To change or not: That’s the Q before CPI(M) as PB meets

CPI(M) Polit Bureau will meet here on Monday to see whether the warring factions led by Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat could find a common ground on party’s approach towards the Congress party.

The Polit Bureau is meeting for the second time in a month to finalise the outline for a draft political resolution for the triennial Party Congress in Hyderabad in April next year but there is no sign of a thaw among the leaders on having an electoral truck with Congress party.

While a section led by General Secretary Yechury is of the view that there is a need for joining hands with Congress and other secular parties to take on BJP, the Karat-led faction feels that there is no need to change the political tactical line of keeping Congress at arms length.

Yechury has the backing of Bengal unit that favours a truck with Congress while Karat, who handed over the party’s reins in 2015 Party Congress to Yechury, is banking on Kerala unit’s support that is vehemently against any such move.

“Let us see if we can reach some agreements,” a senior Polit Bureau member said.

Sources said if the 16-member Polit Bureau, where Karat faction has a majority, cannot find a common ground, then the “two approaches” will go to the Central Committee that will meet here for three days from October 14 to finalise the outline. It is to be seen how the Central Committee meeting this month would view the positions taken by the two factions.

The draft resolution on political-tactical line will be finalised by the Central Committee in January next year and put in public domain for discussions before the Party Congress finalises it.

The differences among the factions had come to the fore in the recent past over Bengal unit’s decision to have an understanding with Congress in the West Bengal Assembly elections and on giving Yechury a third term in Rajya Sabha.

After the last Polit Bureau meeting on September 7, it had issued an unusual denial on remarks made by Yechury that hinted at possible changes in party’s line. He had said the conditions have changed since the last Party Congress in 2015 and that its analysis and alignment accordingly will change. “The basic essential element of Marxism is concrete analysis of concrete conditions,” he said.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Oct 2, 2017)

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