The CPI(M) must make it clear at the Party Congress that effective action to take on BJP means all-out unity of the anti-BJP forces including the Congress. The option should be kept open and the CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has enough expertise to know how the Party’s electoral tactics can be navigated to suit the best interests of the Left masses. Here’s a report, for Different Truths.
The resounding success of the BJP in the assembly elections in Tripura by trouncing the CPI(M) which ruled the state for the last twenty-five years, has led to an unprecedented churning in the top echelons of the CPI(M) leadership. The magnitude of the success of the BJP in the three states of the North East signifies the big advance of the saffron forces in this region which was a weak zone for the BJP till three years back. The vandalism resorted to by the pro BJP elements in the wake of the Tripura victory, also signals to the CPI(M) leadership what is in store for the democratic forces in the coming period if the saffron forces are not checked from further advance.
The issue is of urgent importance now as the CPI(M) party congress is slated to be held at Hyderabad from April 18 to 22 and the elected delegates will decide on the party’s strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The dominant leadership of the CPI(M) led by the former general secretary Prakash Karat opposed at the last central committee meeting the general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s draft for keeping options open for an all-out unity of the anti-BJP forces including the Congress in the elections and got the Karat draft passed ruling out any understanding with the Congress. But five weeks before the beginning of the party congress, there is fresh thinking among the Karat supporters and increasingly, the feeling is growing that there should be an all-out unity of the anti-BJP forces to keep the saffron forces out of power after 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Karat himself in his latest editorial in the weekly People’s Democracy writes “The Tripura electoral defeat is a major setback for the CPI(M) and the left and democratic forces in the country. This is the first time the Left had to fight the BJP as its main opponent. The electoral loss must lead to a critical evaluation of the CPI(M)’s political, ideological and organisational work to counter the offensive of the BJP-RSS combine. The coming party congress should help us to equip the party to face the forthcoming battles effectively.”
Earlier also, in an analysis in the CPI(M) organ, Karat said “interest and concern about the political line to be adopted by the CPI(M) stem from the widespread desire of the secular and democratic-minded people that an effective unity is forged to take on the BJP. The political tactical line that the party congress will adopt will meet this concern. Based on the political line, the party will adopt concrete election tactics for the forthcoming assembly and Lok Sabha elections.”
This was written before the Tripura election results were out. So the threat of the RSS is now much more and there has to be an effective action to take on BJP. And there the electoral tactics assume importance in relation to both the regional parties and the Congress. There should be no hanky pinkly at this stage of national politics. The CPI(M) must make it clear at the Party Congress that effective action to take on BJP means all-out unity of the anti-BJP forces including the Congress. The option should be kept open and the CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has enough expertise to know how the Party’s electoral tactics can be navigated to suit the best interests of the Left masses. He should be allowed by the Party Congress to implement his strategy which is the best at this stage for forging an all-out unity against the BJP.
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi told the India Today conclave on March 9 that she is talking to all parties to ensure that a common strategy emerges for keeping BJP out of power after 2019. Congress leader Rajiv Gowda has talked of a common minimum programme of anti-BJP parties. This was done in1996 and again this was the basis before the 2004 UPA 1 government with Left support. Yechury took a prominent role in preparing the CMP and now again he can do that to unite the anti-BJP forces under one programme, but he has to be given that power and flexibility by the CPI(M) party congress.
The moot issue is all the regional parties and the anti-BJP national parties are threatened now by the saffron forces. CPI(M) leadership has now understood the dimension of the danger. It is of little use to argue about the state of fascism in Indian polity now. It may not have reached the final stage but it is advancing and the time is right now to meet the challenge unitedly. And that united challenge is not possible without the full participation of the principal opposition party in the country, the Congress. If the opposition parties are sincere, the ways can be found to prevent the division of anti-BJP votes which is the surest guarantee to defeat the BJP. Congress on its own has swept Rajasthan in Lok Sabha elections and in rural polls. The political compulsions have led the BSP supremo Mayawati to support the Samajwadi Party candidates at the Lok Sabha by-elections in Uttar Pradesh on March 11. That is how the BJP has to be fought and this all out unity can be achieved if the opposition parties feel that the BJP in power is a real threat to all the democratic and secular parties.
The Left could not take full initiative earlier due to the big divide in the CPI(M) leadership, though the CPI is clear in its thinking that the Left on its own is not adequate and there has to be total unity against the BJP including the Congress. That way, for the CPI(M), this is a moment of truth. If the Party Congress comes out with the political line of Yechury in favour of an all-out unity of the anti-BJP forces including the Congress, that will be a big day for the Left as a whole as also the democratic forces in the country. Time is running out for the Left. Any ambiguity in the anti-BJP strategy retained in the April Congress document, will be a disaster for the Left movement and keep the Left in the fringe of the Indian politics for years to come.
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