CPI-M Central Committee says 'no' to electoral pact with Congress

CPI-M Central Committee says 'no' to electoral pact with Congress

Kolkata, Jan 21 (IANS) The CPI-M's Central Committee on Sunday ruled out, by majority vote, any "understanding or electoral alliance" with the Congress in its draft political resolution, with General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the final decision will be taken in the party Congress slated to be held in Hyderabad in April.

Iterating that the party's main task was to defeat the BJP government at the centre and its policies, which have carried out "unprecedent ed assaults" and imposed "unprecedented burden" on India and its people, Yechury said the electoral tactics would be decided by the states at the time of polls.

In order to meet the "threat" from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Central Committee - which concluded its three-day session on Sunday - called for mobilising "all secular democratic forces".

"As per the draft political resolution which was adopted by the Central Committee with a 55-33 vote, appropriate electoral tactics will be undertaken, which will ensure maximum pooling of popular votes against the BJP.

"How that will be done, when elections come, at that time depending on the concrete situation state to state, we will take a call. But the line that the party will follow, is the line that will be defined by the highest forum, the party Congress, on the basis of which things will be worked out."

To a specific query on whether the party would enter into a tie-up with the Congress, Yechury said: "The amended form of the Politburo draft has been adopted by the central committee.. .As per the draft, there would be no understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress.

"Since 2002, we have always said there is no electoral front or alliance with the Congress, because it represents the interest of the Indian ruling classes."

Reminded that the CPI-M-led Left front had forged an electoral understanding with the Congress in West Bengal during last year's assembly polls, Yechury said "electoral tactics are electoral tactics" but the political resolutions taken here would determine the party's political or tactical lines for the next three years based on the final decision by the party Congress.

He said the amended draft, formulated through three meetings of the Politburo and the Central Committee, will be placed before the party Congress.

"Two months ahead of the Congress, the draft will be released to the party rank and file. That will be done in mid February. All units and members have the right to submit amendments to the draft resolution. All amendments will be placed at party Congress," he said.

Party insiders said the Central Committee resolution marked yet another victory of former party General Secretary Prakash Karat and his loyalists, who are strongly opposed to any truck with the Congress because of its "fondness for neo-liberal and pro-capitalist policies".

On the other hand, Yechury and his supporters - which include an overwhelming majority of the members from West Bengal - advocate a soft line and a possible electoral tie-up with the Congress to defeat the BJP.

The powerful Kerala and Tripura lobbies have sided with Karat on the issue.

The Karat and Yechury groups have been slogging it out in various party fora on the need for getting closer to the Congress.

After the two parties formed a tactical alliance in Bengal last year, the CPI-M Politburo - dominated by pro-Karat leaders - had censured the state party unit saying it was "not in consonance with the Central Committee decision".

Yechury dodged questions about differences in the party Central Committee, the placing of two political resolutions at the meeting, and whether he was considering resigning from the post after repeated defeats of his line.

"The point is what happens internally I can't tell you. I came here as General Secretary, as the party told me to get back to you as its General Secretary."

However, his repeated assertions about the party Congress being the highest forum and about the electoral tie-ups to be decided at the time of polls, left no one in doubt about his line of thinking.



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