In a predictable setback for the opposition bloc, the CPI-M has reportedly decided against alliances in Bengal and Kerala, where its main rivals are its INDIA partners Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool and the Congress.
Additionally, it has decided not to name any representative for coordination meetings of the anti-BJP front.
The CPM has, sources say, decided to maintain a distance from “both the BJP and the Trinamool” in Bengal, exposing the fault lines in the opposition alliance that aims to fight unitedly in an attempt to defeat the BJP in next year’s national election.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the CPM’s politburo in Delhi over the weekend, sources have said. The decisions are part of a strategy to ensure no division of opposition votes, the sources claimed.
The CPM did not attend the INDIA coordination committee meeting last week; a seat was kept vacant in the 14-member panel.
The Left’s decision, though surprising, may not unsettle Mamata Banerjee, given her prior expression of discomfort with the idea of sharing a stage with Left leaders.
The CPM politburo’s statement after the meeting does not spell out these decisions. On record, it said it would work for the consolidation and expansion of the alliance.
“The Polit Bureau decided to work for the further consolidation and expansion of INDIA bloc to strengthen the efforts to safeguard the secular democratic character of the Indian Republic, the Constitution, Democracy and People’s fundamental rights and civil liberties. This requires that the BJP must be kept away from controlling the union government and state power. The Polit Bureau decided to further strengthen these efforts,” said the statement.
The politburo said it also endorsed the party’s stand in the last three meetings of the INDIA bloc in Patna, Bengaluru and Mumbai to organise a series of public meetings across the country and to mobilize the people to ensure the defeat of the BJP in upcoming elections.
However, it did indicate its reservations over the INDIA bloc’s “organisational structures”. “While all decisions will be taken by the leaders of the constituents, there should be no organisational structures that will be an impediment for such decisions,” the statement said.
The party refused to name its representative for the INDIA Coordination and Election Strategy committee after senior Congress leader Kamal Nath scrapped the INDIA rally in Bhopal.
The CPM-Mamata Banerjee rivalry is just one of the complicated relationships that plague the opposition bloc formed in July with the name INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). The other is the Congress vs Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) feud.
Kamal Nath, according to reports, had conveyed to his leadership the hypocrisy of an INDIA rally when AAP had announced candidates against the Congress for the Madhya Pradesh polls later this year.