Rising Right and declining Left

As the Right-wing forces tighten their grip on the polity, the Left continues to shoot itself in the foot to become more and more irrelevant. The decision of the majority of the CPM Central Committee to deny a third term to the party’s current general secretary Sitaram Yechuri in the Rajya Sabha is the latest instance of self-goal. Yechuri is not only a good speaker who can marshal facts and figures in support of every statement that he makes, his best quality as a politician is that he is acceptable to a large number of parties and leaders across the political spectrum – a quality that the late Harkishan Singh Surjeet had. Yechuri was not allowed a third term because any high principles or ideological questions reasons. He was just a victim of inner-party feud.
Former party general secretary Prakash Karat and the Kerala lobby’s dislike for Yechuri is well known. To deny him a ticket a specious argument was advanced. Yechuri could win only from West Bengal with the help of the Congress. But this was anathema to the party’s Kerala brigade and also Karat. They stuck to the position that the Congress was untouchable and winning a Rajya Sabha seat with Congress support was out of question. That this argument was specially manufactured to keep Yechuri out is proved by the fact that on many occasions the CPM had engaged in floor coordination with the Congress and other Opposition parties, including its anathema the Trinamool Congress, in Parliament against the BJP-led NDA Government.
After bringing down the mahagathbandhan government in Bihar by weaning away Nitish Kumar from Lalu and Congress and forming a new government with him, the BJP in all likelihood will target West Bengal next. Not much difficulty is expected to be met in Naveen Patnaik’s Odisha. Before the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019, the BJP hopes to have its own government in the few States which are still under the control of non-BJP parties. A strong, united and organized Left could have offered resistance to the rapid growth of the Right-wing forces but that now is a distant dream. The strongest formation in the Left camp is the CPM. It is pursuing a policy of irrational dogmatism which is alienating it more and more from the people and enfeebling its strength to intervene in a given situation. Going by the perverse logic of the CPM and its gut feelings against Mamata and her Trinamool Congress, an undemocratic ouster of Mamata from power may bring cheers to the CPM and its smaller allies. In the end they will also be targeted but at the moment that possibility does not bother the CPM much.

Saturday, 29 July, 2017