KOLKATA: The CPM on Monday ruled out the possibility of forging an electoral alliance with the Congress in the state Assembly elections scheduled for next year. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, before attending the two-day State Committee meeting which began here on Monday, said, “Our Party Congress resolution is clear about maintaining equal distance from the BJP and the Congress. As such, there is no question of any electoral alliance with the Congress in West Bengal.”
Former Housing Minister in the CPM-led Left Front( LF) Government and the party’s Central Committee (CC) member Goutam Deb had last week floated the idea of a broad-based secular and democratic alliance, which could also include the Congress, to defeat the ruling TMC. His proposal had been seconded by fellow CC member and state CITU chief Shyamal Chakraborty, who said, “The ‘Hazar Duari’ Palace has a thousand doors,” hinting that the party would explore all avenues to oust Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from power.
However, Yechury clarified, “ Deb had given in writing to the State Committee that his statement was incorrectly analysed and we had also explained to him that any talk about aligning with the Congress was against our party’s political line.”
The CPM will hold a Plenum here in November where it will chalk out its tactical line in West Bengal for the Assembly polls and try to rope in other smaller Left parties like the CPI(ML)- Liberation and the SUCI, which are not part of the LF in the state. Though, Yechury ruled out the possibility of having a political truck with the Congress factoring in the political situation in Kerala where the CPM’s main opponent is the Congress, majority of the 18-member CPM State Secretariat, including former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya are in favour of an electoral alliance with the Congress on the basis of a common minimum programme like the Left had in 2004 while supporting the Congress-led UPA-I Government.
But the Bengal Committee is unlikely to prevail upon the majority of the CC members since Kerala too is due for polls next year.