Despite biting the dust in the recent assembly polls in West Bengal, the CPI(M) leadership has said it will stick around with the Congress. The reason: to stave off post-poll violence allegedly sponsored by the Trinamool goons.
That’s not all. This Congress-comrade unity is also about electoral mathematics, this time, for the Rajya Sabha polls.
In the next two years, 11 seats from West Bengal in the Upper House of Parliament will be up for grabs. The Congress doesn’t have any member in these berths while the CPI(M), with its dwindling national strength, has two MPs. If the Left and the Congress can’t forge an understanding over these biennial polls, both sides may end up getting nothing.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, the face of the Indian leftists, is one of the two Left MPs whose term will end next year. The other is Tapan Sen, general secretary of the party’s trade union arm, CITU.
The Congress has the strength to bag a seat in 2017. But its MLAs number just above the required strength, putting it in a precarious position amid attempts at poaching and last-minute defection.
Together, the Left and the Congress can ensure an easy victory for a joint candidate.
“All these things will come up for discussion at an appropriate time. We are aware of the rising clout of rightist forces in Parliament. Conceding more ground to the Trinamool or to the BJP is out of question,” said a CPI (M) Central Committee member.