Constitution of CPI

PREAMBLE

The Communist Party of India is the political party of the Indian working class. It is a voluntary organisation of workers, peasants, toiling people in general, intelligentsia and others devoted to the cause of socialism and communism.

The Communist Party of India remains firmly wedded to the goal of a just socialist society in which equal opportunities for all and guarantee of democratic rights will clear the way for ending all forms of exploitation, including caste, class and gender, and exploitation of man by man, a society in which the wealth produced by the toiling millions will not be appropriated by a few. The science of Marxism-Leninism is indispensable for charting the path to such a new socialist system. Of course, this path will be determined by the specific historical conditions obtaining, as well as the particular characteristics and features of our own country, its history, tradition, culture, social composition and level of development. This goal cannot be achieved without hard struggle and a firm commitment to democratic norms and values. 

For building of socialism, the achievement of power by the working people, based on socialist democracy, is essential. With unflinching loyalty to the working people and their historic mission, the Communist Party of India will work for the realisation of this mission and go forward to its ultimate goal of establishing a communist society in India. 

The socialist society and socialist state of India shall fully safeguard the right of individual liberty, freedom of speech, press, association, conscience and religious belief. It shall also guarantee the right to form opposition parties provided they are committed to abide by the Constitution. The socialist constitution shall always keep vigil and prevent the destruction of democracy and violation of people's basic rights. The perspective and political policies of the party will be decided on the basis of objective reality. The accumulated experience of our party and the world revolutionary movements shall assist the party in the process. Life has shown that this task cannot be fulfilled by pursuing the capitalist path and as long as the bourgeois class is in control of state power. 

The Communist Party of India organises itself and its work on the basis of democratic centralism and on full inner party democracy. The party also firmly believes that unity in action is indispensable. The decisions of the Party Congress and the National Council shall be binding on all party units and party members. Minority opinions on substantial political issues shall be made known to all party units and party members. Formation of factions and groups on the basis of political, organisational or opportunist reasons shall not be permissible. The party believes in free and frank debates. The party shall respect dissenting opinions. 

Imbued with lofty ideas of patriotism, the Communist Party of India upholds the independence and sovereignty of India, fights for national unity and national integration, firmly opposes all disruptionist and obscurantist conceptions, communalism, revivalism, untouchability, casteism, religious intolerance and discrimination against and denial of equal rights to women and fights against chauvinism and bourgeois nationalism. The Communist Party of India also firmly upholds the right of all sections of our society to profess the faith of their choice and practice, but it shall not permit preaching of hatred against any religion. 

The Communist Party of India shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy, and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. 

The Communist Party of India shall strongly fight for the cause of social justice. The age-old outlook and practices of social inequality are very strong in our society. Social and economic inequality has become a most formidable block to the advance of our society. The fight against caste thinking and caste practices is essential for the unity of our people. Noble traditions, historical experience, rich cultural heritage and valuable teachings of great social reformers and thinkers of our country will help the party to cultivate scientific temper and socialist ideals. 

Fight for peace and against neo-colonialism along with fight for a just society is common ground for all progressive forces of the world. Adhering to the principle of independence, equality and non-interference, the Communist Party of India shall make every effort to build friendship with other parties of the working people and the forces fighting against imperialism and for social progress. The Communist Party of India firmly believes that real and basic interests of the people of the world are the same and hence we stand for proletarian internationalism. Solidarity with just and progressive causes in other parts of the world will help our own struggle.

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ARTICLE I

Name 

The name of the party shall be the Communist Party of India. 

ARTICLE II 

Emblem 

The emblem of the party shall be a crossed Hammer and Sickle in white against a red background with a circular inscription in white: Communist Party of India 

ARTICLE III 

Flag

The flag of the party shall be a Red Flag of which the length shall be one-and-a-half times its width. At the centre of the flag there shall be a crossed hammer and sickle in white. 

ARTICLE IV 

Membership 

1. Any Indian citizen, eighteen years of age or above, who accepts the programme and constitution of the party, agrees to work in one of the party organisations, to pay regularly the party membership fee and levy and to carry out decisions of the party shall be eligible for membership. 

2. New members are admitted to the party on individual application and through a party branch on the recommendation of two members. Party councils at all levels also have the power to admit new members to the party. Party members who recommend an applicant must furnish the party branch or council concerned truthful information about the applicant from personal knowledge and with due sense of responsibility. All applications for membership must be placed before the appropriate council within a month of their presentation and recommendation. 

3. The general body meeting of the party branch shall decide on the question of admission and, if the applicant is admitted to the party, he or she shall be regarded as candidate member for a period of six months commencing from the date of such admission. 

4. If a leading member from another political party — local, district or state level — comes over to the party, in addition to the sanction of the local party unit of district or state council, it is necessary to have the sanction of the next higher unit of the party before he or she is admitted to membership of the party. 

5. Members once expelled from the party can be readmitted only by the decision of the unit which confirmed their expulsion or by a higher unit, after considering the views of the unit from which he or she was expelled. 

6. Candidate members have the same duties and rights as full members except that they have the right to elect or be elected or to vote on any motion. 

7. The party branch or unit admitting candidate members shall arrange for their elementary education on the programme, constitution and the current policies of the party and observe their development through providing their functioning as members of a branch or unit. 

8. By the end of the period of candidature, the party branch or unit concerned shall discuss whether the candidate member is qualified to be admitted to full membership. The branch or the unit concerned may admit candidates to full membership or prolong the period of candidature for another term not exceeding six months. If a candidate member is found unfit, the branch or unit may cancel his or her candidate membership. A report of recruitment of candidates and of recommendations for admission to full membership shall be regularly forwarded by the branch or unit concerned to the next higher party unit. 

9. The higher unit may, on scrutiny of the report, alter or modify any such decision after consultation with the branch or unit which has submitted the report. The district and state councils will exercise supervisory powers over the recruitment of candidates and over admissions to full membership and have the right to modify or reject the decision of the lower units in this respect. Such supervisory powers shall be especially exercised where the membership of a unit is highly disproportionate to the influence of the party and the strength of the mass organisations and movement or where there is sudden and excessive fall or rise in party membership as compared to the previous year. 

10. If no decision to extend or cancel candidate membership is taken or no report prepared by the concerned branch even after a month following the completion of the period of candidature the candidate member will become a full member. 

11. A member may transfer his or her membership from one unit to another with the approval of the unit from which transfer is sought and by presenting a letter of introduction from the same to the new unit he or she wishes to join. In case of transfer outside the district or state, approval by the district or the state council concerned shall be necessary. 

ARTICLE V

Party Pledge 

All candidates as well as full members shall sign the party pledge. This pledge shall be: 

"I accept the aims and objectives of the party and agree to abide by its constitution and loyally to carry out decisions of the party.

"I shall strive to live up to the ideals of communism and shall selflessly serve and fight for the working class, the toiling masses and the country, always placing the interests of the party and people above personal interests." 

ARTICLE VI 

Party Membership Cards 

1. On admission to membership, every party member shall be issued a membership card. 

2. Party cards shall be uniform throughout the country and shall be issued by the state councils. Their form and contents shall be decided upon by the National Executive. 

ARTICLE VII 

Renewal of Membership 

1. There shall be an annual renewal of party membership. Renewal shall be made on the basis of a check up by the party organisation to which the member belongs under the direction and supervision of the state council. Party membership will not be renewed in the case of any member who for a continuous period of more than six months and without proper reason has failed to take part in party life and activity or to pay membership fee and levy. 

2. Renewal of party membership shall be on the basis of a checkup at a meeting of party members of a branch or unit and in the case of refusal of renewal the reason thereof shall be communicated to the member concerned who shall have the right of appeal to the next higher unit. 

3. A report on such renewal of party membership or unit concerned shall be sent to the next higher unit for confirmation and registration. 

4. The state council and the district council shall have the right to scrutinise the list of party members. 

ARTICLE VIII 

Resignation from Party Membership 

1. A member wishing to resign from the party shall submit his or her resignation to the party branch concerned, which by a decision of its general body meeting may accept the same and decide to strike off his or her name from the rolls and report the matter to the next higher unit. 

2. The party branch or unit concerned may, if it thinks necessary, try to persuade such a member to revoke his or her wish to resign. 

3. In the case where a member wishing to resign from the party is liable to be charged with serious violation of discipline which may warrant his or her suspension or expulsion and where such a charge is substantial, the resignation may be given effect to as expulsion from the party. 

4. All such cases of resignations given effect to as expulsions shall be immediately reported to the next higher party unit and be subject to the latter's confirmation.

ARTICLE IX 

Membership Fee 

All members, full as well as candidate, shall pay a party membership fee of Rs 5 (five rupees) per year. This annual party fee shall be paid at the time of admission into the party or at the time of the renewal of the party membership.

ARTICLE X

Distribution of Party Fee 

Party fee collected from members by branches or units shall be distributed as follows: 

20 per cent for the national council; 

40 per cent for the state council; and

The remaining 40 per cent shall be divided among the district council, the branch and the local unit where it exists, in such proportion as decided by the state executive concerned. 

ARTICLE XI 

Party Levy 

The state executive and the national executive shall fix levies on members in accordance with the guiding rules approved by the national council. 

ARTICLE XII 

Duties of Party Members

The duties of members are as follows: 

(a) To regularly participate in the activity of the party organisation to which they belong, to faithfully carry out the policy, decisions and the directives of the party, and to pay regularly the levy fixed by the party. 

(b) To fight for the interests of the working people against all forms of exploitation and oppression of the masses, to devotedly serve the masses and consistently strengthen their bonds with them, to learn from the masses and report their opinions and demands to the party, to work in a mass organisation, unless exempted, under the guidance of the party. 

(c) To study the science of Marxism-Leninism and endeavour to raise their level of understanding. 

(d) To read, support and popularise party journals and publications. 

(e) To observe the party constitution and party discipline and behave in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and in accordance with the noble ideals of communism. 

(f) To place the interests of the people and the party above personal interests. 

(g) To fight consistently against all oppression or discrimination based on religion, caste or sex and firmly oppose such fissiparous tendencies as communalism, casteism and national and regional chauvinism. 

(h) To cultivate comradely relations towards one another and constantly develop a fraternal spirit within the party. 

(i) To practise criticism and self-criticism with a view to helping each other and improving individual and collective work. 

(j) To be frank, honest and truthful to the party and not to betray the confidence of the party. 

(k) To safeguard the unity and solidarity of the party and to be vigilant against the enemies of the party, the working class and the country.

(l) To defend the party and uphold its cause against the onslaught of the enemies of the party, the working class and the country.

(m) To deepen their understanding of the noble traditions, history and cultural heritage of the Indian people. 

2. Every party organisation, every member and every candidate member shall protect the party against anti-party influences and against factionalism and shall work for the unity and purity of the party on the foundations of Marxism-Leninism. Party members shall have the duty to remain vigilant in order to prevent enemies of the working class from destroying the unity of the party through the formation of splinter groups or other forms of disruptive activity. 

3. It shall be the task of party organisation to ensure the fulfillment of the above duties by members and help them in every possible way in the discharge of these duties. 

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