Wary of putting all its eggs into one third front basket, the CPM wants to expand the base of Left and other democratic parties across the country and form an alternative to both the Congress and BJP. The meeting of the party congress, the biggest policy making body of the CPM, began in this port town on Wednesday.
Booted out of West Bengal and defeated in Kerala, the CPM is faced with the onerous task of reviving its electoral fortunes and making itself relevant on the national stage.
"Both the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA have failed. And it is only the Left and democratic forces that can provide a suitable alternative... the CPM should be strengthen across the country," party general secretary Prakash Karat said.
But the road ahead is long and winding. Besides the electoral rout in its citadel of West Bengal, the CPM has not been able to expand its base into the Hindi heartland-- where it had some influence many decades ago-despite various efforts.
The party also feels many non-Congress and non-BJP parties are not reliable as they strike alliance of convenience with the two national parties.
Slamming both the current UPA government and the previous NDA government Karat said strengthening the CPM would strengthen the Left movement. "There is nothing to choose between the two. The eight years of the UPA government have led to unprecedented corruption in the country. An effective Lokpal Bill is needed, but that alone won't be enough. It is only the CPI-M that has the moral authority to fight corruption....”
Also speaking on the occasion Left leader AB Bardhan said the coordination among the Left parties needs to be institutionalised and should go beyond the meetings of the party general secretaries.