The CPM will wait for the Congress to announce its candidate before firming up the party's strategy for the presidential election.
Also, the party's central leadership has decided to play it safe on the demand for
disciplinary action against VS Achuthanadan, in the light of many leaders in the central committee supporting the veteran leader's position on issues arising from the murder of former party member TP Chandrashekharan. The party is in the dock over the murder of Chandrashekharan, a local leader who left the CPM to float a new outfit.Meanwhile, the party has expelled party strongman Anil Basu, a former 7-times MP and former state committee member, during its two-day central committee meeting in New Delhi that ended on Sunday.
"Basu made a severe violation of party discipline by holding a media conference while being under suspension... The state committee recommended his expulsion," state secretary Biman Bose said.
The meeting had some leaders expressing reservations over the party endorsing a Congress candidate for the President's post – in the backdrop of the CPM protesting against a host of policies pursued by the central government.
However, the party wants the Congress to make its choice known first. According to sources, the CPM would like to know if the candidate — when announced — enjoys widespread support among parties other than the Congress and BJP.
The party also wants to know who the Congress has in mind for the post of vice-president. "We need to have a rationale in supporting a candidate proposed by the Congress for the post of president," said a leader.
However, the CPM would have a tough policy decision to make if the Congress goes with Hamid Ansari – considering that it was at the behest of the Left parties that he was chosen for the post of vice-president.
"But it doesn't look like they (Congress) will go for Ansari," quipped a leader.