Will Hamid Ansari split the Left the way Pranab Mukherjee did? Unlikely it seems if one goes by the indications emanating from the Left front.
Desperately trying to put up a united front, the CPM has already conveyed its support to ‘non-Congress’ candidate, which effectively means support to Ansari. Unlike UPA’s Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, Ansari is not a Congress party member and was the Left/CPM-proposed candidate in the last V-P elections. The CPM is desperate to see that the ‘Left unity’ is not affected the way it had in the case of support to Mukherjee and is trying its best to persuade the other Left parties, including the CPI, Forward Block and the RSP to toe the same line.
The Congress on its part, too, is trying its best to see to it that the Left stands united in case of Hamid Ansari. PM Manmohan Singh had called up CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Sudhakar Reddy on Wednesday, seeking support for Ansari’s candidature. Earlier, the PM had contacted the CPM as part of his efforts to seek support of the political parties in selection of a candidate for the Vice President’s post and it was then that the CPM conveyed that it is in favour of a person who does not belong to the Congress.
The CPI leaders, however, are understood to have remained non-committal despite request from the PM for unity. “We have conveyed to the PM that we will not support a Congress candidate as was in the case of Pranab Mukherjee. There is no justification to support a Congress candidate, while opposing the policies of the Congress,” a CPI leader told Express. According to the CPI leader, the PM then reminded that Ansari was not a Congress candidate and that he was in fact a Left candidate last time.
“We have told him that the party cannot commit anything at this point of time and will take a final decision only after the National Executive meeting of the party,’’ said the leader.
“It was a good opportunity for the party to prove that it is more Leftist than the CPM. Opposing Pranab also helped in correcting a historical blame that has been put on the CPI that it is ‘rightist’ among the Left parties ever since the party split,’’ added the CPI leader.
The other two Left parties - the Forward Block and the RSP - have also been contacted by the Congress and they have also remained non-committal. But it is understood that they might finally fall in line as Ansari was their candidate last time.