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To give the BJP a good fight, CPI(M) debates joining hands with Congress again

Anurag Dey | Updated on: 2 October 2017, 22:59 IST
(Arya Sharma/Catch News)

The CPI(M) politburo on Monday met to discuss the possibility of having an electoral understanding with the Congress in its bid to conjure up a broad-based platform against BJP.

Discussing the outline for a draft political resolution for the party congress to be held in Hyderabad in April, the politburo members debated at length about what tactical line should be adopted, but no consensus was reached on the issue of having a truck with the Congress.

Two viewpoints

While CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, supported by the party’s West Bengal unit, endorses tying up with Congress, former general secretary Prakash Karat and the Kerala unit are strongly opposed to idea.

According to sources, both sides put forth their arguments supporting and opposing the idea.

“The issue will be further debated during the central committee meeting on 14-16 14-16 where the political resolution for Congress will be finalised,” said a party source.

The war over the issue came out in public post the 2016 Bengal Assembly polls following the Bengal unit’s decision to forge an understating with the Congress.

Following a routing by the All India Trinamool Congress in the Bengal Assembly polls, the Central Committee - the party’s highest decision-making body – had observed that the "electoral tactics adopted in Bengal was not in consonance with the Central Committee decision not to have an alliance or understanding with the Congress".

Despite the scathing criticism, Yechury and the Bengal unit have been endorsing the idea.

On the government's abject failure

Launching a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi led Centre over its “disastrous” economic policies, the politburo demanded enacting a special law for ensuring minimum support price for farmers and waiving off their loans.

It also demanded rollback of the fuel price hike.

“The Modi government yet again has hiked fuel prices at a time when international prices are showing a remarkable decline. Instead of passing on the benefits of lower prices to the masses, it has hiked the excise duty to the tune of 125 %, making a bonanza in terms of revenue collection,” the politburo said in a statement.

It also criticised RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for directly attacking the “Left strongholds of Kerala and Bengal” and condemned continued attacks on progressive intellectuals and journalists.

Condemning the police baton charging protesting Benares Hindu University students, the CPI(M) also demanded removal of vice-chancellor GC Tripathi.

“Instead of redressing their grievances, the vice-chancellor ordered the police to act against students. Male police personnel beat up girl students. This is part of the attacks on institutions of higher learning all over the country by the RSS-BJP.

“The politburo demands the immediate removal of the VC. Complaints of the students must be addressed forthwith,” it said.

On Javadekar's remarks

The party also lashed out at senior BJP leader and union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar who on the day termed the CPI-M to be “Communist Party-Maoist.”

There has been a war of words between the RSS-BJP and the CPI(M) following Bhagwat’s accusation of Left government in Kerala and Trinamool government in Bengal supporting anti-national forces.

“The CPI(M) has always indulged in murder politics. Communist Party is not Communist Party-Marxist, it is Communist Party- Maoist. They believe in violence. They use violence as a tool,” Javadekar told the media claiming over 120 BJP-RSS workers were killed in Left ruled Kerala in recent times.

Javadekar’s remarks were in reaction to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who lambasted Bhagwat, saying the RSS which turned their back towards the freedom struggle and served the colonial rulers, should not preach about nationalism.

CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat condemned Javadekar for the remarks.

“Instead of solving issues faced in BHU and other universities, the HRD minister is busy making wild allegations. These attacks on us are actually meant to divert the attention of the masses. The Modi government has been an abject failure on all counts, Karat said, after the meeting.

“Realising that the ground beneath its feet is fast slipping, the government is targeting the Opposition.”

First published: 2 October 2017, 22:59 IST