Party Constitution of CPI-ML

Constitution Document of CPI-ML

(Adopted by the All India Party Congress 1992)


The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) is the political Party, advanced detachment and the highest form of the class  organization of the Indian proletariat. It is the political core leading the Indian people in revolution.

The ideology guiding of the thinking and practice of the Party is Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.

The programme of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) is to establish People’s Democracy in India and to overthrow completely the rule of the big bourgeois and the big feudal landlord classes, subservient to imperialism. The CPI (ML) will establish the people’s dictatorship led by the proletariat in place of the dictatorship of the big bourgeois and big landlord classes. The ultimate aim of the Party is total destruction of capitalism, the system based on exploitation of man by man, and the realization of socialism and communism.

The CPI (ML) upholds equality, sovereignty and fraternity as principles guiding the relations between all genuine Marxist-Leninist Parties and organizations the world over.

Article I
Name: The name of the Party is the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

Article II
Flag: The flag of the Party is the red flag with a white hammer and sickle. The ratio of length and breadth will be 3:2.

Article III

1.      Any person of the working class, peasantry, the petty bourgeois and and other revolutionary individual who is an Indian and has reached the age of eighteen years, accepts Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as guide to action, accepts the programme, path an constitution of the Party, actively participates in the day-to-day work of the Party under the discipline of a Party unit and regularly pays membership fee and levy as decided by the Party, can become the member of the Party.

2.      Members are admitted to the Party on individual basis and generally through the basic unit (cell) of the Party. Higher Party Committees such as area, regional, provincial or central committee, have also the right to admit new members. Party members who recommend the applicant must furnish the Party cell or the committee concerned the truthful and necessary information about the applicant from their personal knowledge and with due sense of responsibility.

3.      The meeting of the Party cell or the committee concerned shall decide on the admission of new members and shall recommend to the next higher committee. If an applicant is admitted to the Party, he or she will be regarded as a candidate member.

4.      Party members will generally be recruited from activist groups or sympathizer groups which will function under a Party Unit. A member of an activist group or sympathizer group must participate in Party activities as decided by the Party unit concerned, for at least 6 months before he or she is admitted into the Party.

5.      Membership fee will be two rupees annually. Levy shall be decided by the unit concerned after assessing the capacity of the member.

6.      The period of candidature will be six months for the members from working class, landless and poor peasantry, one year for those from urban petty bourgeoisie, rural semi-proletariat and middle peasantry, two years for those from rich peasantry and three years from those from landlords and bourgeoisie.

7.      By the end of the period of candidature, the Party unit concerned shall discuss whether the candidate member is qualified to be admitted to full membership the unit concerned may admit candidates to full membership or prolong the period of candidature not exceeding more than another six months. He can be removed if he is not fit for full membership the unit concerned shall submit its report to the next higher committee. The higher committee may, on scrutiny of the report accept, alter or modify the decision of the lower unit. The district committees must be informed of the recruitment of new members. Final approval of membership rests with the district, regional or provincial committees.

8.      A member may be transferred from one unit to another by the higher committee concerned. A request by a member for transfer from one place to another will be decided upon by the higher committee.

9.      Careerists, double dealers, bad characters and enemy agents will not be admitted to the Party.

Membership Fee and Party Levy:
1.       All Party members as well as candidate members shall pay a Party membership fee of two rupees annually. This Party fee shall be paid at the time of admission into the Party and for renewal of membership by the need of each year to the Unit secretary by the members concerned. All membership fees collected from Party members by the Party units will be deposited with the Central Committee through the provincial or any other appropriate committee.

2.       Every Party member as well as candidate member must pay monthly levy as decided by his or her unit. Those whose incomes are of annual or seasonal character have to pay their levy at the beginning of the season or quarter.

Duties of Party members:
1.      To actively and regularly participate in the activities of the Party unit to which they belong, to faithfully carry out in a disciplined way the policy, decisions and directives of the Party.

2.      To be always ready to participate in the revolutionary struggles of the people, to devotedly serve the masses and consistently strengthen their bonds with them, to learn from the masses and to work in a mass organization or people’s army, unless exempted, under the guidance of the Party.

3.      To subordinate their personal interests to the interest of the Party.

4.      To fight consistently against all oppression or discrimination based on religion, nationality, caste and sex and firmly oppose such disruptionist tendencies as communalism, provincialism and casteism.

5.      To cultivate comradely relations towards one another and consistently develop fraternal spirit within the Party.

6.      To practice criticism and self-criticism with a view to help each other and improve collective and individual work.

7.      To safeguard the monolithic unity of the Party and to be vigilant against the enemies of the revolution.

8.      To defend the purity of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought and fight against various non-proletarian ideas and trends of revisionism, left and right opportunism, liberalism, sectarianism, empiricism, anarchism and dogmatism.

Rights of Party members:
1.      To elect Party organs and Party organizations and be elected to them.

2.      To participate freely in discussion in one’s unit in order to decide political and organizational issues, policies and decisions of the Party.

3.      To make proposals regarding their own work in the Party, to get work assigned to themselves in accordance with their ability and requirements of the Party.

4.      To make criticism of Party committees and functionaries in Party units if necessary. Those who have membership in two committees should discuss only in their higher committees about political, ideological and organizational matters. They should uphold the majority decision of the higher committees when they meet the lower committees.    He or she can explain his or her view point to the lower unit differing from the higher committee with the permission of the higher committee.

5.      To make suggestions, complaints, proposals, criticism and appeal to the higher committees, through proper channels, including and upto the Central Committee and the Party Congress when any member or unit disagrees with any decision of a Party  unit/organization. Pending decision of the higher committee, the party member or unit concerned shall carry on the decision of his or her Party unit and higher units.

6.      Right to explain his or her view and conduct when disciplinary action is taken against him or her.

7.      Those members of the CC, PC and DC who are in jail for a fairly long period will become non-functioning for Party work outside the jails. On coming out of jail they will be admitted into their respective Party committees unless there are any complaints against them.

Party Pledge :
Every person joining the Party shall take the Party pledge. The pledge shall be:

“I accept Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as the ideology guiding the Party. I accept the aims and objects of the Party and the way to realize them and agree to abide by its constitution and work sincerely to implement the decisions of the Party”

Check up of Party membership :
1.      There should be yearly check up of Party membership by the Party unit to which the member belongs. Any Party member who for a long continuous period and without proper reason has failed to take part in the regular work of the Party or to pay his or her Party fee and levy or has become politically fossilized shall be removed from the position held.

2.      Only the district, provincial and Central committees are entitled to get such check-up reports. The decisions of the lower unit shall come into force only after the approval of the committee concerned.

Principles of Democratic Centralism:
1.       The structure of the Party is based on and its internal life is guided by the principles of democratic centralism. Democratic centralism means centralized leadership based on inner Party democracy under the guidance of centralized leadership.

In the sphere of Party structure the guiding principles of democratic centralism are:
a)       All the Party organs from top to bottom are elected except in exceptional circumstances.
b)      Where immediate election is not possible, organizing committees for one year will be formed by the higher committees
c)       Election of members and committees will be in the conferences at various levels of Party units or organizations
d)      Such conferences shall be held with prior approval of the higher committees.
e)       Individual is subordinate to the unit.
f)        Minority is subordinate to the majority.
g)       Lower unit is subordinate to the higher unit.
h)       All members and units are subordinate to the Central Committee.
i)         The Party Congress is the highest organ of the Party.
j)        All questions of international affairs, questions of all India character or questions concerning more than one province or questions requiring uniform decisions for the whole country, shall be decided upon by the Central Committee. The lower committees may send their opinions and suggestions in time for consideration by the Central Committee or Polit Bureau. All questions of a province, region, or district character shall be generally decided upon by the corresponding Party organizations. But in no case shall such decisions run counter to the decisions of higher Party organization.

2.       In the sphere of the internal life of the Party the following guiding principles of democratic centralism based on the experience of the communist movement are applied:
a)      Free and frank discussion within the Party unit on all questions affecting the life of the Party, its policy and work.
b)      Sustained efforts to activise the Party members to participate and implement Party policies, to raise their ideological political level and improve their general education so that they can effectively participate in the life and work of the Party.
c)      When serious differences arise in a Party Committee, efforts should be made to resolve the differences through discussion. If an immediate decision is called for by the needs of the Party, it should be decided promptly.
d)      Encouragement of criticism and self-criticism at all levels from top to bottom.
e)      Consistent struggle against bureaucratic, anarchist, ultra-democratic and poly-centric tendencies at all levels.
f)        Impermissibility of factionalism and factional groupings inside the Party in any form.
g)      Strengthening of the Party spirit by developing fraternal and comradely relations and mutual help, correcting mistakes by treating comrades sympathetically, judging them and their work not on the basis of isolated mistakes or incidents but by taking into account their whole record of service to the Party.

Article X
All India Party Congress :
1.      The supreme organ of the Party for the whole country shall be the All India Party Congress. Before the Party Congress, any member of the Party who wants to present his or her views should do so in written form and place them first in his or her committee and then it can be sent to the CC, through the State Committee. This must be done before the specified time-period (as decided by the CC) of not less than one and a half months after circulation of the official documents. Then written document should be sent to members with the remarks of the CC.

a)      The Party Congress shall be convened by the Central Committee ordinarily once every three years. Under special circumstances it may be convened before its due date or may be postponed by the Central Committee for not more than one year. If the majority State Committees demand to convene the Party Congress, it must be convened.
b)      The Party Congress shall be composed of delegates elected by provincial conferences as well as by conferences of Party units directly under the Central Committee.
c)      The basis of representation of delegates to the Party Congress shall be decided by the Central Committee after considering the proportional strength of the Party in a particular province. The CC will decide the number of delegates from units functioning under it.
d)      The members of the Central Committee shall be ex-officio delegates to the Party Congress.

2.      Functions an powers of Party Congress are as follows:
a)      To discuss and act on the political organizational report of the Central Committee.
b)      To revise, change and amend the Party Programme, tactical line and constitution (if necessary).
c)      To determine the Party line on current situation.
d)      To elect the Central Committee through democratic discussion and secret ballot.

3.      The Congress shall elect a presidium for the conduct of its business.

Article XI
Election and function of the Central Committee:
1.      The Central Committee shall be elected at the Party Congress, the number of members being decided by the Party Congress.
a)      The outgoing Central Committee shall propose to the Party Congress a panel of names of members for the Central Committee.
b)      Any delegate can raise objection with regard to any name in the proposed panel as well as propose any new name or names.
c)      The panel proposed, together with the additional name or names proposed by the delegates, if any, shall be voted upon by secret ballot. In case there is no additional name or no objection by any delegate, approval of the delegates for the panel may be taken by show of hands.

2.      The Central Committee shall be the highest authority of the Party between two All India Party Congresses.

3.      The Central Committee shall represent the Party as a whole and be responsible for directing the entire work of the Party. The Central Committee shall have the right to take decisions with full authority on any question facing the Party according to the line accepted by the Party Congress.

4.      The Central Committee shall elect from among its members a Polit-Bureau including the General Secretary. The number of members in the Polit Bureau will carry on the day to day work of the Party on the line and policies of the Central Committee between its two sessions. The Polit Bureau has the right to take political and organizational decisions in between two meetings of the Central Committee. However, these decisions will be placed in the next Central Committee meeting for ratification.

5.      The Central Committee can take disciplinary measures against Central Committee members for gross breach of discipline, misconduct or for anti-Party activities. The member against whom disciplinary measure has been taken has the right to appeal to Party Congress.

6.      The Central Committee can fill any vacancy occurring in its membership by co-opting new members.

7.      The time and duration of Central Committee meeting shall be decided by it.

8.      The Central Committee shall meet whenever one-third of its members make a requisition.

9.      The Central Committee or Polit-Bureau can send any member or members to any area or unit to guide or check up the activities of the Party.

10.  The Central Committee may, when it deems necessary, convene an extended session of the Central Committee.

11.  The Central Committee has the authority to change the areas under the jurisdiction of any unit.

12.  The Central Committee may form sub Committees composed of Central Committee members or any others for a specific purpose, functioning under its guidance.

13.  The Central Committee shall strive to unify communist revolutionary forces according to the unity line of the Party.

14.  Half of the members shall constitute the quorum for a committee meeting.

Article XII
Provincial, Regional and District Organs :
1.      The highest organ in the province, region or district shall be the provincial, regional or district conferences which will elect the provincial, regional and District Committees.

2.      The organizational structure, the rights and functions of the provincial, regional or district Party organs are similar to those enumerated in the article concerning the Party structure and functions of the Central Committee, their functions being confined to the province, region or district and their decisions taken being within the limit of the decisions taken by the next higher Party organ.

3.      Every provincial, regional or district organ will decide its own strategic and tactical tasks.

4.      The provincial, regional or district conferences will be held preceding the Party Congress.

5.      The Central Committee may appoint a provincial organizing committee. Within two years the provincial conference shall be held and provincial committee shall be elected in the conference.

6.      The provincial committee may form regional or district organizing committees. Within two years, regional or district conference shall be held and election and formation of regular regional or district committees completed.

7.      The area of regional committees will be decided by the provincial committee.

8.      The area of district committee will be decided by the regional or provincial committee.

9.      The provincial, regional and district committee shall each elect a secretary. If necessary the provincial, regional and district committee may elect a secretariat and an assistant secretary.

10.  The provincial, regional or district committee shall take disciplinary measures against any member for gross breach of disciplinemisconduct or anti-party activity.

11.  The provincial, regional and district committee may co-opt any member to fill a vacancy. Such co-option shall be approved by the next higher Committee.

12.  The regional and district committee shall decide on the various Party organs to be set up between the primary unit (cell) and district committee and shall make necessary provisions relating to their composition and functioning.

13.  The provincial, regional and district committees will submit a quarterly written report to their next higher committee.

14.  The provincial, regional and district committees may hold extended meetings.

Article XIII
Primary Units
1.      The primary unit of the Party is Party cell, organized on the basis of occupation or territory.
2.      The number of members in a cell shall not be more than nine and not less than three.
3.      The Party cell shall elect a secretary.
4.      The Party cell shall submit its bimonthly report to the next higher Party unit.
5.      The Party cell shall function under its immediate higher committee.
6.      The cell is the living link between the Party and the broad masses of the people within its area or sphere.
7.      The tasks of the Party cell are:
a)      To carry out the decisions and directives of the higher committee.
b)      To initiate and lead the revolutionary struggles of the people.
c)      Win the masses in the factory, locality or area for the political line of the Party.
d)      To draw militants and sympathizers into the revolutionary struggles and enroll them as new members and educate them politically.
e)      The cell will be entitled to take decisions under its jurisdiction.

Article XIV
Intermediate Party organs between district and primary units :
1.      There may be village, town, sub-divisional/ zonal/ taluk/ thana or divisional committees.
2.      They shall hold their conference after the prior permission of the district/ area or regional committees.
3.      They shall elect a secretary or secretariat or both and may have an assistant secretary if necessary.
4.      The organizational structure, the rights and functions of intermediate Party organs between the district and primary cell organs are similar to those enumerated in the articles concerning structure and functions of the central, provincial and regional or district committees.

Party discipline :
1.      Party discipline is indispensable for preserving and strengthening the monolithic unity of the Party, for enhancing its strength, its  fighting capacity and its prestige among the masses and for enforcing the principles of democratic centralism. Without strict adherence to Party discipline the Party cannot lead the masses in struggle nor discharge its responsibility towards them and the revolution.
2.      Discipline is based on voluntary and conscious acceptance of the aims, programme and policies of the Party. All members of the Party are equally bound by Party discipline irrespective of their status in the Party organization or in public life.
3.      Violation of the Party constitution and decisions as well as any other action and behavior unworthy of a member of the Communist Party shall constitute a breach of Party discipline and is liable to disciplinary action.
4.      The disciplinary measures are: a) Warning b) Censure c) Public censure d) Removal from the post held in the Party e) Suspension from membership for any period but not exceeding one year f) Removal from Party rolls and g) expulsion.
5.      Disciplinary actin shall be taken where other methods including the method of persuasion have failed to correct the member concerned. The principle shall be to cure the sickness and to save the patient. Even where disciplinary measure has been taken the effort to help the member to correct himself or herself shall continue. In case where the breach of discipline is such that it warrants an immediate disciplinary measure to protect the interests of the Party, its security or prestige, the disciplinary measure shall be taken promptly.
6.      Expulsion from the Party is the severest of all disciplinary measures and this shall be applied with utmost caution, deliberation
and judgment.
7.      All disciplinary measures shall come into effect after confirmation by the next higher committee. In urgency the penalized member may be removed from all Party positions, pending confirmation by higher Party committee.
8.      When a member is simultaneously a member of two Party units or more, the disciplinary measure against him or her shall be taken in the higher unit to which he or she belongs and not in the lower unit.
9.      Party members found to be strike-breakers, habitual drunkards, moral degenerates, betrayers of Party confidence and secrecy an guilty of grave financial corruption will be subject to disciplinary measures.
10.  There shall be right of appeal in all cases of disciplinary measure.
11.  The central, provincial, regional or district committee has the right to dissolve or reorganize any lower committee where persistent defiance of Party decisions and policy, serious factionalism or a breach of Party discipline is involved. But the provincial, regional or district committee will immediately report such action to the next higher committee for whatever action it deems necessary.
12.  In exceptional circumstances, Party committees in their discretion, may resort to summary procedure in expelling members for grave anti-Party activities

Inner –Party discussions:
1.      Inner Party discussions shall be organized on All India scale by the Central Committee:
a)      whenever it considers it necessary.
b)      Whenever an important question of Party policy arises and there is no sufficient firm majority inside the Central Committee.
c)      When a comrade in a committee differs with the majority on a question of principle that will have an effect on All India policy, the concerned comrade can send his views to the Central Committee through his own committee. It is the CC that has to decide whether and when discussion has to be organized.
When a CC member differs with the majority of the Central Committee on any ideological, political, tactical and organizational matter and wants his view to be taken to the provincial committees, it will be sent to the PCs, along with the majority view on the question involved. Question of organizing a discussion on these points will be decided by the CC depending on the importance of the policy raised.
d)      When an Inner-Party discussion on All India scale is demanded by majority provincial committees or a number of provincial committees representing majority of Party members.
2.      If any member of a committee disagrees with the political and organizational line of the Central Committee he or they should submit his or their thesis before the Central Committee. If the Central Committee considers it necessary it may circulate the documents in the Party within 6 months after the receipt of the documents. Documents should be circulated by the CC in the Party with its comments.
3.      Similar inner Party discussion may take place in the provincial, regional or district committee under the guidance of the Central Committee. The Central Committee can call a Plenum as the when it feels necessary.
4.      Prior to the Party Congress, conferences, circulation of documents for inner Party discussion at all levels shall be organized by the Central Committee. Amendments and resolutions of such conferences shall be sent to the Central Committee which will take them into account while formulating its documents for the Congress.

Party Periodicals :
1.      The Central Committee shall publish an ideological political organ of the Party.
2.      To fulfill the needs of the Party in the provinces or regions the provincial or regional committees may publish the provincial organs. Such published organs shall be in conformity with the political and organizational line of the Central Committee.

Party members working in mass organizations:
Fractions may be formed in the mass organizations wherever necessary and function in an organized manner under the guidance of the
appropriate Party Committee.

The Central Committee may frame rules and bye-laws under the Party constitution and in conformity with it. Bye-laws may also be framed by the provincial committees subject to confirmation by the Central Committee.

The Party constitution may be amended by the Party Congress if it deems it necessary. Under exceptional circumstances, the CC may by two-third majority, amend the Constitution subject to approval by next Congress.

All India Congress

11-16 April, 1992