Communist Party of India

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Communist Party of India
AbbreviationCPI
General Secretary D. Raja
Parliamentary Chairperson Binoy Viswam
Lok Sabha  Leader K. Subbarayan
Rajya Sabha  Leader Binoy Viswam
Founded26 December 1925(98 years ago) (1925-12-26) (disputed)
HeadquartersAjoy Bhavan
15, Indrajit Gupta Marg, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Newspaper
Student wing All India Students' Federation
Youth wing All India Youth Federation
Women's wing National Federation of Indian Women
Labour wing
Peasant's wing All India Kisan Sabha
MembershipIncrease2.svg 650,000 (2022) [1] [2]
Ideology Communism
Marxism–Leninism [3]
Political position Left-wing [4] to far-left [5]
International affiliation IMCWP
Colours  Red
ECI Status State Party [6]
Alliance
Seats in  Lok Sabha
2 / 543
Seats in  Rajya Sabha
2 / 245
Seats in  State legislatures
22 / 4,036
(Total)
State Legislatures
17 / 140
(Kerala)
2 / 243
(Bihar)
2 / 234
(Tamil Nadu)
1 / 119
(Telangana)
Seats in  State Legislative Councils
1 / 75
(Bihar)
Number of states and union territories in government
3 / 31
Election symbol
CPI symbol.svg
Party flag
CPI-banner.svg
Website
www.communistparty.in

The Communist Party of India (CPI) is the oldest communist party in India. The CPI was founded in modern-day Kanpur on 26 December 1925. [7] [8] [9]

Contents

Although the CPI considers its formation date as 1925, but Communist Party of India (Marxist), which got split from CPI in 1964, is of the view that CPI was founded on 17 October 1920. There is a disagreement between the two parties on this topic. [10]

Currently, it has two members in Lok Sabha and two members in Rajya Sabha. In addition, it has 22 MLAs across four states and one MLC in Bihar. It has the current ECI status of a state party in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Manipur. [11]

CPI was heavily involved in resistance to British colonisation, the fight against the caste system and for land reform. [12] Between 1921 and 1933, many Communist leaders were arrested and imprisoned. In 1934, the British colonial administration banned the Communist Party and its affiliated trade union and peasant organisations, making membership a criminal offence. [13] The Communist Party continued its activities clandestinely, despite the repression. Between 1946 and 1951, it structured the peasant revolt in Telangana and organised guerrilla warfare against the feudal lords. [13] CPI was the main opposition party in India during 1950's to 1960's. [14]

CPI was part of the ruling United Front government from 1996 to 1998 and had two ministers under Devegowda and Gujral Ministry. Left Front gave outside support to VP Singh government(1989–90) and UPA government(2004–2009). The Left Front governed West Bengal for 34 years (1977–2011) and Tripura for 25 years (1993–2018). [15]

As of December 2023, the CPI is a part of the state government in Kerala led by LDF. CPI have four Cabinet Ministers and a Deputy Speaker in Kerala. In Tamil Nadu, it is in power with SPA coalition led by DMK. In Telangana, it is in alliance with the INC. [16]

CPI, along with the Left Front, is part of the INDIA alliance formed to defeat the incumbent BJP-led right-wing NDA government in 2024 General elections. [17]

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. Its founders included M. N. Roy, his wife Evelyn Trent, Abani Mukherji, and M. P. T. Acharya. [18] 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), United Provinces (led by Shaukat Usmani), Punjab, Sindh (led by Ghulam Hussain) and Bengal (led by Muzaffar Ahmed).

There is a dispute on the year of formation of CPI. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) which split from CPI in 1964, considers 17 October 1920 as the founding day of Communist Party of India. On this day M.N. Roy, Evelyn Trent-Roy, Abani Mukherji, Rosa Fitingov, Mohd.Ali, Mohd. Shafiq and M.P.T. Acharya met in Tashkent to form the Communist Movement in India. Though 1920 and 1925 both dates are insignificant, because on both of these occasions, the CPI did not adopt a “Party Constitution”, which was a foremost prerequisite required to be considered for the membership of the Communist International. The CPI considers 1925 as their founding day, but CPI(M) thinks 1920 as the year, when Communist Movement in India was founded. There is a technical dispute between both parties on this issue. [10]

Involvement in independence struggle

During the 1920s and the early 1930s the party was poorly organised, and in practice there were several communist groups working with limited national co-ordination. The government banned all communist activity, which made the task of building a united party 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 (now spelt Kanpur) 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 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 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. [19]

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. [19] Dange was released from prison in 1927. Rahul Dev Pal was a prominent communist leader.

On 26 December 1925, a communist conference was organised in Kanpur. [20] Government authorities estimated that 500 persons took part in the conference. The conference was convened by a man called Satya Bhakta. 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. [21] 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. [22]

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'. [23] 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 use the contradictions between the national bourgeoisie and the British imperialists. [24] 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. [25]

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. Meerut prisoners outside the jail.jpg
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. [26] [27]

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. [28]

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. [29]

When Indian left-wing elements formed the Congress Socialist Party in 1934, the CPI branded it as Social Fascist. [23]

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. [30]

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. [31]

In July 1937, clandestine meeting held at Calicut. [32] Five persons were present at the meeting, P. Krishna Pillai, K. Damodaran, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, N. C. Sekhar and S.V. Ghate. The first four were members of the CSP in Kerala. The CPI in Kerala was formed on 31 December 1939 with the Pinarayi Conference. [33] The latter, Ghate, was a CPI Central Committee member, who had arrived from Madras. [34] 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. [28]

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'. [35] At the 3rd CSP congress, held in Faizpur, several communists were included into the CSP National Executive Committee. [36]

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. [31]

On the occasion of the 1940 Ramgarh Congress Conference, CPI released a declaration called Proletarian Path, which sought to use 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. [37]

In July 1942, the CPI was legalised, as a result of Britain and the Soviet Union becoming allies against Nazi Germany. [38] 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. [39] [40]

CPI contested the Provincial Legislative Assembly elections of 1946 on its own. It had candidates in 108 out of 1585 seats, winning 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. [41]

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 at the division of the country. [42]

After independence

The Telangana armed struggle (1946-1952), was a peasant rebellion by communists against the feudal lords of the Telangana region in the princely state of Hyderabad. Armed peasants - Telangana armed struggle.jpg
The Telangana armed struggle (1946–1952), was a peasant rebellion by communists against the feudal lords of the Telangana region in the princely state of Hyderabad.
Guerrillas of the Telangana armed struggle Telangana Armed Struggle guerrillas.jpg
Guerrillas of the Telangana armed struggle
CPI election campaign in Karol Bagh, Delhi, for the 1952 Indian general election A Communist Party camp in Karol Bagh, Delhi, 1952.jpg
CPI election campaign in Karol Bagh, Delhi, for the 1952 Indian general election
First Council of Ministers, First CPI Ministry in Kerala Kerala Council of Ministers 1957 EMS.jpg
First Council of Ministers, First CPI Ministry in Kerala

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. [43] The conference adopted the 'Programme of Democratic Revolution'. This programme included the first mention of struggle against caste injustice in a CPI document. [44]

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. [45] 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. [46] At the 1951 congress of the party, 'People's Democracy' was substituted by 'National Democracy' as the main slogan of the party. [47]

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. [48] 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. [49] 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. [50] [51]

In theearly 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. [52] 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 1952, CPI became the first leading opposition party in the 1st Lok Sabha, while the Indian National Congress was in power. [53]

In the 1952 Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assembly election, Communist Party was banned, so it couldn't take part in the election process. [54] 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 Chinese Communist Party directed criticism at the CPI for having formed a ministry in Kerala. [55]

Liberation of Dadra-Nagar Haveli : The Communist Party of India, along with its units in Bombay, Maharashtra and Gujarat, decided to start armed operations in the area in the July 1954. Both the areas were liberated by the beginning of August. Communist leaders like Narayan Palekar, Parulekar, Vaz, Rodriguez, Cunha and others emerged as the famous Communist leaders of this movement. Thereafter, the struggle to liberate Daman and Diu was begun by the Communist Party in Gujarat and other forces. [56]

Goa Satyagraha : The countrywide Goa satyagraha of 1955–56 is among the unforgettable pages in the history of freedom struggle, in which the Communists played a major and memorable role. The CPI decided to send batches of satyahrahis since the middle of 1955 to the borders of Goa and even inside. Many were killed, many more others arrested and sent to jails inside Goa and inhumanly treated. Many others were even sent to jails in Portugal and were brutally tortured. The satyagraha was led and conducted by a joint committee known as Goa Vimochan Sahayak Samiti. S.A. Dange, Senapati Bapat, S.G. Sardesai, Nana Patil and several others were among the prominent leaders of the Samiti. Satyagraha began on 10 May 1955, and soon became a countrywide movement. [57]

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). [58]

During the period between 1970 and 1977, CPI was allied with the Congress party. In Kerala, they formed a government together with Congress as part of a coalition known as the United Front, with the CPI-leader C. Achutha Menon as Chief Minister. This government continued governing throughout the emergency period and was responsible for the many acts of repression throughout the period carried out against political opponents in the guise of fighting naxals, manifesting most infamously in the Rajan case. The United Front government also used this opportunity to pursue class struggle by punishing those from the managerial classes, money lenders, bosses with anti-labour stances, ration shopkeepers and truckers engaged in black marketing, under stringent provisions of MISA and DIR. [59]

In the 1980s, CPI opposed the Khalistan movement at Punjab. [60] [61] [62] [63] 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. [64] [65]

Present situation

Left parties' regional control
State/s which has/had chief ministers from both the CPI(M) and the CPI.
State/s which had a chief ministers from the CPI(M).
States which have Governments of coalition of parties including Left parties like CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML)L and AIFB.
States which did not have/had a chief minister from the CPI(M) or the CPI. Communist CM's in India.png
Left parties' regional control
  State/s which has/had chief ministers from both the CPI(M) and the CPI.
  State/s which had a chief ministers from the CPI(M).
  States which have Governments of coalition of parties including Left parties like CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML)L and AIFB.
   States which did not have/had a chief minister from the CPI(M) or the CPI.
Mural in Thiruvananthapuram Cpipkvtvnd (87).JPG
Mural in Thiruvananthapuram

CPI was recognised by the Election Commission of India as a 'National Party'. Until 2022, CPI happened 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 reduced to two MPs, the Election Commission of India sent a letter to CPI asking for reasons why its national party status should not be revoked. [66] [67] [68] [69] [70]

Due to repeated poor performances in elections, Election Commission of India withdrew its national party status on 10 April 2023. [11]

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. [71] [72] 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. [73]

In West Bengal, the CPI 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 until 2018. In Tamil Nadu it is part of the Secular Progressive Alliance and in Bihar it is the part of Mahagathbandhan. It is involved in the Left Democratic Front in Maharashtra. In February 2022, CPI and Congress formed an alliance in Manipur named Manipur Progressive Secular Alliance. [74] [75] The current general secretary of CPI is D. Raja.

Presence in states

As of 2020, the CPI is a part of the state government in Kerala. Pinarayi Vijayan is Chief Minister of Kerala. [76] CPI have four 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.NoState/Govt SinceChief MinisterAllianceCoalition Seats in AssemblyLast election
PortraitNamePartySeatsSince
1 Kerala 26 May 2016 Pinarayi.JPG Pinarayi Vijayan CPI(M) 62 26 May 2016 Left Democratic Front 6 April 2021
2 Tamil Nadu 7 May 2021 Hon CM Photo.jpg M. K. Stalin DMK 133 7 May 2021 Secular Progressive Alliance 6 April 2021
3 Telangana 7 December 2023 Revanth Reddy.png Revanth Reddy INC 64 7 December 2023 INC+
65 / 119
30 November 2023
Seats won by CPI in state legislative assemblies
State legislative assemblyLast electionContested
seats
Seats wonAllianceResultRef.
Bihar Legislative Assembly 2020 6
2 / 243
Mahagathbandhan Opposition [77]
Kerala Legislative Assembly 2021 23
17 / 140
Left Democratic Front in government [78]
Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 2021 6
2 / 234
Secular Progressive Alliance in Government [79]
Telangana Legislative Assembly 2023 1
1 / 119
INC+ in Government [80]
Seats won by CPI in state legislative councils
State legislative assemblyLast electionContested
seats
Seats wonAllianceResultRef.
Bihar Legislative Council 20201
1 / 75
Mahagathbandhan in government [81]

List of members of parliament

List of Rajya Sabha (Upper House) members

No.NameStateDate of appointmentDate of retirement
1 Binoy Viswam Kerala 2 July 20181 July 2024
2 P. Sandosh Kumar Kerala 4 April 20223 April 2028

List of Lok Sabha (Lower House) members

No.NameConstituencyState
1 K. Subbarayan Tiruppur Tamil Nadu
2 M. Selvarasu Nagapattinam Tamil Nadu

Leadership

The 24th Party Congress of Communist Party of India was held from 14 to 18 October 2022 in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. [82]

General Secretary

National Secretariat

  1. D. Raja
  2. Amarjeet Kaur
  3. K. Narayana
  4. Bhalchandra Kango
  5. Pallab Sen Gupta
  6. Binoy Viswam
  7. Syed Azeez Pasha
  8. Nagendra Nath Ojha
  9. Rama Krushna Panda

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." [83]

General secretaries and Chairmen [84] [85] [86] [87] [88]
NumberPhotoNameTenure
1st Sachchidanand Vishnu Ghate 1925–1933
2nd Gangadhar Adhikary.jpg Gangadhar Adhikari 1933–1935
3rd PC Joshi 1937.jpg Puran Chand Joshi 1936–1948
4th B.T.Ranadive.jpg B. T. Ranadive 1948–1950
5th Chandra Rajeswara Rao 1950–1951, 1964–1990
6th Ajoy Ghosh 1951–1962
Chairman S.A. Dange.jpg Shripad Amrit Dange 1962–1981
7th E. M. S. Namboodiripad.jpg E. M. S. Namboodiripad 1962–1964
8th Indrajit Gupta.jpg Indrajit Gupta 1990–1996
9th Bardan.JPG Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan 1996–2012
10th SUDAKAR REDDY DSC 0686.JPG Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy 2012–2019
11th D.Raja M.P.JPG D. Raja 2019–Incumbent

State Secretary

Party Congress

Party Congress [89] [90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] [84] [96] [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] [102] [103]
Party CongressYearPlace
Founding Conference1925 December 25 – 28Cawnpore
1st1943 May 23–1 JuneBombay
2nd 1948 February 28–6 MarchCalcutta
3rd1953 December 27 – 1954 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
24th2022 October 14 – 18Vijayawada

Principal mass organisations

In Tripura, the Ganamukti Parishad is a major mass organisation amongst the Tripuri peoples of the state.

Former chief ministers

Former chief ministers [104] [105] [106]
PhotoNameTenureState
E. M. S. Namboodiripad.jpg E. M. S. Namboodiripad (1957 1959) Kerala
C. Achutha Menon.jpg C. Achutha Menon (1969 1970; 1970 1977)
P.K. Vasudevan Nair.jpg P. K. Vasudevan Nair (1978 1979)

Notable leaders

General election results

Performance of Communist Party of India in Lok Sabha elections

Lok Sabha

YearTotal Lok Sabha constituenciesSeats won / contestedChange in seatsTotal votesPercentage of votesChange in vote %Ref.
First 1951−52 489
16 / 49
New3,487,4013.29%New [107]
Second 1957 494
27 / 109
Increase2.svg 1110,754,0758.92%Increase2.svg 5.63% [108]
Third 1962 494
29 / 137
Increase2.svg 211,450,0379.94%Increase2.svg 1.02% [109]
Fourth 1967 520
23 / 109
Decrease2.svg 67,458,3965.11%Decrease2.svg 4.83% [110]
Fifth 1971 518
23 / 87
Steady2.svg6,933,6274.73%Decrease2.svg 0.38% [111]
Sixth 1977 542
7 / 91
Decrease2.svg 165,322,0882.82%Decrease2.svg 1.91% [112]
Seventh 1980 529 ( 542* )
10 / 47
Increase2.svg 34,927,3422.49%Decrease2.svg 0.33% [113]
Eighth 1984 541
6 / 66
Decrease2.svg 46,733,1172.70%Increase2.svg 0.21% [114] [115]
Ninth 1989 529
12 / 50
Increase2.svg 67,734,6972.57%Decrease2.svg 0.13% [116]
Tenth 1991 534
14 / 43
Increase2.svg 26,898,3402.48%Decrease2.svg 0.09% [117] [118]
Eleventh 1996 543
12 / 43
Decrease2.svg 26,582,2631.97%Decrease2.svg 0.51% [119]
Twelfth 1998 543
09 / 58
Decrease2.svg 36,429,5691.75%Decrease2.svg 0.22% [120]
Thirteenth 1999 543
04 / 54
Decrease2.svg 55,395,1191.48%Decrease2.svg 0.27% [121]
Fourteenth 2004 543
10 / 34
Increase2.svg 65,484,1111.41%Decrease2.svg 0.07% [122]
Fifteenth 2009 543
04 / 56
Decrease2.svg 65,951,8881.43%Increase2.svg 0.02% [123]
Sixteenth 2014 543
1 / 67
Decrease2.svg 34,327,2980.78%Decrease2.svg 0.65% [124]
Seventeenth 2019 543
2 / 49
Increase2.svg 13,576,1840.58%Decrease2.svg
0.20%
[125] [126]
Eighteenth 2024 543
2 / 30
Steady2.svg3,132,6830.49%Decrease2.svg
0.09%
[127] [128]

* : 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 Pradesh 201020(25)(2014)/42(2009)
Arunachal Pradesh 0000002
Assam 20103014
Bihar 20207040
Chhattisgarh 10201011
Goa 0020202
Gujarat 10101026
Haryana 10201010
Himachal Pradesh 0000004
Jammu and Kashmir 0000106
Jharkhand 30303014
Karnataka 10301028
Kerala 40414020
Madhya Pradesh 40503029
Maharashtra 20403048
Manipur 1010102
Meghalaya 0010102
Mizoram 0000001
Nagaland 0000001
Odisha 10401121
Punjab 20502013
Rajasthan 30302025
Sikkim 0000001
Tamil Nadu 22803139
Tripura 0000002
Telangana 2017
Uttar Pradesh 120809080
Uttarakhand 0010105
West Bengal 30303242
Union Territories:
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 0000001
Chandigarh 0000001
Dadra and Nagar Haveli 0000001
Daman and Diu 0000001
Delhi0010107
Lakshadweep 1 [129] 010001
Puducherry 0010001
Total:502671564543

[125] [126] [130] [131]

State Legislative assembly results

YearStateTotal
assembly seats
Seats won /
Seats contested
Change
in seats
VotesVote %Change in
vote %
2023 Telangana119
1 / 1
Increase2.svg180,3360.34Decrease2.svg0.07
Chhattisgarh90
0 / 3
Steady2.svg6,5940.04
2022 Uttar Pradesh 403
0 / 35
Steady2.svg64,0110.07%Decrease2.svg 0.09%
Uttarakhand 70
0 / 4
Steady2.svg2,3250.04%
Manipur 60
0 / 2
Steady2.svg1,0320.06%Decrease2.svg 0.68%
Himachal Pradesh 68
0 / 1
Steady2.svg6270.01%Decrease2.svg 0.03%
Punjab 117
0 / 7
Steady2.svg7,4400.05%
Gujarat 182
0 / 3
Steady2.svg2,6880.01%Decrease2.svg 0.01%
2021 Assam 126
0 / 1
Steady2.svg27,2900.84%Decrease2.svg 0.14%
Kerala 140
17 / 23
Decrease2.svg 21,579,2357.58%Decrease2.svg0.54%
Puducherry 30
0 / 1
Steady2.svg7,5220.90%Decrease2.svg 0.2%
Tamil Nadu 234
2 / 6
Increase2.svg 2504,5371.09%Increase2.svg0.3%
West Bengal 294
0 / 10
Decrease2.svg 1118,6550.20%Decrease2.svg 1.25%
2020 Bihar 243
2 / 6
Increase2.svg 2349,4890.83%Decrease2.svg 0.57%
2019 Andhra Pradesh 175
0 / 7
Steady2.svg34,7460.11%
Jharkhand 81
0 / 18
Steady2.svg68,5890.46%Decrease2.svg 0.43%
Maharashtra 288
0 / 16
Steady2.svg35,1880.06%Decrease2.svg 0.07%
Odisha 147
0 / 3
Steady2.svg29,2350.12%Decrease2.svg 0.39%
2018 Chhattisgarh 90
0 / 7
Steady2.svg48,2550.34%Decrease2.svg 0.32%
Rajasthan 200
0 / 16
Steady2.svg42,8200.12%Decrease2.svg 0.06%
Tripura 60
0 / 1
Decrease2.svg 119,3520.82%Decrease2.svg 0.85%

Results from the Election Commission of India website. Results do not deal with partitions of states, defections and by-elections during the mandate period.

See also

Footnotes

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Further reading

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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The Left Democratic Front (LDF) is an alliance of left-wing political parties in the state of Kerala, India. It is the current ruling political alliance of Kerala, since 2016. It is one of the two major political alliances in Kerala, the other being Indian National Congress-led United Democratic Front, each of which has been in power alternately for the last four decades. LDF has won the elections to the State Legislature of Kerala in the years 1980, 1987, 1996, 2006, 2016 and had a historic re-election in 2021 where an incumbent government was re-elected for first time in 40 years. LDF has won 6 out of 10 elections since the formation of the alliance in 1980. The alliance consists of CPI(M), CPI and various smaller parties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation</span> Liberation group of the Communist Political Party in India

The Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation is a communist political party in India. The party is represented in Bihar and Jharkhand Legislative Assemblies. Since 2023, the party is also a member of the INDIA electoral alliance. In Bihar, party has significant base amongst the Extremely Backward Castes and the Schedule Castes. It was successful in mobilising Upper Backward Caste group such as Koeris in some districts of central Bihar, prior to the rise of Lalu Prasad Yadav. The party faced existential crisis when a large section of its Koeri and Yadav support base was defected to Rashtriya Janata Dal in 1990s. However, the ideological commitment of its cadre protected it from disintegration. It staged a comeback in politics after winning twelve seats in Bihar Legislative Assembly in 2020 and by sending two of its members to Lok Sabha in 2024 Indian general elections.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Revolutionary Socialist Party (India)</span> Political party in India

Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) is a communist party in India. The party was founded on 19 March 1940 by Tridib Chaudhuri and has its roots in the Bengali liberation movement Anushilan Samiti and the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Revolutionary Communist Party of India</span> Indian political party

The Revolutionary Communist Party of India is a political party in India. The party was founded as the Communist League by Saumyendranath Tagore in 1934, breaking away from the Communist Party of India (CPI). RCPI led armed uprisings after the independence of India, but later shifted to parliamentary politics. The party is active in Assam, Kerala, West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The party was represented in the West Bengal while being a part of Second United Front Cabinet (1969) as well as in various state government during the Left Front rule in the state (1977–2011). In Assam, the party won four Legislative Assembly seats in 1978, but its political influence has since declined in the state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harkishan Singh Surjeet</span> Indian Communist politician (1916-2008)

Harkishan Singh Surjeet was an Indian Communist politician from Punjab, who served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from 1992 to 2005 and was a member of the party's Polit Bureau from 1964 to 2008.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jyoti Basu</span> Indian politician (1914-2010)

Jyoti Basu was an Indian Marxist theorist, communist activist, and politician. He was one of the most prominent leaders of Communist movement in India. He served as the 6th and longest serving Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000. He was one of the founding members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He was the member of Politburo of the party since its formation in 1964 till 2008. He was also the member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly 11 times. In his political career, spanning over seven decades, he was noted to have been the India's longest serving chief minister in an elected democracy, at the time of his resignation. He was proposed for the post of Prime Minister of India for four times.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Congress Socialist Party</span> 1934–1948 socialist caucus within the Indian National Congress

The Congress Socialist Party (CSP) was a socialist caucus within the Indian National Congress. It was founded in 1934 by Congress members who rejected what they saw as the anti-rational mysticism of Gandhi as well as the sectarian attitude of the Communist Party of India towards the Congress. Influenced by Fabianism as well as Marxism-Leninism, the CSP included advocates of armed struggle or sabotage (such as Yusuf Meherally, Jai Prakash Narayan, and Basawon Singh as well as those who insisted upon Ahimsa or Nonviolent resistance. The CSP advocated decentralized socialism in which co-operatives, trade unions, independent farmers, and local authorities would hold a substantial share of the economic power.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prakash Karat</span> Indian politician (born 1948)

Prakash Karat is an Indian Communist politician. He was the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from 2005 to 2015.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist)</span> Indian political party

The Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) or SUCI(C) is an anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist communist party in India. The party was founded by Shibdas Ghosh, Nihar Mukherjee and others in 1948.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">P. Ramamurthi</span> Indian politician (1908–1987)

P. Ramamurti was an Indian politician and a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shripad Amrit Dange</span> Indian Politician

Shripad Amrit Dange was an Indian politician who was a founding member of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and a stalwart of Indian trade union movement. During the 20th century, Dange was arrested by the authorities for communist and trade union activities and was jailed for an overall period of 13 years.

Socialism in India is a political movement founded early in the 20th century, as a part of the broader movement to gain Indian independence from colonial rule. The movement grew quickly in popularity as it espoused the causes of India's farmers and labourers against the zamindars, the princely class and the landed gentry. After independence and until the early 1990s, socialism shaped some economic and social policies of the Indian government, although they mostly followed the principles of dirigisme. After this period, India moved towards a more market-based economy. Though, India is officially declared a socialist state as per the constitution.

Communism in India has existed as a social or political ideology as well as a political movement since at least as early as the 1920s. In its early years, communist ideology was harshly suppressed through legal prohibitions and criminal prosecutions. Eventually, communist parties became ensconced in national party politics, sprouting several political offshoots.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bolshevik Party of India</span> Political party in India

The Bolshevik Party of India is an Indian political party in India. The party was founded in 1939. The party had a certain role in the trade union movement in West Bengal and was briefly represented in the state government in 1969. In later years the party has played a negligible role in Indian politics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1964 split in the Communist Party of India</span> Conflict between Leftists, Centrists and Rightists

In 1964, a major split occurred in the Communist Party of India. The split was the culmination of decades of tensions and factional infighting. When India became independent in 1947, differences arose of how to adapt to the new situation. As relations between the Nehru government and the Soviet Union improved, a faction that sought cooperation with the dominant Indian National Congress emerged within CPI. This tendency was led by S.A. Dange, whose role in the party hierarchy became increasingly controversial. When the Sino-Indian War broke out in 1962 Dange's opponents within CPI were jailed, but when they were released they sought to challenge his leadership. In 1964 the party was finally divided into two, with the left faction forming the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The split had a lot of regional variations. It also impacted other organizations, such as trade union and peasant movements. The split has been studied extensively by scholars, who have sought to analyze the various domestic and international factors involved.

Communists were actively involved in Indian independence movement through multiple series of protests, strikes and other activities. It was a part of revolutionary movement for Indian independence. Their main thrust was on organising peasants and working classes across India against the British and Indian capitalists and landlords.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kerala</span> Indian political party

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kerala or CPI(M) Kerala is the Kerala state wing of CPIM. It is responsible for organizing and coordinating the party's activities and campaigns within the state, as well as selecting candidates for local, state, and national elections. Currently, it is the governing party in the Kerala Legislative Assembly and has significant representation of the state in Rajya Sabha. The CPIM currently leads the LDF alliance.