The rift within the largest Left outfit in the country, Communist Party of India (Marxist), widened on Wednesday over a proposal to tie up with its traditional rival Congress in West Bengal for the upcoming assembly polls.
At a two-day central committee meeting that started on Wednesday, leaders from Kerala, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and some other states vehemently said “no” to the party’s Bengal unit’s demand to allow a state-level Congress-CPI(M) alliance.
Assembly polls are expected to start from April.
Sources said if the proposal for a formal alliance was defeated at the party’s central level, the Bengal leadership of the CPI(M) would still go for an informal poll understanding with the Congress.
The beleaguered Bengal unit, smarting under a series of electoral losses against the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress received unexpected support from former Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan.
But other members from Kerala opposed the proposed alliance on the grounds
that it would dash the Left’s chances to win Kerala. Both states will go to the polls simultaneously.
The CPI(M) has never been in an alliance with the Congress. Former Bengal
minister Gautam Deb argued before the central panel saying such a pact could substantially help Left parties regain ground.
The politburo of the party that met last Thursday also witnessed a sharp internal divide over the proposal of a Congress-CPI(M) tie-up.