By Arun Srivastava
Prakash Karat might have been feeling ecstatic at his victory. The Central Committee members endorsed his political line of ‘no alliance, no understanding with the Congress’. But the BJP is celebrating his triumph.Karat and his comrades have made the task of making a clean sweep of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections easy for the BJP.It has been claimed that a 26-party front has already been floated, but no one knows more about it. This is nothing but a bunch of paper tigers nursing regional aspirations devoid of a national perspective.
In the process of nursing his false bourgeoise ego, Karat has inflicted a severe damage to the party. It may not be possible to construe the quantum of the damage, but the fact remains that Karat has pushed the party on the brink of turning it irrelevant in Indian politics. Already a major section of the party’s Central Committee leaders is feeling depressed and suffering isolationist syndrome. No doubt his victory will hasten up the process of disintegration.
Ever since he withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh government, the rank and file and leaderswere looking towards Karat for some alternative Marxist line.But he let them down. Instead of engineering factional feud in the party over these years, he has precious little to provide a direction. Despite all his claims of working hard to rejuvenate the party, he has continued to attack and belittle his colleagues who have been upholding the line of pragmatism. It is intriguing why he is averse to pragmatism. Does he nurse the feeling thathe can lead the party and be the architect for a peasant or industrial revolution in India?
It is tough to make out the reasons for Karat’s averseness to evolution of a broad forum of the democratic and secular forces to fight the BJP and its allies in the 2019 LokSabha elections. He is aware that his party has turned out to a social democrat outfit and is incapable to launch a protracted struggle. It is nothing but manifestation of his lack of proper perception of the nature and character of the Indian state and also of his losing touch with the proletariat and poor people.
At a time when even a layman is feeling insecure and is living under the threat of saffron violence, Karat is not willing to unite the anti-BJP force and ensure the defeat of BJP. It is worth mentioning that for him the BJP is not a fascist party. For establishing his argument, he may cite some polemics and theories, but he cannot deny that the saffron outfit has been resorting to fascist machinations to finish the secular and democratic forces.
It is true that Sitaram Yechury losing the fight has not come as a surprise. With Karat having a sizeable number of CC members on his side, that too on the regional political line, this outcome was quite natural. What is really sad is the self-damage inflicting regional policy that Karat is patronising and promoting. This is anti-Marxist approach. Unfortunately, Karat who claims to be the true disciple of Marx, never tried to resolve this vexed issue. Instead, he allowed it to prosper. He never allowed the concept of democratic centralism to function inside the party.
A day after Karat won the battle of ego, his supporters and aides came out with phony arguments that they are in favour of having working relation with the Congress after the election. This is an eyewash and misleading assurance. What can Karat do once the secular and democratic forces are wiped out?Will he reverse the results? With Yechury’s draft getting defeated at the Central Committee meet, it is certain that 22nd Congress of the party, which is being held in Hyderabad from April 18 to April 22 this year, will debate only Karat’s draft. It obviously implied that Yechury will find little scope to argue his views. It is an open secret that without Congress no opposition unity could be achieved.
Astonishingly, Karat is against having an understanding with the Congress but his draft does not specify the alternative model, the new tactics, to check the onslaught of the BJP. Only a person having soft corner for BJP could create such a situation. One thing is absolutely clear that Yechury will not accept this defeat without any protest. Preceding the party Congress, Yechury will have to reach out to the party cadres and delegates explaining the nuances of his proposal on the unity of the democratic forces.
Defeating BJP at the 2019 Lok Sabha polls is the call of the hour. The Hyderabad party Congress of CPI(M) will have to rise to the political realities.But the chances do not appear to be bright. With an inflated ego, Karat may not like to surrender to the suggestions of Yechury. Realising this future impediment, Yechury had offered to resign, but was asked to continue by the Politburo (PB). The defeat of the general secretary’s line, nearly after four decades in the CPM, marked a new crisis that has engulfed the party. The last time the CPM faced a similar situation was in 1975 — when the political line proposed by then general secretary P Sundarayya was rejected by the CC. Sundarayya, the party’s founder general secretary, resigned.
The Politburo rightly prevailed over Yechury not to put in his papers. But the question arises why was Karat reluctant not to allow Yechury to experiment with his ideas. Instead of putting the drafts on vote at the CC, Karat should have agreed to place both the documents before the Congress.Some leaders nurse the view that the Kerala faction has been trying to buy peace with the BJP as the CBI has challenged the acquittal of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC-Lavelin pay-off case by the High Court. Incidentally, just ahead of thecrucial meetings to fine-tune the party’s political strategy, the CBIbecame active. It has been maintaining silence for a year.
The urgency has been so acute that the Karat faction did not dwell at Yechury’s draft. The Yechury formulation was that the party should realise its objective “without entering into an electoral alliance or front with the ruling class parties”.It is worth mentioning that in Tripura BJP is “emerging as the anti-Left” force and was aligning with “extremist organisations.” According to Yechury, BJP has already entered into an alliance with Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura. In fact, Yechury has ruled out possibility of an electoral understanding with Congress in Tripura. He is on the record: “We are going (to polls) as Left Front in Tripura. Our main aim is to defeat the BJP there. As far as Congress is concerned in Tripura, much of it was taken by Trinamool Congress earlier and recently by the BJP”.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the national perspective and policy of the CPI(M) have become the victim of local interests and factionalism that is gripping its Kerala unit.The Karat faction is trying to thrust the blurred sectarian approach and vision on the national outfit. (IPA Service)