After months of bitter division and two days of intense deliberations, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday omitted a contentious phrase “no understanding” from the official draft political resolution. The Sitaram Yechury camp claimed victory, as delegates from at least 11 states backed his “alternative minority view” to keep a tactical understanding with the Congress open to defeat the BJP in the upcoming general election — a proposal which was rejected by CPM central committee by 31-55 votes in January.
A faction, led by former general secretary Prakash Karat, had however maintained that though the main task of the CPI(M) was to defeat the BJP and its allies by rallying all the secular and democratic forces, but “this has to be done without having an understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress party.”
The draft political resolution was presented by Karat on the first day of the party’s 22nd national conference in Hyderabad earlier this week. It was also supported by the party’s central committee in January.
The changed mood at the CPM Party Congress became formidable by Friday afternoon when several delegates, especially members from West Bengal in Politburo meet, demanded a secret ballot on the matter.
With Yechury pressing for consensus and former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar backing the proposal, the Politburo decided to amend the official draft by omitting the phrase “no understanding” with the Congress.
The line “however, this has to be done without having an understanding or electoral alliance with the Congress Party” was dropped from the draft political resolution and replaced with a new clause “but this has to be done without having a political alliance with the Congress Party.”
Another paragraph was also added to it: “However, there can be an understanding with all secular opposition parties, including the Congress, in Parliament on agreed issues. Outside parliament, we should cooperate with all secular opposition forces for a broad mobilization of people against communalism. We should foster joint actions of class and mass organisations, in such a manner that can draw in the masses following the Congress and other bourgeois parties”
The amended draft was supported by a majority, sources said.
“As far as the political line is concerned, any political alliance with the Congress is ruled out. Such an alliance with the major party of the Indian ruling classes will weaken our struggle against building the unity of the people for a policy alternative to the ruling classes. It is on the basis of this line that future electoral tactics will be decide,” an official statement quoted Karat as saying.
Karat said, “It is not a question of some words ‘understanding and alliance’ as some delegates have stated. It is the approach of how best to fight the BJP and the RSS and ensure their defeat. A large number of comrades asked the leadership to resolve the issue so as to go back from this Congress with the message of unit.”
Yechury said: “After this Congress, we go back in a unified manner take this fight throughout the country to mobilize the vast mass of our people on the guidance of the political resolution.”
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