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BJP no longer Left’s enemy no 1?

BJP may no longer be the enemy number one of the Left, which now seems set to treat its friend-turned-foe, the Congress, at par with the saffron party.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2008 00:47 IST
Nagendar Sharma

BJP may no longer be the enemy number one of the Left, which now seems set to treat its friend-turned-foe, the Congress, at par with the saffron party.

A decade after the CPI-M declared the BJP its main enemy and called for its defeat, terming it “communal”, the main Left party has now asked its cadres to defeat both the BJP and the Congress. In the report on political developments adopted at its central committee meeting in Kolkata last week, the CPM has asked its cadre, for the first time, to vote for BSP candidates on seats where the Left would not be contesting, in the assembly elections in four states held in November-December.

This marks a major shift in the CPM stand of defeating the BJP at any cost, even if it meant voting for the Congress, in states where there was a direct fight between the Congress and BJP.

Going a step further, the party has predicted a defeat for the Congress in Delhi, but has refrained from forecasting the outcome of BJP-ruled Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh.

“Since three of the states have BJP-led governments, the BJP is striving to retain power. In Delhi there is a Congress government, but it is widely expected that it will be ousted from office,” says the report.

In a directive to its cadre, the party states :“In the present situation, in the three states where the BJP is in power, we should call for the defeat of the BJP and also oppose the policies of the Congress.”

In a major shift of its stance towards the BSP, previously described by the Left as a “casteist force”, the CPM has now described it as a secular party. “Apart from seats where we or the CPI are contesting, we should vote for non-Congress secular parties like the BSP. In Delhi, where the Congress government is in office, we should oppose both the Congress and BJP,” the report says.

The Left, with a negligible presence in the states going to polls, is seeking to settle political scores with the Congress in the aftermath of the bitter parting of ways between the two former allies on the India-US nuclear deal.

The CPM has been scathing in its attack on the UPA government. “The image of the UPA government and the Congress has got further eroded in this period and the country is faced with serious problems.”