CPM breaks ranks to back Pranab

It remained very difficult for the CPM to break ranks with its Left allies like CPI and RSP and support UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

The party was also divided on the issue as leaders from outside West Bengal were opposed to the decision. To counter Mamata, Bengal leaders opted for the difficult choice.

 The CPI was clear on the issue from the very beginning. It was trying to persuade CPM and other Left allies not to support Mukherjee. Even before the candidature of Mukherjee was formally announced, senior party leader Gurudas Dasgupta had said that his party would not support a Congress candidate. His argument was that the Congress was  responsible for the bad state of affairs in the country and pursuing economic policies detrimental to the people’s interest.

Though, Dasgupta’s statement was underplayed by the party, senior CPI leader A B Bardhan had indicated that his party would not support a Congress candidate. He had favoured a Dalit woman on the top post.

According to sources, many CPM leaders, too, had reservations on supporting a Congress candidate, particularly Mukherjee, who had been one of the architects of neo-liberal policies, being opposed by the Party. This section of the party is said to have pleaded to abstain from voting so that the party should not be seen as supporting Congress and the UPA.
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