CPM to fight Oppn parties if no state-level alliances

CPM to fight Oppn parties if no state-level alliances

The CPM is willing to enter into regional coalitions ahead of Lok Sabha elections while keeping its options open to contest against Opposition parties in states where there is no alliance.

This will come up before the party Central Committee (CC) when it meets next month to consider reports from states about with whom they could ally in states.

The issue of having electoral understanding with the Congress was a heated debate in CPM with the Hyderabad Party Congress opening a door for such a move as it resolved that "appropriate electoral tactics to maximize the pooling of the anti-BJP votes should be adopted based on the above political line of the party".

Around half-a-dozen state committees, including West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, have submitted their reports on possible alliance partners.

Sources said the Bengal unit has suggested that the party should align with such parties who are willing to take on the Narendra Modi-led BJP and the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, while some other states are of the view that they should ensure that its base is not affected.

The Bengal unit is not averse to aligning with the Congress, with which it had informal understanding earlier, while a section in the central leadership led by Prakash Karat and Kerala unit are against it.

While the question of Bengal unit's plea for an understanding will be addressed in the CC meeting, the party is trying to regain its base in the state through the mobilisation of mass organisations.

Sources said the CPM-led Bengal Platform for Mass Organisations (BPMO) has intensified its reach-out programmes keeping in mind the Lok Sabha polls.

For the CPM, sources said, the problem lies with the states where a dominant Opposition party is unwilling to share space.

In Uttar Pradesh where BSP and Samajwadi Party is strong and in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where the Congress is strong, the CPM may not figure in their scheme of things.

“We will have to fight against Opposition parties there. It is also a fight to retain our political base. We cannot leave it to them. So contesting there is necessary,” a senior leader said while giving an example of bypolls in the Maharashtra's Palghar Lok Sabha seat, which has sizeable Left votes, where the Congress had suggested that it should not contest.

“We came fourth in that seat and Congress fifth. They wanted us to leave the seat for them. We cannot leave such a seat,” he said.

However, the Left has a better space in Bihar where the RJD appeared to be accommodative.

The CPI(ML) and CPI had a head-start by almost sealing the alliance with the RJD-led Grand Alliance tentatively settling for Ara and Begusarai respectively.

CPM is yet to start negotiations in Bihar but is hopeful of contesting polls.

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