Barring the Communist Party of India (CPI), three other constituents of the Left in Punjab are firm on not having an alliance with the Congress in the upcoming assembly polls.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), CPM-Punjab and CPI (ML)-Liberation have reached a consensus on taking on the Congress and the ruling Akali-BJP combine in the elections.
On Monday, the CPI refuted news reports appearing in a section of the media that an alliance with the Congress was possible, saying “nothing has been decided yet”.
“We appreciate the CPI refuting such reports, but it should make clear as there is also the question of credibility. All other three Left wings have resolved to fight the neo-liberal policies of the Congress and Akali-BJP combine,” CPM-Punjab general secretary Mangat Ram Pasla told HT.
In the CPI’s two-day state council meeting that concluded on Monday, voices were raised against an alliance with the Congress. Many in the 77-member council advocated a strong ‘Left Morcha’ that was formed by all the four constituents in Punjab two years back.
The CPI’s senior state council member Bhupinder Sambar acknowledged that the matter was “discussed at length” in the meeting. “Yes, we stick to the ‘Left Morcha’ idea and will soon decide how to convert this movement into a force for the electoral battle,” he said.
The CPM’s state secretariat member Raghu Nath said the party had identified at least seven constituencies to field its candidates from in alliance with the other Left parties. The segments are: Raikot, Jagraon and Dakha in Ludhiana district; Garhshankar and Mukerian in Hoshiarpur; Balachaur in Nawanshahar; and Anandpur Sahib in Rupnagar.
The CPI (ML)-Liberation wants to field 15 candidates, including from Talwandi Sabo, Maur, Bathinda (rural), Mansa, Budhlada, Sardulgarh, Dirhba, Lehra Gaga, Sunam, Mehal Kalan, Bhadaur and Baba Bakala.
“We are fighting for the masses and cannot compromise on that. Being on the Congress’s side is not possible,” said CPI (ML) Liberation secretary Bhagwant Samaon.
The CPM-Punjab is eyeing Bhoa and Sujanpur in Gurdaspur district; Baba Bakala in Amritsar; Phillaur and Nakodar in Jalandhar; and Sardulgarh in Mansa, assembly segments. Pasla said overlapping of a couple of seats could be sorted out.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, there was a lot of confusion as Left parties supported the then PPP leader Manpreet Badal, who had fought on a Congress candidate. The CPI and CPM had jointly fielded 12 candidates, all forfeiting their security deposits.