Desperate CPM seeks truck with Cong

 After taking a non-committal stance towards the professed alliance with the Congress, the CPM seems to have revealed its desperation by calling for the tie-up from a public rally.

Party state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra urged the Congress to take a prompt decision regarding the alliance.

“They should decide whether it’s a yes or a no,” Mishra said, while addressing a rally organsied by trade union wing CITU at Sankrail in Howrah. Even though senior party leaders appeared confused when posed with questions about the alliance during the recently-held CPM plenum in Kolkata, a fortnight later CPM explicitly spoke out about it for the first time.

With Mishra urging the Congress to take prompt decision on whether they are ready for the understanding, it seemed like a sign of desperation on part of the Left party, pointed out analysts. Party insiders admitted that even though leaders are not keen to speak out, without the alliance, the CPM could be in trouble in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Sources said that without the tie-up, the CPM might not be able to deploy agents at nearly 57,000 of 77,000 polling booths between Malda in northern Bengal to Nadia down south. Congress leaders from Bengal, including state president Adhir Chowdhury, seemed to be welcome to the idea as they realise the need to move hand-in-hand with the Left if they want to pose some kind of threat to the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Senior state Congress leader and MLA, Manas Bhunia, who openly opposed a tie-up with the Trinamool, seemed to have taken a different path. “I’ve never seen CPM so impoverished that the state secretary has to appeal to us from a public rally. Doesn’t he know the process? Does he think saying such things from a rally in Bengal will reach ears of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul?” he said.

The Congress is reportedly sitting on the proposal for more than a month, particularly since Mamata met Sonia during a visit to Delhi in early December. She is believed to have assured Sonia that if the Congress refrains from shaking hands with the CPM, all 45 Trinamool MPs across both Houses of the Parliament will rally behind the Congress.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, national spokesperson of the Congress, said, “We know the CPM has approached us with the proposal for an alliance but it’s not yet time to talk about that; it’s premature. Such discussions work out at the highest level but no such talk has taken place.”

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