Puducherry: Acknowledging that Left parties have become "weak" and "disappointed" the people in the last elections, CPI on Wednesday called for a broader "Left democratic" unity saying that the "rightist takeover" has presented them with the opportunity to "expose" such forces.
"The Left has become weak. In the last elections, it disappointed the people to some extent. But the Left is not demoralised.
"The rightist takeover has given a new challenge and opportunity to the Left to expose their game plan and mobilise the people to fight them back. It is a difficult task but only the Left can do it," CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said while delivering the inaugural speech at the party's 22nd Congress here.
Stressing that secularism and democracy have to be defended at all cost while democracy is to be protected, Reddy said, "History has put this burden of the mighty struggle on the shoulders of the Left... To carry on this difficult battle, we need to win the confidence of the people.
"Left unity is the precondition for a broad Left democratic unity which needs to be achieved. Let us unite and give confidence to the people."
He said that national resources and economic rights need to be defended and neo-liberal economic policies have to be defeated.
"Hard-won rights of the working people and peasants are to be won back from the onslaught of the rich and powerful. Freedom of speech should be defended," he said.
Terming the coming time a "period of class struggles", Reddy urged that the party base should be strengthened to "unleash class battles on peoples' issues" and reconnect with them.
"Let us march forward unitedly with confidence and courage. Let us assure our writers, historians, artists, religious and linguistic minorities, Dalits, adivasis peasants and all working people that the Left is with them to defend their constitutional and democratic rights," he said.
The CPI meet is being held to discuss the present political and economic scenario in the country and chalk out strategies for the future.
Left parties registered a dismal showing in last year's general elections and are reduced to a strength of just 10 MPs in Lok Sabha, nine of CPI(M) with CPI managing to win a lone seat in the House where BJP currently has 281 members.