Left, Janata Parivar struggle against saffron upsurge

Left, Janata Parivar struggle against saffron upsurge

Year 2014 has significantly changed the political scenario of the country. Parties and individuals who were secured in their respective bastions suddenly saw that their magic was fading. The Lok Sabha results came as a shock to most of the non-BJP parties.

If the Congress led by Sonia and Rahul failed miserably at the national level, regionally Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party lost badly. Janata Dal United (JDU) led by Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav soon realised the urgency of making  formidable survival plans. 

After the humiliating defeat in West Bengal at the hands of Mamata Banerjee and perceptible weakening of organisations for some years now, the CPM was already in the process of reworking its strategy.

The emergence of Narendra Modi at the national scene and his aggressive campaigning on economic issues combined with “Hindutva agenda of the RSS” forced them to accelerate the process of reworking their strategy. Party chief Prakash Karat started to face the type of criticism his predecessors like Harkisan Singh Surjit had hardly faced despite their failures in expanding the parties in regions outside the bastions.

This will require a revamp of line in the party congress scheduled in April 2015. The new line is likely to be aggressive communist line and will accommodate the radical line pursued by parties like CPI-ML and the SUCI.   The power struggle in the party seems to be tilting in favour of Sitaram Yechury, the popular face of the party.

The new leadership will have the task of making cadres tuned to the new line of the party and lead the party in an aggressive battle against RSS and BJP
A senior party leader revealed how young intelligentsia is not getting attracted to the party. Attracting young people would be a major challenge.   The CPI, the oldest of the communist parties, is also holding its party congress next year. The issue of leadership has already been settled in the party.

At least four leaders, including general secretary Sudhakar Raddy, secretaries D Raja and Atul Anjan and trade unionist Gurudas Dasgupta, are leading the party collectively. The CPI has already changed its political line under the leadership of senior leader A B Bardhan and has excellent relationship with radical Left, including CP-IML.

Another change in Indian political scene is being noticed in parties of the Janata Dal Parivar. The poll drubbing alerted leaders who have mostly been indulging in promoting their family members and largely depending on bases consolidated during days of Mandal politics. The main architects of coming together of Janata Dal parties are JD-U leaders Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav.

They immediately roped in RJD leader Lalu Prasad. Prasad, who was unnerved by the success of the BJP under Modi leadership, responded positively to the offer of unity. Mulayam Singh and H D Deve Gowda  made up their mind without any delay. The decision of merging parties of the Janata Dal Parivar origin was taken.

The unity is almost decided and the new party with the prefix ‘Samajwadi’ and ‘Janata’ is likely to merge early next year. However, the task of uniting all the social formations owing allegiance to Mandal politics would  not be easy. In Bihar, Mahdalit (deprived among scheduled castes and tiipicchada (extremely backward) are feeling uncomfortable with the Mandal leadership.

Uttar Pradesh is facing similar problem of division among social justice forces. Dalit leader Mayawati will never join forces with Mulayam Singh. Uniting social base of Mandal forces would be the major problem before the Janata Dal Parivar in the coming months.

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