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CPI(M) bickers over alliance with Congress in West Bengal

New Delhi: The differences within CPI(M) over its West Bengal unit's decision to continue alliance with Congress in the state, where it faced humiliating defeat in assembly polls recently, became more apparent during the first

PTI [ Published on: June 19, 2016 9:38 IST ]
Rahul Gandhi with Buddhadeb Bhattacharya in an election
Rahul Gandhi with Buddhadeb Bhattacharya in an election rally during WB polls

New Delhi: The differences within CPI(M) over its West Bengal unit's decision to continue alliance with Congress in the state, where it faced humiliating defeat in assembly polls recently, became more apparent during the first day of its Central Committee (CC) meeting today with certain members opposing the idea. 

The debate on state unit's report on its performance during the assembly polls began with party general secretary Sitaram Yechury making opening remarks and West Bengal state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra tabling the unit's review report on the elections. 

Some of the members including former party general secretary Prakash Karat and those from Kerala unit opposed the idea of continuing the alliance, noting it was not in line with the earlier CC decisions and party's political tactical 

line, sources said. 

The party Politburo had during its May 29 and May 30 meeting officially stated that the tie-up was not in consonance with earlier CC decisions and party's political tactical line. 

Notwithstanding the Politburo's stance, the West Bengal unit had on June 11 decided to continue with the alliance. 

Yechury, who had attended the state committee meeting along with Karat and Politburo member MA Baby, too had then hinted at his support for continuation of the alliance for fighting the alleged onslaught by ruling TMC there. 

"Some members from Kerala unit and other southern state units like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are against the idea. The West Bengal leaders though, as they had during its state meeting, pitched for a united opposition in the state to tackle TMC aggression. After Mishra presented the report, Karat raised issues regarding the alliance, which were later countered by party's Bengal leader Biman Basu," the source said. 

During the Politburo meeting held yesterday, the West Bengal leaders had pointed towards party's poor show in assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, which went to polls simultaneously, to drive point that the CPI(M) could not do 
well there despite sticking to its political tactical line, they added.

The CPI(M) had contested the Tamil Nadu polls as part of the People's Welfare Front along with MDMK, CPI, VCK and Tamil Maanila Congress. The front could not bag even a single seat out of the 232 constituencies in the state. 

"The party stuck to the tactical line of not joining hands with either of Congress or BJP in Tamil Nadu. Yet, it did not do well there. The West Bengal unit feels had the CPI(M) not entered into alliance with Congress, things would have been even worse," the source said. 

The Left Front led by CPI(M) was relegated to third position there after TMC and Congress and won only 32 seats out of the total 294. The CPI(M) won 26 seats, while the Congress won 44 to claim the post of opposition party.

The sources said review reports of four other states Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala which went to polls in the same period will be discussed tomorrow. 

On the third and concluding day on June 20, the members will discuss national issues, including two years of the Narendra Modi government and international affairs. 

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