CPI(M) for tactical tie-up with Congress in West Bengal
Polit Bureau decision will have to be cleared at central committee meet in March
The CPI(M) Polit Bureau, at the end of its two-day meeting on Sunday to discuss electoral strategy, resolved to have a tactical understanding in select constituencies with the Congress in West Bengal, to consolidate the anti-BJP and antiTrinamool Congress votes.
The final call will be taken at the Central Committee, the party’s highest decisionmaking body, in March.
Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury had told the media on Saturday that the party’s poll strategy would depend on local factors and necessities. “No pre-poll alliance in
[grand alliance] is possible as of now. It will depend on the State-wise reports on the electoral tactics,” he said.
The Polit Bureau, for the very first time, stressed the
need to increase the strength of the CPI(M) in the Lok Sabha. The party is down to nine MPs in the House and even its national party status is threatened if the tally goes down any further.
The Kerala unit of the party, which had resisted any alliance or understanding with the Congress, has reduced its pitch by a few notches. The Bengal unit presented figures of killings and attacks on its cadres to highlight the dire situation in the State.
“We have discussed the tactics to be followed in all the States and asked the State committees to discuss them further and employ appropriate measures based on the Party Congress decision. I have no other clarification to offer,” S. Ramachandran Pillai, Polit Bureau member from Kerala, said.
At a meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee presidents with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal PCC president Somendra Nath Mitra had ruled out the possibility of a tie-up with the Trinamool. He said the Trinamool did not accept Mr. Gandhi as leader. He also pressed for a tactical understanding with the CPI(M) in select seats.
The West Bengal unit of the party that had a similar understanding with the Congress for Assembly polls, has again sought a tie-up, which it sees as essential for the CPI (M)’s survival in the State.
Poll necessities: A file photo of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury at a rally.