CPI(M) leaders in favour of tie-up with Congress for Bengal polls

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Feb 13, 2016 09:53 IST
General secretary of CPI(M) Sitaram Yechury with other leaders during a party meet on the upcoming West Bengal elections, in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

Several members of the CPI(M) said they were in favour of a tie up with the Congress for the Bengal assembly elections later this year, defying many of their colleagues during a two-day Bengal state committee meeting that began Friday.

The meeting of the Bengal unit began on Friday in the presence of party general-secretary Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat and Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar.

The politburo will discuss the issue in Delhi on February 16 and place it before the central committee for a final decision.

The day’s proceedings started on a bitter note as banners and posters against the tie-up plastered the entrance of Alimuddin Street, the meeting’s venue. The local party workers, however, dismissed these as pranks by troublemakers.

Karat’s presence at the meeting was crucial since he has many followers among central committee members from Kerala where elections will take place around the same time as Bengal. Pitted against the Congress-led United Democratic Front, the CPI(M)’s Kerala unit is strongly opposed to their Bengal comrades’ decision.

At the closed-door meeting, many of the Bengal state committee members felt a tie-up may send wrong signals to the electorate.

“Even Left Front chairman Biman Bose was skeptical. He said the CPI(M) had never compromised with its ideology and even Left Front partners shared similar view. But he admitted that the Marxists were faced with a tough battle,” a state committee member told HT.

But a number of state committee members said the mood among party workers was in favour of working with other parties to take on the Trinamool.

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