VISAKHAPATNAM: If the Janata Parivar is picking up the splinters of the last one decade to reunite under a single umbrella outfit, the CPM began its 21st party congress in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday with a clarion call for left unity.
Identifying “unbridled market economy and communal social agenda in politics” as the issues that need to be fought out with vigour, the party congress has, in a way, decided to maintain equidistance from the Congress and the BJP. The party, it seems, will no longer fall for the role of forging a ‘secular tactical’ alliance with forces and parties with whom the CPM has little commonality on economic issues and other policy matters. Instead, the party will work on Left unity -- inclusive of smaller, far and fringe Left parties such as the SUCI and CPI-ML -- to reclaim its base.
Opting for a tactical alliance, particularly in Bihar and UP, CPM leaders, especially the Karat faction, has led to a severe erosion of the Left’s once formidable base.
So, the 21st party Congress in a way would be trying to adopt draft political technical line that helps it reclaim the past glory.
Indeed with political survival at the top of their agenda, when the CPM top brass has decided to get back to the brass tacks.
So, there will be old style Left politics, protests and agitations against people who do not support them, anti-poor policies and a sectarian division agenda, among others.
As much fight against ban on beef as on opening up of sectors to increase foreign direct investment, sans checks and balance.
The other emphasis, on the first day, was on retaining and cementing of Left unity. The CPM organisational draft report cites how the LDF (Left alliance in Kerala) faced a setback in the Lok Sabha elections. Senior politburo member M A Baby lost out on the Kollam constituency, in Kerala, after RSP walked out of the Left alliance to join the Congress-led UDF.
The draft report also made it amply clear that attempts to make an alliance with secular parties does not help the CPM to grow independently.
Going for tie ups with major regional parties in states where the CPM/Left presence is wobbly, the report said has proved detrimental. But in states where it has a stronghold, it can carry off such alliance. However, it was not all a bonhomous tango.