CPM meet to­mor­row is likely to be stormy


It will be a stormy cen­tral com­mit­tee meet­ing of the CPI(M) on Satur­day, where the party would thrash out whether the ouster of the BJP govern­ment at the Centre — which is the pri­mary po­lit­i­cal ob­jec­tive in the cur­rent sce­nario — can be done with­out an elec­toral al­liance with other par­ties, pri­mar­ily the Congress.

The CPI(M), which is split wide open on this is­sue, with the West Ben­gal fac­tion led by gen­eral sec­re­tary Si­taram Yechury favour­ing such an al­liance and the Ker­ala group led by for­mer chief Prakash Karat against it, has to fi­nalise a draft out­line of a tac­ti­cal-po­lit­i­cal res­o­lu­tion be­fore the party congress in April 2018. This doc­u­ment, which will be adopted at the party congress, will form the ba­sis of its strat­egy for the 2019 gen­eral elec­tion.

Sources said though the Karat fac­tion was in a ma­jor­ity in both the plit­buro and the cen­tral com­mit­tee, both the view­points would be dis­cussed at

the CC meet­ing. A se­nior leader told this news­pa­per that ei­ther the CC would send the two drafts back to the polit­buro to be dis­cussed again for a con­sen­sus or there might be a vote. In case of vot­ing, there is a big pos­si­bil­ity that the Karat fac­tion will pre­vail. How­ever, the al­ter­nate draft which sup­ports elec­toral pacts with other par­ties, might be thrown up from the floor at the party congress it­self and this might lead to amend­ments be­ing in­cor­po­rated in the doc­u­ment. If this hap­pens, it will be the first time such amend­ments are adopted at the CPI(M) party congress.

The ge­n­e­sis of the dis­cus­sion on whether an elec­toral al­liance with the Congress was nec­es­sary be­gan with an in­ter­nal de­bate within the party on whether the BJP-led govern­ment at the Centre was a fas­cist author­ity in the clas­si­cal sense of the term.

While the fac­tion sup­port­ing an elec­toral pact with other sec­u­lar par­ties like the Congress ar­gues this is fas­cism in the true sense and ev­ery force needs to come to­gether to de­feat it, the other side feels that this can­not be fas­cism as a par­lia­men­tary sys­tem of democ­racy still ex­ists.

In an ed­i­toral in the party mouth­piece, Mr Karat had writ­ten that the BJP-led govern­ment at the Centre was “not fas­cist in the clas­si­cal sense, but au­thor­i­tar­ian”. Mr Yechury had chal­lenged him point blank, say­ing that the govern­ment of Naren­dra Modi was fas­cist in na­ture.

Along with the ar­gu­ment that the Modi govern­ment was not fas­cist in the clas­si­cal sense, the Karat fac­tion also feels it was the “neo-lib­eral” poli­cies of the Congress that helped the BJP come to power and thus any elec­toral un­der­stand­ing with the Congress was detri­men­tal to the CPI(M) re­tain­ing its own mass base.

How­ever, the Yechury fac­tion ar­gues this was the time for con­sol­i­da­tion of all forces ranged against the Modi govern­ment and there was no need to “tie your hands” by ex­plic­itly men­tion­ing no al­liance with the Congress.

Sources said the Yechury fac­tion felt that it was be­ing tar­geted un­nec­es­sar­ily by bring branded pro-Congress while there was no men­tion of any par­tic­u­lar party in the draft floated by it. The doc­u­ment in fact only talks about keep­ing all op­tions open af­ter the elec­tions, the ar­gu­ment be­ing that anti-Con­gres­sism can­not be taken to a “log­i­cal ab­sur­dity”.

It may be re­called that Mr Yechury had been pre­vented from get­ting a third Ra­jya Sabha term with Congress sup­port by the Karat fac­tion. In 1996, then West Ben­gal CM Jy­oti Basu was not al­lowed to be­come the Prime Min­is­ter, cit­ing a sim­i­lar ar­gu­ment.


Vis­ually-chal­lenged stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in a rally on the oc­ca­sion of “World Sight Day” in Chen­nai on Thurs­day.

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