CPI(M) to cooperate with Congress to fight BJP?

Consensus emerges in CPI(M) over cooperating with Congress to fight BJP

The issue of relationship with the Congress had been a thorny issue for the CPI(M)

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. Credit: PTI File Photo

A general consensus appeared to have emerged in the CPI(M) over continuing its cooperation with the Congress on tackling the "increasing danger" of the BJP, with its central committee clearing an outline of the political resolution for its triennial conference.

The party's Polit Bureau will now prepare a text on the basis of the outline in a meeting next month to be presented in the Central Committee in January for clearance of the draft political resolution, which will get its final nod in the Party Congress in Kannur next April.

The three-day Central Committee meeting, which ended on Sunday, cleared the outline without any deviation from the line presented by the Polit Bureau though some leaders expressed their reservation over continuing understanding with the Congress.

The issue of relationship with the Congress had been a thorny issue for the CPI(M) and it had reached a crescendo at the 2018 conference where present General Secretary Sitaram Yechury managed to push the political line of entering into understanding with all secular parties, including Congress, to fight the BJP while making it clear that there should not be any political alliance with the Congress.

There was speculation that the Central Committee meeting would be stormy, especially after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote in Malayalam party weekly 'Chinta' about the Congress losing its pole position in several states and that the Sonia Gandhi-led party should not be the core of the Opposition efforts against the BJP.

However, sources said, even the Kerala unit was a "mixed bag", as some of them, including leaders from the minority communities, argued in favour of Yechury's line that the situation has worsened after the BJP's victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and keeping the Congress away was not a prudent line.

Some Kerala leaders argued that the CPI(M)'s "courageous" position of working with Congress has earned benefits in the state with minority community voters expressing their confidence in the party in the last Assembly elections. They argued that these voters found CPI(M) was "sincere" in its fight against the BJP while the minority communities did vote for Congress in other states.

Also read: CPI(M) Central Committee meets to discuss resolution for Party Congress

The latest round of the Central Committee meeting is in contrast to the deliberations prior to the 2018 conference when a group led by former General Secretary Prakash Karat, which included the state units of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana among others, were against cooperating with the Congress.

The run-up to the triennial conference witnessed stormy scenes with Yechury not being able to push his line as the Central Committee dominated by the Karat faction managed to clear their draft resolution. Several meetings to thrash a compromise met in failure and when the draft was presented before the Party Congress, Yechury had the last laugh.

With a majority of the delegates from across the country in support, Yechury managed to amend the resolution after the Karat faction threw in the towel. A meeting of the Central Committee during the Party Congress decided to bring an amendment to the draft it prepared earlier and the impasse was passed.

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