By Shruti Sonal
The debate over the possibility of forming an effective opposition to BJP’s ‘saffron wave’ has only become more complicated as CPM has revealed its political roadmap for the next three years. The draft political resolution (DPR) of the party, which is now open for suggested amendments, has been criticised for potentially marginalising the left-wing presence even further, as it has ruled out an alliance with the Congress to defeat BJP in the upcoming general elections.
The draft resolution makes an alliance difficult
The document, which will be finalised at the CPM’s 22nd party congress in April, categorically states that “the main task is to defeat the BJP and its allies by rallying all secular and democratic forces”. However, curiously, it adds that this has “to be done without having an understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress party”. This has brought into focus the crucial question of who is controling the reigns of the party and highlights a growing rift between the ‘moderate’ Sitaram Yechury and ‘hardliner’ Prakash Karat. Yechury, who had threatened to quit as the secretary general of the party after his pro-Congress position was sidelined, now seems to be set up for further marginalisation.
More worrying than the widening of internal chasms, the CPM’s decision also marks a failed opportunity for the opposition to ally against the BJP and the various communal forces that are gaining strength in the country. By dismissing an alliance with the resurgent Congress, CPM has again signalled its reluctance to move away from its backward-looking positions. CPM’s roadmap has also failed to give any positive signal to the regional parties. The document asserts that the party will fight the neo-liberal policies of not just the BJP Union government, but also of “the various state governments, including those run by regional parties”. This reluctance to focus on common interests instead of ideological cleavages is likely to cost CPM electorally, especially in states such as Tripura and West Bengal—its traditional strongholds.
The left remains unable to unite
An extremely disappointed CPI leader, D Raja, termed the CPM’s decision “self-contradictory” and said that it was “impossible” to rally the anti-BJP vote without coming to any understanding with the largest opposition party, Congress. The allegations made by the ‘Kerala Lobby’ led by Karat against Congress, which has been accused of being ‘pro-capitalist’, has left the left-wing parties in disarray. No clarity seems to exist on the other alternatives for an alliance of “secular and democratic forces” that the CPM has called for to counter the BJP’s position.
The current window for amendments and modifications which will last until the party’s April meeting is a chance for the CPM leadership to take these criticisms into account. The need of the hour is for CPM to wage one battle at a time. In the absence of this, the only political player that will win will be the BJP.
Featured Image Source: Flickr
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