Prakash Karat wants the CPI(M) to take up the task of defeating the BJP by rallying all the secular and democratic forces , but there the Congress, the largest anti-BJP party which is fighting the BJP the whole hog in the recent elections and which will be the main political party to fight the Hindutva forces in the coming assembly elections, will not be a part of that. An analysis for Different Truths.
The draft political resolution released by the CPI(M) for debate among its members on the eve of the 22nd Congress of the Party at Hyderabad on April 18 to 22 this year, is full of contradictory positions. The document prepared by the former general secretary of the party Prakish Karat dashes all hopes of the possibility of building a broad front of the secular and democratic forces including the Congress Party to confront the BJP and its allies in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Though the draft mentions that the main task is to defeat the BJP and its allies by rallying all the secular and democratic forces, it adds “however, this has to be done without having an understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress Party”.
What a formulation? Karat wants the CPI(M) to take up the task of defeating the BJP by rallying all the secular and democratic forces , but there the Congress, the largest anti-BJP party which is fighting the BJP the whole hog in the recent elections and which will be the main political party to fight the Hindutva forces in the coming assembly elections, will not be a part of that. This approach was approved by the CPI(M) central committee at its last meeting in Kolkata in January by a majority defeating the pragmatic approach of the current general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Now, the Party delegates will discuss the draft at the Party Congress in April if Sitaram is successful in persuading the majority of the delegates to see the face of political reality at the present juncture and get his line approved defeating Karat’s line, that will save the Left movement and will facilitate the process of a broad unity which will be able to confront the BJP at all fronts with greater vigour. There can also be a possibility that Karat himself dilutes his line in the context of the developments in the next two months and bring this on lines of Sitaram’s approach. That will be the most welcome development for the CPI(M) and the Left and secular5 forces as a whole.
But as of now, the draft resolution has shut all doors for active collaboration with the Congress Party in fighting the BJP. While analysing the position of political parties, the draft says the BJP is no ordinary bourgeoisie party as the fascistic Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh guides and dominates it. “When the BJP is in power, the RSS gets access to the instruments of state power and the state machinery. The BJP is run and controlled by the fascistic RSS”. Naturally, the corollary should be how to combat best these fascistic tendencies which have spread in the country and the government due to Narendra Modi being in power for the last four years. But the chapter on “political line” in the draft does not mention fascist or fascistic. The draft says that given the experience of the nearly four years of rule of the Modi government, it is imperative to defeat the BJP government in order to isolate the Hindutva communal forces and reverse anti-people economic policies.
The draft chapter on political line also mentions, given the serious challenge posed by the Hindutva forces both inside and outside the government, it is essential to build platforms for the widest mobilization of all secular and democratic forces. The emphasis should be on building unity of people to fight the communal forces at the grassroots. These are not to be seen as political or electoral alliances. Similarly, broad unity to fight against the authoritarian attacks on democratic rights should be forged. Thus it is seen that in the political line chapter, fascism or fascistic forces which were earlier used in characterizing the BJP as a party, has been avoided. Instead of taking up the immediate task of forging a viable anti-BJP strategy, mention has been made of giving priority to developing and building the independent strength of the CPI(M) which will work for the broadening and strengthening of left unity.
The CPI(M)’s tasks mentioned in the draft are so much divorced from the immediate ground reality that one sometimes wonders how the wise men in the central committee could agree to this most unrealistic and unachievable tasks. The CPI(M) talks of defeating the BJP and its allies by rallying all secular and democratic forces. But who are these forces? The Congress, the biggest anti-BJP Party is out, about the regional parties, the draft says that there is no scope for a national level alliance with the regional parties. So who are left? The Forward Bloc and the RSP are not with the Left Democratic Front in Kerala. Only in West Bengal and Tripura, the Left parties are together. The CPI may be a part of CPI(M) led Left Front in these three states but as a part of its policy as mentioned in its draft political resolution for the next Party Congress in Thiruvananthapuram in April this year, the party has agreed to be a part of the broad front of secular and democratic forces including the Congress. The CPI will certainly enter into an electoral alliance with the Congress and RJD in Bihar to defeat the BJP even if the CPI(M) remains out. In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, there has to be a total fight between the BJP and the anti-BJP forces led by the Congress. The CPI can contribute there with its limited mass base. The objective should be not to divide the anti-BJP votes.
When the CPI(M) draft talks of defeating the BJP and removing it from power, it should take in mind that all the present expansion of RSS and fascistic forces are due to the central and state powers of the BJP. Unless this is undermined, there cannot be any progress in fighting against the Hindutva forces. There is no contradiction between the Left’s efforts for independent expansion and building a secular front with the Congress to remove the BJP from power. The draft resolution’s position is like this- the house of the CPI(M) has caught fire, it needs immediate action for dousing that by calling fire brigade, but the CPI(M) leaders are planning for new floors.
The left and secular forces who are friendly with the two communist parties are seriously upset at this contradictory position of the CPI(M) leadership which is hindering the unity of the anti-BJP forces. There has to be three stage unity – first, the total consolidation of the left parties, especially the CPI and the CPI(M), this has to be followed by an understanding with the regional parties and then this should be further expanded to include the Congress Party which automatically spearheads the anti-BJP momentum. Electoral tactics assume importance and there can be flexibility in its application keeping in mind that the opposition will not allow division of anti-BJP votes. Sitaram Yechury has kept enough flexibility in his draft within the framework of the CPI(M) policies and that can be the basis for an understanding of building an anti-BJP front. The outcome of the CPI(M)’s Hyderabad Congress will show whether the CPI(M) will again be a part of mainstream or it will remain in fringe getting the Left further fragmented.
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