After Bihar, the CPM and possibly other Left parties are likely to enter a seat-sharing pact with the Congress for the West Bengal Assembly polls next year as the party’s Politburo is learnt to have taken a stand in favour of an alliance.
A final decision will be taken by the CPM central committee, which is meeting on October 30 and 31, but the Politburo which met Sunday was in favour of the Bengal unit’s proposal for a full-fledged electoral tie-up with the Congress to take on the ruling Trinamool Congress and an aggressive BJP.
Interestingly, the CPM central leadership had in 2016 disapproved of the state unit’s tacit tie-up with the Congress — the tactical electoral understanding could not stop the Trinamool surge. The Congress had won 44 seats and the Left front ended up with just 32 seats.
Reviewing the election results, the CPM Politburo had then concluded that “the electoral tactics evolved in West Bengal was not in consonance with the central committee decision based on the political-tactical line of the party, which states that there shall be no alliance or understanding with the Congress”.
The view was endorsed by the central committee which had said that the situation should be rectified.
However, this time, sources said, Politburo members from Kerala too were in favour of a seat-sharing tie-up with the Congress in Bengal as also in Assam and Tamil Nadu, where Assembly polls would be held simultaneously. “There is no other option but to enter into an alliance with the Congress…the Kerala leaders have seen reason,” a senior CPM leader said.
The CPM and CPI along with the CPI(ML) are contesting the Bihar elections in alliance with the Congress and RJD.
West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he had been pitching for an alliance with the Left. “I would welcome it if the CPM central leadership decides in favour. In 2016… the CPM did not want to continue ties with us..because they felt the alliance damaged them…after that we both went alone…and there was no alliance in the Lok Sabha elections too…Now the Assembly elections are nearing and the workers of both the Congress and the CPM and the state leaders of the two parties too feel we should fight together, he said.
Chowdhury said the Bengal leadership of both the parties are in favour of the alliance. “The CPM central leadership should give it a formal shape…in 2016, the CPM Politburo did not take a decision and there was confusion..had we fought together like a proper alliance…with all the leaders and cadre working together…..the outcome would have been better.”
He said he has informed the Congress high command about the political situation in Bengal. “I hope the Congress central leadership will give the approval this time too.”
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