Two days after former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee issued an open appeal to the Congress to join hands with the Left parties to oust Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress government, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday said there would be no front or alliance with Congress.
“Electoral alliances are now not on the agenda,” he told The Indian Express. When asked specifically about the possibility of an alliance with the Congress, he said “no front or alliance with the Congress”.
CPM leaders said Bhattacharjee’s statement should be seen in the context of the CPM’s determination to oust the Mamata government. “It was a straightforward statement. We are determined to defeat the Trinamool. It is up to others to decide where they stand,” a senior politburo member said.
Referring to the call given by the CPM at a Kolkata rally last month, Yechury said, “We had said defeat the Trinamool, save Bengal and oust Modi, save India. What Buddhadeb said is in accordance with that.”
As far as electoral tactics are concerned, he said an appropriate decision would be taken at the appropriate time by the politburo and central committee. “That will be in accordance with the political-tactical line adopted at its 21st Party Congress,” he said.
The first line of a paragraph titled ‘Fight Against Communalism’ in the 61-point political-tactical line document says: “The main direction of our attack should be against the BJP when it is in power but this cannot mean having an electoral understanding with the Congress.”
At the same time, the document speaks of a flexible approach. “There can be swift changes in the political situation. New contradictions may emerge amongst the bourgeois parties and within them. Political parties may undergo changes through splits or coming together to form a new party. Flexible tactics should be evolved to deal with the situation,” it says.
Asked about the prospects of an alliance with the Congress, politburo member Brinda Karat said the central committee and politburo would decide. While the CPM’s Bengal unit is keen on an electoral tie-up with the Congress, such a move could upset its Kerala wing as the party’s fight in the southern state is against the Congress.