Abstention in election will mean lining up with Mamata: Karat

The CPM justified its decision to back Pranab for President post saying that not supporting the UPA candidate would have meant “lining up with Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal” which would have been “politically damaging”. 

Writing in the forthcoming issue of party mouthpiece 'People's Democracy', CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat said it was "necessary to utilise the conflicts and fissures within the ruling alliance” as the relationship between Congress and the TMC had plummeted ever since Mamata broke ranks. 

He insisted that there would be no change in CPI(M)’s opposition to UPA’s liberalisation policies.

“An important task has been to prevent (the BJP) from putting in place a constitutional head of State,” Karat said. He also explained the CPM’s choice to side with the Congress despite the economic liberalisation policies ushered in by P V Narasimha Rao and followed subsequently by Congress. 

Karat asserted that it was this understanding that led to the Party’s support to Shankar Dayal Sharma, K R Narayanan and Pratibha Patil. 

To press his point, he cited that a number of non-UPA parties, including SP, BSP, JD(S) and JD-U, were backing Pranab.

He said the CPM would have considered supporting another candidate “if there were other secular opposition parties willing to do so.”

Karat’s article is coming close on the heels of the expulsion of a youth leader, Prasenjit Bose, who protested the CPM's support to Mukherjee while other left parties, including CPI , RSP and CPI-ML decided to abstain from voting.

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