CPM: Unity dilemma

The CPM appears confused over whom to unite with and against whom. The party has gone on record to say that the BJP is its main enemy and that to fight the battle against the BJP the unity of all secular and democratic forces is a must. By any definition, the Congress is both secular and democratic. Some CPM leaders like Prakash Karat realize this but the anti-Congress sentiment in them is so strong and has been ingrained over such a long time that despite knowing that the Congress cannot be left out in the fight against communalism, they find it hard to persuade them into accepting the Congress as an ally.
Things become more complicated when the dominating trait in the CPM brings them into conflict with other Left allies. Kerala is an example. Here the RSS and the BJP are fast growing in strength and breathing down the neck of the LDF Government led by the CPM. Even so, the CPM finds itself unable to go along with its Left allies. Unable to stomach the overbearing attitude of the CPM, two of its Left allies, the Forward Bloc and the RSP, have already left the LDF. One by one, they broke with the CPM and joined the Congress-led UDF. Now the CPM has fallen out with the CPI on the issue of corruption. The difference between the two parties has become acute after three ministers in the UDF cabinet had to resign, one by one, after being accused of corruption. Now the CPI-M’s relation with the CPI seems to have reached the breaking point. If the CPI also deserts the CPM, the latter’s position as the ruling party will become more vulnerable.
In West Bengal, the party is facing a different problem. The Bengal unit of the party is all for working with the Congress against the Trinamool Congress-led State Government headed by Mamata Banerjee. On record the State party leaders say they are both against the TMC and the BJP but in practice they consider the TMC as a bigger enemy than the BJP. According to their understanding, the differences between the TMC and the BJP are all ‘made up’, to hoodwink the people. They refuse to accept the fact that the TMC has emerged as the strongest anti-BJP force on the national arena But the numerically stronger faction of the party’s central leadership led by Prakash Karat is still sticking to its no-truck-with-Congress policy. How the party intends to overcome these ‘inner contradictions’ remains to be seen.

Thursday, 7 December, 2017