CPM flays own leaders who resorted to caste campaign

CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury (R) with party leaders Surya Kanta Mishra (L) and Nilotpal Basu during ongoing 200th birth anniversary celebrations of Karl Marx, in Kolkata, on Sunday. PTI

The CPM's Rajasthan and Telangana state units got a rap from its central leadership for deviating from party's stated line of defeating the BJP and even resorting to casteist campaign during the just-concluded Assembly elections.

At the recent meeting of its central committee, leaders were critical of the leadership of both these states and these have formed part of the Report on Political Developments adopted at the two-day conclave.

Both the units, which were at loggerheads with party general secretary Sitaram Yechury on the question of the nature of the relationship with the Congress, had given a call for the government formation under the CPM but the central committee has termed this as an "unrealistic" goal given the party's condition there.

The party unit in Telangana, which contested 26 seats as part of the Bahujan Left Front, came in for sharp criticism as the central committee report found fault with the projection of a backward class chief minister as well as the projection of candidates on caste identity.

“This emphasis on caste identity to the exclusion of other criteria reduced the alliance to a caste-based combination, which was a major departure from our basic approach where the class aspect must also be emphasised,” it said.

“Moreover, the CM talk and a new government were unrealistic. We were only at the stage of trying to make our presence felt in the state legislature," it added.

Analysing the results in Rajasthan where it contested 28 seats and won two, the report said the CPM managed to increase its vote-share from 0.9% to 1.2% despite contesting lesser seats in 2013 when it fielded 38 seats.

However, the report said, the CPM and six other parties formed an alliance Loktantrik Morcha, which the media projected as though it was "bidding" for power. "This was unrealistic given the fact that this alliance had, at present, not a single MLA in the Assembly," it said.

Finding fault with the electoral pitch as the contest was mainly with the Congress and the BJP, it said, "the correct demand was to call for defeating BJP and for increasing the representation of the CPM and Left and democratic forces in the Assembly, so that the demands of peasants, workers and other toiling sections can be raised."

While a “proper review” of the results will be done at the state level and a detailed report is awaited, sources pointed out to the central committee decisions in October on electoral tactics for the Lok Sabha.

According to the tactics cleared by the central committee in October, “The Political Resolution adopted in Hyderabad Party Congress has pointed out that our line is not of equidistance between the BJP and the Congress.”

In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP is not a major force, it said, “we cannot have any understanding with the ruling parties – TRS or TDP. We can try for some understanding with certain other smaller parties and fight a limited number of seats.”

For states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, it said, where the main contest will be between the BJP and the Congress, “we should fight just one or two seats and campaign generally for the defeat of the BJP”.

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CPM flays own leaders who resorted to caste campaign

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