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Wednesday, Mar 27, 2002

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Southern States - Kerala-Thiruvananthapuram

Rousing start to CPI Congress

By Our Special Corresponden

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MARCH 26. The 18th Congress of the CPI got off to a rousing start here today with veteran freedom fighter, Viswanath Mathur, a long-time inmate of the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, hoisting the party flag to the accompaniment of firework and the traditional Kerala bugle.

The Congress venue, named after the late Indrajit Gupta, was done up with red flags and festoons as is the entire State capital. The delegates to the Congress, numbering over 700, offered floral tributes at the martyrs' column erected at the entrance to the venue after the party flag was hoisted. Shouts of `Inquilab Zindabad' rent the air as the flag went up.

Delegates from 24 fraternal parties across the world were present on the podium to listen to the speeches of the Indian Communist leaders. All the delegations were introduced to the gathering and were greeted with lusty cheers by the delegates. The delegations that received the loudest cheers were those from Vietnam, South Africa, Israel, Sri Lanka and the U. S. The delegates would address an international solidarity session being held tomorrow evening at the Congress venue.

The Congress also paid homage to leaders of the international and national Communist movement, cultural personalities and leaders of various political parties who had died after the last party Congress at Chennai four years ago. Mr. D. Raja made the obituary reference.

The CPI general secretary, A. B. Bardhan, would place the draft political resolution before the delegates on Wednesday. The discussion on the resolution and the organisational report would continue till March 30. The Congress would draw to a close with a mass rally on March 31.

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