Moving away from the line taken by the CPM central leadership,the party in West Bengal has decided to drop the Indo-US nuclear deal from its list of campaign issues for the Lok Sabha polls. The state CPM is of the view that the issue,which forced parting of ways with the UPA at the Centre,should not be raked up as it would not help them in the polls.
CPM sources said the party strategy would be not to attack the Congress over such an issue,keeping in mind post-poll equations and the possibility of again supporting a Congress-led UPA.
CPM MP Mohammad Salim said: We feel the (nuclear deal) issue has been campaigned widely,its import explained to the people. There is no need for this to be considered an election issue. In Bengal,we want more state-specific issues this time. If need be,we can always include this at a later stage.
Binoy Konar,a central committee member and an important party strategist for the elections,said: The nuclear deal issue is outdated. If it is included in the election campaign,it will be too loaded an issue to handle. Therefore,it has been kept out of the list.
Another senior CPM leader,who did not wish to be named,said: We have analysed the present scenario and found that the Congress is in a better position than the BJP. It is impossible for us to support the BJP and there may be a situation where we have to again support a UPA government,even if not directly. It will,therefore,be not wise on our part to raise the (nuclear deal) issue. We have already tried once to topple the Congress-led government over this issue.
Another party veteran said it (nuclear deal) is such a technical issue that our cadres will not be able to explain it. Nor will the common people understand. A large section of the state CPM leadership still maintains that party bosses in Delhi made an issue of a non-issue and withdrew support to the UPA.
The CPM last week distributed among its members and supporters a list of issues for mass campaigns,election rallies,street-corner meetings and other party programmes.