Speaking at a plenum of the party Central Committee called to discuss the nationality crisis, Gorbachev said the 15 Soviet republics should be given broad political freedom and that a Central Committee commission should be established to deal with ethnic problems.
Soviet Union are demagogues trying to fool people with false promises about the "pleasant sauce" of independence.
Gorbachev said the 12-member Politburo has approved a proposal to convene the 28th party congress next October, even though it was not scheduled to take place until the spring of 1991.
"The decision to convene the congress at an earlier date is dictated by the need to thoroughly update the party itself, with regard for its new role as a political vanguard of society," Gorbachev said, speaking in the Kremlin's Central Committee Hall before a giant mural of Soviet founder V. I. Lenin. "We cannot leave things as they are."
Typically, there is a party congress every five years, to set broad policy lines and determine membership in the Central Committee and Politburo. The 27th congress, in March, 1986, approved the start of perestroika , Gorbachev's plan for restructuring the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev said the congress to be convened next year will be asked to approve a "program of action" to deepen the process of perestroika and that the program will be published six months before the congress opens.
Gorbachev revealed his plans in speeches carried on Radio Moscow and Soviet television, marking the first time that part of a Central Committee plenum has been broadcast nationwide.
The plenum, which was attended by 349 full and candidate members of the Central Committee, as well as the top two party officials from each of the republics and various key organizations, is to continue today.
The fact that Gorbachev deviated from the plenum's main purpose of discussing the crucial nationalities issue to announce the early convening of a congress and outline some of its purposes underlined the importance he attaches to the timing of the congress.
The decision to move up the date of the congress also appeared to reflect Gorbachev's recognition of the growing public skepticism with which his innovative policies are being greeted. A common complaint is that while perestroika sounds good, it is only words so far.
Shortages of everything from soap to fruits and vegetables continue, and long-submerged ethnic complaints unleashed by his policy of glasnost , or greater openness, have triggered a crisis of nationalism.
A recent poll in the newspaper of the Communist Party Youth League found that a third of the young people questioned said they do not support the party, while 15% said they support the party but have some doubts about its actions.
Nevertheless, Gorbachev's willingness to indicate that he plans to rid the party of conservatives is a sign that he feels confident enough of his power base to signal publicly that a further shake-up is in the works.
Gorbachev told the Central Committee that perestroika is at a "crucial--I would say watershed--stage," and that there is no time to waste. The Communist Party, he said, must "act vigorously and imaginatively," and he added: "The work of party bodies and organizations is currently, in many ways, fettered by old structures and outdated rules. The commitment of part of the cadre to old stereotypes also tells."
He said he is convinced that it is "possible to inject fresh blood into party bodies at all levels (and) this also applies to the Central Committee."
'Renovated and Democratic'
"We must bring in the most creative people and those who are most devoted to perestroika," he said. "Only this type of party, renovated and profoundly democratic in its essence, will be able to lead the masses in the future."