Sources said the leadership vacuum of dalits is only at the top as nearly 70% of the leadership in states comprises of dalits and OBCs together.
New Delhi: Even as the CPI(M) was trying to forge a social unity of Left forces and dalits, there has been much criticism of the party’s failure to include a dalit in its politburo and the lack of overall leadership from backward castes in the party.
The concerns about absence of dalits in the top leadership comes in the backdrop of efforts by the CPI(M), along with other Left parties, to forge a new social alliance involving the communists and dalits. The party’s Telangana unit has already formed the Bahujan Left Front with several small Ambedkar-Phuleite SC/ST/OBC parties.
Sources said the leadership vacuum of dalits is only at the top as nearly 70 per cent of the leadership in states comprises of dalits and OBCs together.
“Dalits are coming in large numbers into the party. You will find dalits and Muslims in leadership positions at the lower level, but that is not reflected in the leadership at higher levels. It is not happening in the way we would want it to happen,” a senior politburo member said.
Party insiders though say that the problem is not social or organisational, but financial in nature as it was difficult for dalit members to become CPI(M) whole-timers, who in turn are the ones mostly making it to the top decision-making bodies.
Sources said that a CPI(M) whole-timer gets a salary of around Rs 5,000-Rs 8,000 per month depending on the state. “It is very difficult for people from economically backward strata, to which many dalit cadre belong to, thus become whole-timers as they cannot sustain their families with the amount given,” he said.