THE POSITIONS taken by the Congress and regional parties on economic and social issues are coming in the way of developing a “solid and viable opposition unity”, the CPI said on Friday. In a document released by the party in the run-up to its national conclave in October, the party criticised the Congress, saying it is “ideologically incoherent and inconsistent”, and argued it has failed to “anchor and galvanize” the Opposition and its approach regarding this has remained ad-hoc.
On the regional parties, the draft political resolution released by CPI general secretary D Raja said, “One issue with many regional parties is their right-of-centre inclinations and social conservatism. Most of the regional parties do not have a coherent critique of neo-liberalism.”
The CPI once again called for “unification of the Communist movement” on a principled basis saying it was the “demand of the time” for building a “strong and independent pillar” of the Left in Indian polity.
The observations come at a time when the Left itself is at a crossroad. The bloc is no longer a force to reckon with at the national level. Voted out of West Bengal and Tripura, its influence is confined to Kerala. Incidentally, the document said the Congress’s decision to send Rahul Gandhi to contest from Wayanad harmed the Left and also prevented a secular, democratic unity.
Calling for Opposition unity, the party, however, said, “It must be underlined that right-of-centre positioning and social conservatism cannot defeat the RSS-BJP” and argued that the Opposition agenda should be radically different from what the RSS is trying to achieve economically and socially. Therefore, it said, a left-of-centre position is needed to cement the unity against the BJP.
The draft political resolution, finalised by the party’s National Council earlier this month, will be presented at its 24th party congress – the triennial annual conclave, to be held in Vijayawada from October 14-18.
“The largest opposition party, the Indian National Congress, is troubled with internal strife, defections and with a lack of ideological coherence amongst its leadership and party workers. At the national level, the Congress has not been able to forge a solid Opposition unity to take on the BJP in an electoral battle. The Congress failed to anchor and galvanize the opposition and its approach to this vital question has remained ad-hoc,” the document said.
“The major issues that are eclipsing a solid and viable opposition unity are both economic and social. Post-liberalization, the INC became ideologically incoherent and inconsistent… On the issue of secularism, the Congress’s stance has not been very clear as its leadership is still engaged in the debate of Hinduism vs Hindutva instead of sticking to the constitutional ground of secularism. On the economic front, the Congress is still following the neo-liberal doctrine. This has resulted in the discourse shifting to the right,” it said.
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Arguing that any alternate coalition to the RSS-BJP should be starkly different from them, it said, “The Congress party should take note of this. At the least, the INC should reconsider the Nehruvian model of economy and socialist pattern of society vis-à-vis BJP’s aggressive and crony neo-liberalism. These issues should be dealt with ideologically to come to a solid understanding among Opposition parties.”