be checkup on the decisions of the previous meeting. After the meeting has decided on the agenda and the time-table, the detailed procedure and allocation of time, etc, should be left to the president or presidium, as the case may be, on whom the responsibility to conduct the meeting in a business-like manner primarily rests.
State councils should frame rules for proper conduct of meetings and maintenance of party records and minutes, etc, for state level and lower level party bodies so that disputes and quarrels on such issues are minimised. For business-like conduct of party meetings, guidelines should be laid down and enforced so that the available time is properly utilised.
Every party committee must maintain an attendance register for meetings. In cases of absence of members with prior information, their explanation should be called for and recorded. In cases of absence of any member from three consecutive meetings without valid reasons, the party body concerned will remove his name from membership of that body.