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Tuesday 10 April 2012

CPM braces for ‘dilemma’

CPM braces for 'dilemma'

Kozhikode, April 8: The official stand adopted by the CPM congress is to build a non-Congress, non-BJP "Left democratic alternative" through issue-based alliances with secular parties, but party sources said this still left room for a "dilemma" two years later.
CPM circles are asking if the party might rethink its relations with the Congress when the 2014 general election forces it to decide the "lesser evil'' between the Congress and the BJP.
"Getting close to the Congress to isolate the BJP cannot be ruled out entirely. Some senior party leaders were discussing this after the adoption of the political resolution. However, this could be a post-poll consideration,'' a central committee member said.
"At present, the CPM will have to take an anti-Congress stand in keeping with the party congress decision. UPA II is steeped in corruption; so our campaign will be directed against them."
The leader acknowledged the party could face a "dilemma'' if the Congress needed its support to form a government in 2014. "We will then have to rethink our political-tactical line. We may not have a pre-poll understanding with the Congress but we can't rule out extending support in a post-poll scenario. So we are in a bit of a dilemma now,'' he said.
The "dilemma'' could arise in either of two situations. One, the Left democratic alternative fails to crystallise, as it did during the 2009 election when party general secretary Prakash Karat failed to cobble up a credible alliance.
Two, if tie-ups with secular regional parties fail to bring the Left democratic alternative close to power. In either case, the CPM will have to turn towards the Congress again, the leader said.
Politburo member Sitaram Yechury appeared to hint that the CPM was keeping its post-poll options open. "Our stated stand is to build up a non-Congress, non-BJP platform.... We will strive to do that," he said.
"In the process, we can have electoral adjustments with some of the secular regional parties. But we don't know what the post-poll scenario will be… where the Congress will stand. After looking at that, our party will take a decision accordingly.''
The "dilemma" assumes significance because the CPM won't have another party congress before the 2014 election. "Any decision on the post-poll configuration will have to be taken at that moment," a leader said.
In such an eventuality, history could come to the aid of the CPM, argued a veteran from Andhra Pradesh. "Didn't we support the 2004 UPA I government? Our central committee took the decision then. The Left is a natural ally of the Congress though we have to distance ourselves from them now,'' he said.
Karat too recently said that supporting UPA I from outside in 2004 had been a necessity to keep the BJP at bay and was the "correct decision''.
Any renewal of CPM-Congress ties could mean Mamata Banerjee dumping the latter, which would gladden the CPM. "If we are forced to support the Congress in 2014, it can be assumed that Mamata will break the alliance in Bengal,'' a Bengal secretariat member said.
"The 2014 election will be the next big challenge for our party. We'll have to try and stand on our own feet first. The post-poll option can remain open,'' said Gautam Deb, central committee member from Bengal.

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