press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
Even as the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is dragging its feet on having an electoral understanding with the Congress for the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal, it is increasingly emphasising on a larger coalition centred on the party to oust the Trinamool Congress government in the State.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Mohd Salim, who addressed the media on the third day of the Kolkata Plenum on Tuesday, avoided a direct answer on an alliance with the Congress, but maintained that “popular sentiment is in favour of an alliance”.
“It’s not only a few … many are talking about the need for a coalition. In fact, people of the State feel that in order to rid the State of the Trinamool Congress, an alliance with the CPI(M) [as the fulcrum] is necessary,” he said.
While it is increasingly becoming clear that a section within the party is keen on having an alliance with the Congress in West Bengal, the CPI(M) is facing a dilemma over the fact that the Congress-led UDF is the party’s main political adversary in Kerala.
Though Mr. Salim did not name the Congress, he described how the CPI(M) had successfully mastered the art of alliance, both at the Centre and in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura.
“Despite the CPI(M) having absolute majority, we have formed coalition governments… for example, in Tripura now and West Bengal earlier. For us, coalition or alliance isn’t an electoral equation, it is about uniting to struggle for the people oppressed and exploited,” he said. The Trinamool, he pointed out, had formed a huge alliance of 22 parties to remove the Left Front from power.
Mr. Salim also sidestepped the question whether the possibility of allying with the Congress is turning out to be a stumbling block for the unity of Left parties in West Bengal.
He referred to certain aberrations in the Left on crucial issues such as supporting Pranab Mukherjee as the presidential candidate and one of its key constituents in Bengal being part of its Opposition in Kerala.
Mr. Salim said that one of the crucial issues being discussed at the plenum was bringing the younger generation into its fold.
From: The Hindu