Divided over Cong, CPI(M) to meet again

Factions led by Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat will lock horns once again at the three-day CPI(M) Central Committee beginning Saturday on whether to keep its doors “tactically open” for an understanding with Congress to counter BJP.

After the Polit Bureau failed to reach a consensus despite two meetings in the past one month, the Central Committee would now debate the outline for the draft political resolution that would be placed before the Party Congress in Hyderabad next April.

While the factions led by General Secretary Yechury and former General Secretary Karat have now arrived at a consensus on ousting BJP government as party’s primary task, the difference is over how to achieve this objective.

The Central Committee would debate the lines of both the factions though the Polit Bureau, where Karat faction has majority, had expressed its vociferous opposition to the idea of having any links with Congress.

Sources claimed the Karat faction wants an explicit mention against Congress in the draft resolution that will be finalised by January.

While the Karat faction, which has the support of Kerala unit, argue that tie-ups or understanding with Congress had never helped the CPI(M), the Yechury supporters, predominantly from the Bengal unit, argue that the party should hold hands with all non-Left secular parties, including Congress, to counter the BJP.

The Yechury faction believes that they are being unnecessarily branded “pro-Congress” when they do not insist on forming a political front with Congress.


Sources said their argument is that “why one should tie your hands” by singling out Congress when there were past experiments along with Congress on cooperating with Fronts “from outside” in the case of United Front and UPA governments. They argue that one cannot take anti-Congressism to “logical absurdity”.

While “not entering” into a political front with non-Left parties, the Yechury faction argues that “a degree of understanding to achieve the objective of ousting and defeating BJP must be forged”. They cite the example of allowing Andhra Pradesh unit to enter into a seat “adjustment” with Congress in 2004 elections as well as similar exercise in Punjab, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

Sources said the meeting could see a vertical divide over the issue and if there is no compromise on the outline, the Central Committee in January next year to finalise the draft resolution would address the question.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Oct 13, 2017)


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