By Nitya Chakraborty
For those who have been anxiously waiting for the CPI(M) central leadership to take a final decision in favour of building a broadbased unity of the democratic and secular forces to fight the BJP and its allies in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the voting outcome at the Sunday’s crucial meeting of the CC. was a big setback. Despite his best efforts, the CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury failed to persuade the Prakash Karat led majority faction to adopt his pragmatic line of building a firm unity of the anti-BJP forces to oust the Narendra Modi government from power. At the 91 member CC, the former general secretary Karat carried the majority with his draft political resolution which says that the party should not enter into any alliance or understanding with the Congress Party. Now as a result of the Karat draft being adopted by a majority of 55 to 31, defeating the draft of Yechury which kept open the line of understanding with the Congress, taking into account the threat from the saffron forces led by the BJP to the Indian nation, there will be only one draft for discussion at the 22nd Party Congress of the CPI(M) being held at Hyderabad from April 18 to April 22 this year.
For all practical purposes, this will mean that the general secretary of the CPI(M) will remain as a lame duck in the remaining three months before the Party Congress and since the Left Front is led by the CPI(M) and Yechury was in the front in the recent months due to his leadership capability and level of acceptance by the other opposition parties, the Left will remain virtually paralysed as Yechury is not expected to make any major efforts for bringing the opposition together as the ground reality shows that no solid opposition unity is possible without the participation and understanding with the Congress. Congress under the present presidentship of Rahul Gandhi is much receptive now in dealing with the other opposition parties and Rahul was really interested in working with the Left on the basis of a minimum common programme. The Congress leaders were also waiting for the outcome of the CPI(M) CC meeting like other opposition parties. Now the Congress will also look for options without the CPI(M) to fight the BJP in the coming elections.
Prakash Karat’s formulation in his draft for the April Party Congress does not emphasise the need for immediate workable strategy to prevent the saffrons from coming to power in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and in the assembly elections in 2018. Karat talks of strengthening the left parties and also ties with the regional parties. Nobody objects to it but to fight the burgeoning BJP, just this sort of understanding is not enough, there has to be an understanding with the principal opposition party of the country Congress which is present in all the states and is the major Party fighting the BJP in most of the states. What will be the position of the Left voters in the states where the election battle is polarized between the Congress and the BJP.
Of the eight states that are going to the polls in 2018, the BJP rules three- Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The Left has got some pockets in these states. The CPI has got bases in MP and Chhattisgarh while the CPI(M) has pockets of influence in Rajasthan. In all the three states, there is a possibility of some understanding without coming to any electoral front. If the objective is to defeat the BJP, ways can be found out for working out such informal understanding. Karat’s line has ruled out the possibility of such informal understanding which is so urgent for the success of the secular forces against the BJP. CPI(M) is ruling Tripura and the Party as a part of the Left Front is fighting the assembly elections on February 18 and there is a good possibility that the CPI(M) will again get the mandate in Tripura. There are other three poll bound states in North East- Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram. The BJP is desperate to get all the three states this time. The political strategy suggested by Yechury would have put the CPI(M) and the Left once again in the mainstream and pushed the Left agenda in the common minimum programme for which the Congress leadership is now ready. If the Karat line is adopted in the Hyderabad Party Congress, that will mean CPI(M)s isolation again and it will be acting on the fringe when the entire country will be engaged in a high pitch political battle between the secular forces led by the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and the saffrons led by Narendra Modi.
However, in politics, time flies and the situation changes in weeks. All is not lost for Sitaram Yechury. As he mentioned at the Sunday briefing that the draft political line of Karat adopted by the CC, will be discussed at the Party Congress and it will be the final political line for three years after adoption at the Party Congress. In the next three months preceding the Party Congress, Yechury has to work hard in conveying his message of broadbased unity to the party conferences and the elected delegates for the Congress. The opposition parties like the RJD,JD(U) led by Sharad Yadav, NCP should also campaign for a broadbased unity on the lines of Yechury. The saffron forces may intensify their attacks against the Indian nation further. These developments must be having some impact on the CPI(M) delegates who will be attending the Hyderabad Congress. These delegates are working among the common people and they should know how the anti-BJP maseses are thinking and what is the best way to get rid of Modi regime?
The CPI has been consistently talking of broadbased unity against the BJP that includes the Congress. The Party should not interfere in the internal affairs of the CPI(M) but the CPI has certainly interests in seeing that the Yechury line wins at the Hyderabad Congress. That is much nearer to the CPI line that will be adopted at the Thiruvanthapuram party Congress of the CPI in the last week of April this year. The draft political resolution adopted at the Kolkata CC meeting will be debated at the conferences and there is good scope for bringing amendment by the Yechury supporters to bring it on the lines of Yechury’s draft which was defeated at the CC. The grim ground situation in the Modi regime and the programme of the RSS in creating a Hindu Rashtra by 2022, should be enough to make realization among the CPI(M) delegates that at this moment, defeating BJP on all fronts , is the call of the hour. There is still some hope. The Hyderabad Party Congress of CPI(M) may finally facilitate the formation of a broad anti-BJP front on the lines of the present CPI(M) General secretary. (IPA service)
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