For the first time since the nuclear deal pulled the Congress and Left apart, CPI-M leader Prakash Karat on Friday dropped a clear hint that the former ally continues to blip on the Left’s radar, as far as fighting communal forces is concerned.
Reacting to Christian leader John Dayal’s view that the Congress is no different when it comes to the welfare of minorities, Karat, for a fleeting moment, appeared to defend the Congress. “We must maintain a distinction between the BJP and Congress. Please don’t write off the Congress in this fight against communalism,” he said, speaking at a meeting held under the aegis of Centre for Policy Analysis.
Asked if this was an indication that not all was over between the two parties, he told HT: “When I said that, I didn’t talk about current political alignments. As far as the next general elections go, our central committee has decided to fight both BJP and the Congress electorally. But the Left and Congress will have to fight communal forces together.”
The tenor of Karat’s words is in stark contrast to the bitterness that had crept into Congress-Left discourse over the deal. Karat also called for a new platform of anti-communal forces where political parties could work with members of civil society.
The Left leader’s comments, however, were in line with the Left's historical stand. Stalwarts like EMS Namboodaripad had underlined the need to stand with the Congress to “shun the communalists” in party organ People's Democracy.