iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Zia Haq, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 21, 2009
Big brother, take note. An unhappy CPI cocked a snook at the CPM for its “arrogance”, dropping a strong hint of displeasure with the principal Left ally for playing political hardball. The CPI — headed by the humble A.B. Bardhan (84) — said at the end of its two-day national executive on Wednesday: “It (the national executive) emphasises the need for humility and total absence of arrogance in the behaviour and attitude of all Left leaders and activists in relation to people.”
This veiled attack on the CPM, often dubbed the Left Big Brother and whose political line the CPI usually toes, is the strongest echo yet of sub-terrain differences of opinion.

Clearly, the party feels a bullish CPM recklessly forced its way into the elections, turning the Congress, a natural ally, into a sworn enemy. The CPI views this strident political line as the reason for the rout.

“Make your own deductions. Humility is at the heart of communist values. I will speak my heart and mind after our national council in July,” CPI chief Bardhan told HT.

CPI national secretary D. Raja said his party’s national executive has called for “humility in the Left’s relations with both people and allies”.

A CPI source, however, conceded that the CPM’s idea of a Third Front was “premature” but, for the record, Bardhan himself did advocate a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance for the umpteenth time before the polls.

The CPI has questioned the “conduct” of the CPM-led governments in West Bengal and Kerala. In West Bengal’s Nandigram, a farmer uprising against land acquisition was brutally crushed with bullets. “This could have been handled differently. The Left paid a price for this,” the CPI source said.

The impact of the Left debacle was harder on the CPI. It contested in 57 seats in 23 states and won only four and lost all three sitting seats in Kerala.