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CPM Bengal unit in favour of allies, others say go solo

Published : Sep 2, 2018, 4:31 am IST
Updated : Sep 2, 2018, 5:51 am IST

Organisations (BPMO) which is going door-to-door with issues concerning people.

Prakash Karat (Photo: PTI)
 Prakash Karat (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: While a debate had been raging within the CPI(M) on whether to remain equidistant from both, the Congress and the BJP, or to tilt in favour of one, the Bengal unit of the party has categorically submitted in its report to the central committee that Marxists should “not hesitate” to join hands with any anti-BJP force to defeat Modi led BJP during the forthcoming general elections. While Bengal line of the party could be music to Congress’ ears, other state units continue to be cautious and want the party to adopt a “pragmatic” approach to retain its political bases.

A total of six state units — Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh — have sent in their reports ahead of next month’s CPI(M) central committee meeting which is supposed to decide the party’s stand ahead of the 2019 general elections. Out of these, the Bengal unit has categorically said that the party’s aim in the state is to remove the BJP at Centre and Trinamul Congress in the state.

“Modi hatao, Mamata hatao” is the slogan that has been coined and it is being implemented in the state by the party’s Bengal Platform of Mass

Organisations (BPMO) which is going door-to-door with issues concerning people. However, top sources said that in the reports submitted by other states, the issue of retaining the party’s own space has been flagged. For example, in states likes Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where Congress is the dominant party and is largely expected to win the coming Assembly elections, the CPI(M) might not be accommodated and would have to fight for its own space.

“The reports take into account the grounds realities in each state,” sources said, and added that in cases where the party needs to retain its space it will fight on its own.

Sources said that a recent example was of the Palghar bypoll in Maharashtra where the Congress had asked the CPI(M) not to field its candidate as the Congress’ candidate had a “strong” chance of winning. However, since the CPI(M) thought that it had a strong base in the area after its “Kisan Long March”, it fielded its own candidate and pipped the Congress for the fourth position.

The five-cornered contest with the BJP, Shiv Sena, Bahujan Vikas Ahadi, Congress-NCP and the CPI(M) in the fray had resulted in the BJP winning the seat.

In Bihar, another state which has evinced interest in fighting as part of the Congress-RJD alliance, the CPI(M) might get the Samastipur seat, Arrah and Begusarai may go to the CPI(ML) and the CPI respectively.

The CPI(M) has been in the throes of a bitter factional fight between the Bengal camp backed by party general secretary Sitaram Yechury and the Kerala camp of former general secretary Prakash Karat. While the former favoured an alliance with the Congress, the latter was against it.

However, in a dramatic development, the CPI(M) in its April 22 party congress had endorsed the political-tactical line proposed by Mr Yechury, paving the way for an “understanding” with the Congress and other secular-democratic forces to form a broad pan-India, anti-BJP coalition ahead of the 2019 election.

Tags: prakash karat, bjp allies, anti-bjp, kisan long march