VISAKHAPATNAM: “Good that parties that got separated have come together at last. This will strengthen the Opposition,” CPM PolitBuro member Brinda Karat said on the Janata Parivar merger. However, she quickly ruled out any possibility of the merger of the Left parties, not even the CPI and the CPM, as was proposed by Parliamentarian, the late Hiren Mukherjee.
“No question of merger of Left parties,” Brinda clarified. Though Left unity is the call of the CPM’s 21st Party Congress, a quick, subtle yet significant difference surfaced. Sitaram Yechury, widely known to be in a close race with party veteran S Ramachandran Pillai (SRP) to head the party after incumbent Prakash Karat, warned the Janata Parivar against going in for an opportunistic, election-oriented merger, without working out policy convergences.
Yechury seemed to be playing the just-adopted ‘political tactical’ line of the party. But it did ran a bit contrary to the spirit of Brinda’s welcome note on the ‘J-merger.’
Though hailed as one of the most articulate and media-savvy leaders of the CPM, who easily connects with the youth, Yechury is said to have the backing of only the CPM’s Bengal lobby. Tripura has not made up its mind yet. As for Kerala, the mild and gentlemanly SRP (80), who wants to retire from politics after three years, may be given a chance to lead the party, obviously discounting his problem with the Hindi language and the low-profile outside the party.
SRP enjoys, as the buzz goes, the backing of the powerful Pinarayi faction of the Kerala unit. Sources claim some of whom even mooted Brinda’s name, if not for this time, post-SRP.
In this context, the contrasting takes of Yechury and Brinda become significant. But the person, who has to take the final call -- though there is no such provision in the party -- Karat, is keeping the cards close to his chest. “Nothing will be known till Saturday when the curtains will come down on the meeting. Stances of the Central Committe(CC) members will be crucial but no one is opening up,” a prominent CPM leader from Kerala told Express.