CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday ruled out forming any electoral alliance involving the Congress, even as the party said that it will continue to be associated with JD(U) rebel Sharad Yadav’s ‘save composite culture’ campaign, which will involve the participation of opposition parties including the Congress. The CPM leader also said his party will attend meetings aimed at “protecting the composite culture for a larger cause”, but added that it will not take part in any rally of the “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) with the Congress in the future too.
His comments came two days after the Left party skipped the RJD’s ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao’ (Banish BJP, Save Country) rally in Patna, which was attended by several key opposition leaders.
Clarifying his party’s stance, Yechury said that the composite culture movement should not be confused with ‘mahagathbandhan’ as the former has “got nothing to do with electoral alliance”. “The ‘save composite culture’ movement has got nothing to do with electoral alliances or adjustments. Saving the composite culture is a larger issue,” Yechury was quoted as saying by PTI.
The CPM had not participated in the rally, citing presence of its arch rival and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. As per the CPM’s stated “political tactical line”, there should be no alliance or understanding with the Congress. “But the composite culture movement is not to be confused with mahagathbandhan. Lalu organised the mahagathbandhan rally. There will be several more such rallies, which we will not attend, but we will attend the composite culture meetings,” the Marxist leader said.
Among high-profile politicians who attended the Patna rally included Banerjee, AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy and the party’s national secretary D Raja and NCP’s Tariq Anwar.
During the 2016 West Bengal assembly election, the CPM had an understanding with the Congress over seat sharing. However, the CPM-led Left Front faced a rout in the polls and was relegated to third position, behind the ruling TMC and the Congress in its erstwhile bastion. Subsequently, the party Politburo had criticised the state unit over the results, saying the “electoral tactics” adopted in the state were not in consonance with its political tactical line.
With PTI inputs