THE CPM continues to be a divided house on the question of its electoral strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, particularly for its once-stronghold West Bengal. After two days of discussions, the CPM central committee could not arrive at a decision on Bengal.
The Bengal CPM had been demanding that the party enter into an understanding with the Congress to defeat the Trinamool Congress and BJP. Sources said members from Bengal reiterated their position but it was opposed by the Prakash Karat-backed camp.
The CPM Party Congress, the highest decision-making body of the party, had at its conclave in April this year kept the door open for an understanding with the Congress.
Sources said the members from Bengal pointed out that the spirit of the Party Congress resolution should be kept in mind.
At the Party Congress, one of the contentious “lines” in the draft political resolution, which would have prevented any understanding with the Congress, was changed at the instance of members from Bengal and the camp backing general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
On the political line, the draft presented by Karat had said that the main task is 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 word “understanding” was omitted and the option of entering into a tactical understanding with the Congress was kept open.
Sources said the Central Committee would meet again in January to finalise the Bengal strategy. As for other states, the party decided to enter into alliances depending on the political situation in those states.
For instance, the CPM could be part of an alliance with the DMK in Tamil Nadu even though the Congress is also a part of the alliance. The party will, however, not enter into a direct alliance with the Congress.