CPI-M politburo snubs party’s Bengal unit for poll alliance with Congress

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 30, 2016 21:51 IST
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and party leader Suryakanta Mishra. (PTI Photo)

The CPI-M politburo has come down heavily on the party’s Bengal unit for holding the Congress’ hand in the recent assembly elections — signalling fissures within the communist establishment.

In a rare outburst of anger, a politburo communiqué said: “The electoral tactics evolved in Bengal was not in consonance with the Central Committee decision based on the political-tactical line of the party which states that there shall be no alliance or understanding with the Congress.”

The key body met in New Delhi to review the assembly results in four states -- West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Reacting sharply to the CPI-M’s remarks, Congress Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “There was no formal alliance with the Left. It was a conscious arrangement. We are not in war with them. One should be graceful in both victory and defeat.”

The CPI(M)-led Left Front stood at the third position with just 32 seats in the 294-strong assembly, while rival Trinamool Congress improved its tally to 211 seats, clinching a second term for the government.

Pointing out that the informal alliance was an outcome of the people’s wishes, a politburo member told HT: “Nowhere in the party document is it written that the Bengal unit can’t go with the Congress, especially when there is an exceptional situation in the state.” The leader added: “What is the point in saying now that the party’s political-tactical line was violated. The Bengal leadership had decided to go with the Congress two months ago.”

Another politburo leader said: “At the Central Committee meeting, many members had warned the Bengal unit that fighting the election with the Congress would be disastrous.”

More fireworks are expected next month when the Central Committee would meet for an “in-depth analysis of the poll results.” In the central panel, the Bengal leaders are expected to come under attack from their Kerala counterparts.

Bengal leader Suryakant Mishra maintained that the Congress-Left unity was a result of a mass movement and it can’t be abandoned.

While the party leadership snubbed the Bengal leadership over the poll strategy, it recognised the need for a joint campaign with the Congress against the ruling Trinamool Congress to resist attacks.

“The CPI(M) calls upon the people of West Bengal to unitedly resist this murder of democracy and civil liberties in the state. The strength of the people’s unity is the answer to meet this unprecedented unleashing of violence,” the release said.

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