Discouraging that Muslims, youth don’t find us attractive to join: CPM

At a time youth and minority communities are up in arms against the BJP, CPI(M) finds it “discouraging” that the Muslim community and the younger generation do not find it an attractive platform to join.

The inability on its part to attract youth and minorities has puzzled the party and it finds a mention in the Political Organisation Report placed before the ongoing CPI(M) Party in Hyderabad, which started on Wednesday. The triennial conference will end on Sunday.

The party has found some traction among tribals, the report said citing that in states like Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh that have substantial tribal population, their representation has increased. In Maharashtra, the membership of tribals has increased from 15.7% to 22.6% while in Chhattisgarh, the rise is from 20% to 28% between 2015 and 2018.

However, the “picture is discouraging as far as Muslim minority representation is concerned”. The report goes on to say that there was “no improvement” in any of the states except West Bengal where Muslim membership has increased from 7.1% at the time of 21st Party Congress in Vishakhapattinam to 11.3% now.

A senior CPI(M) leader described the situation as “worrisome” because it being a secular party, it sends a message that the minorities do not place trust on the party. “The fight is against the Hindutva party BJP and if their main target does not trust us, then there is some problem,” he said.

The report noted that the decision of party’s Kolkata Plenum in 2015 to improve class and social exposition have not been “pursued seriously”, except in a few cases.

The youth front also gave an unimpressive story as there was “no improvement” in the age exposition of party membership in states like Karnataka. . It was decided to ensure more representation for youth below 31 years in states where their representation was less than 20% of the total membership.

“In fact, there is a decline in those below 31 years like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Odisha between 2015 and 2017,” the report said. On a positive note, it said Kerala with the highest membership has relative good youth representation with 23.45% being below 31 years, which is an improvement over 22.7% in 2015.

On social media presence, the report gave a rosy picture saying its campaign on several issues. While its twitter followers was 6,000 and Facebook followers 60,000 during 2015 Party Conference, it rose to 1.71 lakh on Twitter and 3.40 lakh on Facebook.

 

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Apr 21, 2018)

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