VISAKHAPATNAM: On a day when CPI(M)’s former Third Front friends — the Janata Parivar — announced a merger, Prakash Karat, the outgoing general secretary of the Left party asserted that there will be no more ‘Third Front’ experiment.
Karat gave a peek into the party’s new ‘political tactical’ line during discussions on the Left’s future course of action. Instead, Karat said, the CPI(M) was ready for “flexible tactics” which would help the party grow beyond the three States — Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura — and its pockets of influence in Andhra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu.
When Karat shared this insight with the media, 14 top members of the State units of his party had already spoken, more were to speak on the draft report on the ‘political tactical’ line, which will be adopted on Thursday. News of some fireworks behind the closed doors were trickling out — West Bengal’s Amal Haldar and Kerala’s V V Dakshinamurthy — were not really in agreement with the Karat line, sources said. Karat, however, claimed the critical comments or the 29 amendments to the draft report were more on “grammatical” errors, and “a few on technical issues”. But on the second day of the 21st party congress, it was obvious Karat wanted to appear firm. CPI(M), he all but asserted, will henceforth neither be part of nor forge a third front platform.
Without a well delineated ideological convergence on policy issues, particularly on the economy, such alliances or “coalition of secular forces” were limiting. It cannot emerge as a real alternative to BJP or Congress, he said, adding that only those two benefited from each others electoral collapses. The real alternative can be forged only with the coming together of ‘democratic Left’ forces, Karat asserted. Though not said, it seemed the Marxist hardliner was wistfully alluding to the AAP phenomenon. The fledging party has managed to attract more political activists —volunteers — in the last two years than the Left has in 20. “We want to form a powerful alternative force against bourgeois parties, it has nothing to do with elections. CPI(M) is trying to replace the attempt to build a third alternative with a Left Democratic alternative,” said Karat.