Bengal leaders wary of CPM-Cong tie-up

The problem lies in the nature of the Congress votebank. Traditional CPM voters have shifted to the TMC in the past few years

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: December 27, 2015 12:27 am

Ahead of the CPM’S four-day plenum set to begin from Sunday in Kolkata, where the party is looking to “adopt suitable electoral tactics… for understanding with regional parties”, the party’s state unit expressed its doubts about the plan and the possibility of forming an alliance with the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections next year.

The draft review report on the ‘political-tactical line’ that the party had adopted at its 21st Congress in April 2015 suggest that the CPM should be open to “flexible tactics” with respect to the possibility of “swift changes in the political situation”. While such a shift in its political stance hints towards an alliance with the Congress to counter the ruling Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, senior party leaders remained uncertain about the move.

“The problem lies in the nature of the Congress votebank. Traditional CPM voters have shifted to the TMC in the past few years. But if we were to ally with the Congress, it is possible that our traditional vote, which is intrinsically anti-TMC in nature will shift to the Congress. The Congress, on the other hand, is unlikely to lose their traditional voters, which has remained the same for decades,” said a source.

Meanwhile, the other issue in such an electoral understanding, another party leader said, were the overtures being made by Congress president Sonia Gandhi towards TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. TMC was the first to rally support for the Gandhis, accusing the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) of pursuing “political vendetta” against its opponents, he said, adding that TMC leaders even walked out of the Upper House to register their protest.

“It is all very well for us to say that we should ally with the Congress or have an electoral understanding with them. But will they want the same thing? Ultimately, Sonia Gandhi would rather have TMC on her side to counter Modi in the Centre,” said a senior leader.

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