Accusing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of carrying out an "elaborate charade" to embrace the BJP, the CPI-M has said any alliance of "a motley bunch of secular parties" can't be expected to take on the Modi government.
"The political somersault by Nitish Kumar will rank as one of the biggest of its kind in India's political history which is replete with such opportunistic behaviour by bourgeois politicians," the CPI-M journal "People's Democracy" said in an editorial.
It said that after winning the Bihar election of 2015, Nitish Kumar had become the most prominent advocate of a grand anti-BJP alliance at the national level.
"In a sudden turn around, Nitish Kumar and the JD-U have broken their alliance with the RJD and the Congress in Bihar and within hours formed a coalition government with the BJP.
"It is now clear that Nitish Kumar had utilized the filing of an FIR on corruption charges by the CBI against Lalu Prasad's son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav to enact this elaborate charade," the editorial said.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist said that with the architect of the Grand Alliance himself embracing the Bharatiya Janata Party camp, "the concept of a Grand Alliance lies in tatters".
It said the CPI-M was concerned about building the widest unity against the Modi government and the BJP. "But ... this cannot be accomplished by putting together an alliance of a motley bunch of secular parties.
"Why such a grand alliance is unworkable is the unreliable character of many of the regional parties. Most of the regional parties have embraced the neo-liberal policies and are prone to make opportunistic alliances.
"With one or two exceptions, the regional parties have shown their willingness to ally with the BJP depending on when it suits their political interests. The current episode of the defection of Nitish Kumar underlines this character of the regional parties."
The CPI-M said it had concluded "that with the regional parties as the main constituents, there can be no credible all-India alliance".
But in the context of the need to forge wider unity for struggles on people's issues and communalism, the editorial said the CPI-M would strive to have joint actions and united platforms with some regional parties.
It added that fighting the Modi government cannot be accomplished by aligning with the Congress, which it said was "primarily responsible for the imposition of neo-liberal policies and continues to advocate them...
"That the Congress is not seen to be different from the BJP as far as basic policies are concerned is reflected by the fact that there is a steady flow of leaders and activists of the Congress to the BJP."
The editorial said: "What is required today is not an opportunistic alliance of all opposition parties but developing the broadest united actions and platforms to take up the issues of the working class, peasantry and other sections of the working people and also to build a broad unity to fight against the communal forces."