The presidential poll has divided the Left front too. The CPM and All India Forward Bloc with a combined vote share of 3.70% will support Pranab Mukherjee and CPI and RSP with 1.20 % votes will abstain from the election.
Though the CPM has been talking about supporting the candidate with ‘widest possible support’, their decision to back Mukherjee has far-reaching implications for the Left Front in general and the party in particular.
With the West Bengal leaders leading the charge and ably garnering support from leaders from other states barring Kerala, the CPM politburo decided to support Mukherjee.
These leaders pointed out that the CPM should make maximum out of the rift between Congress and the Trinamool.
A similar argument didn’t win the day when the CPM broke away from the UPA alliance over the India-US nuclear deal.
Leaders from Kerala as well as some key leaders at the centre had reservation against supporting Mukherjee.
In Kerala, CPM is locked in a fierce political battle arising out a political murder of a former party leader. The argument is that the Left parties shouldn't go all the way to back a Congress candidate when the party is opposed to the anti-people policies of the government.
The CPI and RSP stuck to the line that they wouldn't support a Congress candidate when they are fighting the neo-liberal policies of the UPA government. Both in the politburo as well as in the Left meeting, the CPM wanted to de-link the policies of the government from the poll. The poll has become a dividing issue when there are increased efforts to affirm the Left unity.