In the red: CPM power struggle out in open
By Cithara Paul - NEW DELHI
Published: 08th Sep 2013 08:49:39 AM
Divergences have always been subtle within the Left, especially the CPI(M). But with personal ambitions getting a leg up over ideological differences, the fight is out in the open between CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and wannabe general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Though the duo has never had a good equation, except may be in joining hands to stop Jyoti Basu from becoming the Prime Minister, the fight between the two had always been an insider’s secret. But now it is a public secret with one trying to scuttle the political moves by the other just like a political opponent.
The latest cause of rift between the two is over the political line to be taken towards the Congress party as the election date is getting nearer. While Karat, who is still latching on to his once failed Third Front dream, is strictly against the Congress, Yechury, who had played a prominent role during the UPA-I days, wants an “open and softer” approach towards the Congress party.
The rift between the two was very evident last week when Yechury tried to snub the SP, BSP and JD(S) in one go, questioning their secular and ideological credentials. And it was not a simple coincidence that it was on the same day that the CPI(M) general secretary had held closed-door discussions with the SP supremo to decide the future of a grand coalition against the Congress and BJP.
Ruling out the possibility of a supporting the Congress again “even if Rahul Gandhi is there”, Karat had said Mulayam would play a decisive role in the coming polls. “Mulayamji had worked with us earlier also and if his party is in a strong position (in the polls), he could well be a Prime Ministerial candidate,” Karat had said.
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Interestingly, Yechury chose the same day to question the reliability of SP and other possible Third Front partners. Pointing out the anomaly of SP and BSP jointly supporting the Congress government, Yechury said it is not clear who is the opponent and who is the supporter thereby putting a question mark on the reliability quotient of these parties.
Similarly, he snubbed the JD(S) the same day questioning its secular credentials. “I have directly asked them to take away the term ‘secular’ from the party name. What right do they have to put such a tag in their name after making tacit understandings with the BJP in Karnataka elections?” Yechury said.
“A Politburo member could not be more vocal than this in expressing differences with the party general secretary,” said a party leader. According to him, the duo had always adopted a different line of approach towards Congress within the party forums. “But it never had been this apparent,” said the leader who is a member of the Central Committee (CC).