Social equality for women, adult franchise, nationalization of private-owned enterprise have been some of the party’s crucial issues. The CPI has been forthright about backing issues like nations wealth in the nations hands (nationalization), land to the tiller (land reforms), social justice for the untouchables, democratic rights of organisations, right to protest through demonstrations and strikes, etc.
The main slogan of the party, ‘People’s Democracy’ was substituted by ‘National Democracy’ in 1951. In 1957, CPI emerged as the strongest opposition party in the assembly elections in Kerala and won. This was the first time in independent Indian history that an opposition party won control over an Indian state. But soon in 1964, some ideological differences within the party brought about a major split, leading to the creation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which CPI as the smaller of the Communist entities in India. The CPI was also the government in power in Kerala between 1970-77, with Congress support, and Achutha Menonwas elected as the chief minister. CPI has also been a part of the Left Frront government in West Bengal, Tripura and intermittently in Kerala in the last 20 years. In Tamil Nadu it is part of the Progressive Democratic Alliance.
CPI also has some incorporated organizations, some of which were created to look after employee welfare at the lower levels of society.
- All India Trade Union Congress
- All India Youth Federation
- All India Students Federation
- National Federation of Indian Women
- All India Kisan Sabha (peasants organization)
- Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union (agricultural workers)
- All India State Government Employees Federation (State government employees)
Latest Happening in the Party
CPI is recognized as a ‘National Party’ by the Election Commission of India. Today, the Communist Party of India is known to be the only National political party from India which has contested in all general elections with the same electoral symbol.
On national level, CPI supports the Indian National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, but without taking part in it. The party is part of the coalition of leftist and communist parties, also known as the Left-Front in national media. The part has been against India’s recent nuclear treaty with the United States and even withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh government over the issue.
AB Bardhan is the present general secretary of CPI. The party has fraternal relations with other Communist-aligned parties like CPI(M), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc (FB).