CPI Congress opens at Hyderabad amid tensions with UPA Govt

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (UNI) The 20th CPI Congress opens at Hyderabad on Sunday amidst the Left's ongoing tensions with the ruling UPA coalition on political, economic and foreign issues.

The Congress, to be attended by over 900 delegates from home and abroad, will finalise the party's strategy for the next three years.

The 5-day meet is being held at a time when the Left is sparring with the Manmohan Singh government over the rise in prices of essential commodities, the Indo- US nuclear deal, women reservation, social security for 37 crore unorganised workers and a comprehensive bill for agricultural workers.

The Congress, which has to elect a National Council, Central Secretariat and General Secretary, is likely to re-elect Mr A B Bardhan the party General Secretary, informed sources said.

CPI National Secretary and spokesperson Shamim Faizi told UNI that the Congress will review its relationship with the Manmohan Singh government. The review would be based on its performance in implementing the national Common Minimum Programme( NCMP) which he said had been "violated more than observed".

However, the party listed the National Employment Guarantee Act, Right to Information, tribals right to forest wealth, inheritance right to women over parental properties, law against domestic violence and the Sachar Committee report among notable achievements of the Left-supported UPA government.

The party's political resolution, sent to about 40,000 branches which represent six lakh members spread over 26 States and Union Territories, claims success in preventing the UPA government from taking "anti-national" steps like opening the financial sector to foreign direct investment (FDI) and disinvestment of "Navratna PSUs".

The Congress will find ways and means to retrieve its lost position in the Hindi heartland from where the party has a lone representative in Parliament now.

Of the two documents to be reviewed at the Congress, one deals with the problems and prospects of building the party organisation, while the second will explore measures to accomplish the unfinished task of building Left democratic alternative. The party also remains committed to preventing BJP-led NDA from staging a comeback at the Centre.

The Congress is also expected to take up differences with big brother CPI(M), particularly over the model of industrial development in Left-ruled states, and its handling of Nandigram and Kannur episodes.

Significantly, the CPI(M) holds its 6-day Congress at Coimbatore from March 29, two days after the CPI Congress concludes.

UNI KSA/SAA RP RK1605

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