CPM opting for another historic blunder

Nitya Chakraborty

The CPI(M) leadership is at crossroads again. The majority of the politburo  led by the former general secretary Prakash Karat is putting barriers in the way of an electoral understanding with the anti-BJP forces led by the Congress and in the process obstructing the course of building an all out unity of the opposition parties against the BJP and its allies in the coming assembly elections as also in the Lok Sabha poll in 2019.The issue of giving primary importance to the defeat of the BJP in the coming elections, approved at the CPI(M)’s last party congress at Hyderabad in April this year,  is being negated by the dominant section of the politburo which is not allowing the party general secretary Sitaram Yechury to take initiative in forming anti-BJP alliances on the lines of the Hyderabad political resolution.
The assembly elections in five states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana are due by the end of this year and the Lok Sabha elections outcome will depend to a great extent on the results of the assembly elections. The Congress is the major party of the opposition and any anti-BJP front has to be formed with the participation of the Congress. The process may be tortuous for the formation of such a front but there is no alternative to this for unseating the Narendra Modi government from power in the next Lok Sabha poll. The opposition has to win the assembly elections by year end to create a big momentum in the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections and for that every effort has to be made to avoid the division of anti-BJP votes.
After a grueling debate in the Hyderabad congress of the CPI(M) in April this year, the delegates amended the 2015 party congress resolution which said that ”However, the defeating of BJP has to be done without having an understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress Party”. This was deleted and replaced by “But this has to be done without having a political alliance with the Congress Party”. Sources say that at the recent meeting of the politburo on September 26, the dominant section of the politburo took the position that as per the Hyderabad document, no electoral understanding can be forged with the Congress Party and the CPI(M)  should try to have understanding with the other anti-BJP parties , excepting the Congress. At this moment of the national politics, when all the anti-BJP parties are joining hands to form a front of the opposition to fight the BJP, this sort of ideological purity and Congress phobia, is sure to bring damage to the  future of the CPI(M).  This will also give a bad name to the Left as a whole.
There has been a widespread movement in the country including the dalits, the minorities and the civil society against the BJP and the RSS and the CPI(M) party congress has also dubbed the BJP and the RSS as the main enemy.   If the CPI(M) finally goes by this logic of the Kerala  faction , that will  see further erosion of the CPI(M) in national politics. Apart, this myopic policy will lead the biggest left party of the country to the fringe again- isolated from the mainstream of national politics.
The CPI(M) was at its peak in strength in Lok Sabha with 43 seats after the 2004 elections. The Left got 61 seats then – the largest till now. The CPI(M) seats have now come down to only 9- five in Kerala and two each in West Bengal and Tripura. In the coming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, all indications suggest that the CPI(M) will be losing all the seats in Bengal and  Tripura. The Party can expect seats in Kerala only but that will not be adequate to reach the current strength. The CPI(M) and the Left have to be highly pro-active at the national level as a partner of the anti-BJP front in the coming assembly and Lok Sabha elections to raise their respective parliamentary strength also. The CPI has taken a pragmatic policy on its relationship with the Congress in the context of its objective to defeat the BJP at all costs. The CPI leadership is making all efforts to strengthen the anti-BJP front including the Congress. In Bihar and Telangana, alliance talks have progressed, in some other states, the understanding can be arrived in a limited manner taking into account the strength of the party.
For the 91 wise members of the CPI(M) central committee, this is the last chance to put the Party in the mainstream of opposition movement against the BJP. The Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, despite its burgeoise vacillations, is far more reliable as an ally against the saffron forces as compared to the preceding Congress presidents in the recent years. The CPI(M) has to adapt its strategy to  meet the urgency and the demands of the present political crisis which needs the building of a programme based  opposition front of the anti-BJP forces including the Congress. If the central committee members of the CPI(M) ignore this reality and abide by the dominant politburo line, the Party will soon be pushed to the fringe as a result of another historic blunder. (IPA)

Monday, 15 October, 2018