Discussions regarding a tie-up with the Congress - the CPI (M)’s prime political opponent in Kerala, at the national level to form a secular-democratic force to fight the RSS and the BJP, have been doing the rounds for quite a while.
On Monday, the central committee of the CPI (M) unanimously backed the politburo’s draft resolution for the party congress, scheduled to be held in April next year, that rejects the possibility of any electoral alliance between the Left and the Congress.
TNM spoke to some of the Congress and Left leaders in the state seeking their opinion regarding the possibility of a tie-up.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President MM Hassan said that though the Congress is not ready for any kind of alliance with the Left Parties in the state, at the national level, it is ready to join all the democratic forces to fight against the Fascist-communal forces.
“All the secular forces need to fight jointly against that. It was to strengthen the fight that the Congress offered support to CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to get elected to the Rajya Sabha. If the Left parties are sincere in the fight they should support such a platform. But by opposing it, Prakash Karat and his supporters are indirectly helping the BJP to continue its rule. By doing so, the CPI (M) is repeating its historical blunders," Hassan says.
He says the prime enemy of the Congress is BJP, but the party won't beg anyone to join it in its fight against the communal forces.
He alleges that it is the factionalism within the CPI (M) that stands in the way of a common platform which in turn helps the BJP. "Pinarayi Vijayan supports Prakash Karat in that factional feud," Hassan alleges.
KPCC Vice President VD Satheesan said that what drives the CPI (M) is its enmity towards Congress.
“We support a move to form a secular-democratic alliance. That doesn’t mean that the Congress and the Left shouldn’t oppose each other while contesting elections in the state. Let the situation in the state continue like this, but why can’t they join together at the national level,” he asks.
Satheesan, legislator representing Paravur, says that the CPI (M) and the former avatar of the BJP, Jana Sangh, had an alliance back in 1977.
“Pinarayi Vijayan and KG Marar of Jana Sangh had contested elections from the same panel at that time. That time, the reason they cited was to fight for democracy and secularism. What now? Does Pinarayi think that secularism and democracy of the country is safe in the hands of the Modi government?” he questions.
Satheesan adds, “We had offered support to re-elect Sitaram Yechury to the Rajya Sabha. A lobby within the party had opposed it. That lobby was led by Pinarayi Vijayan. The CPI (M) has a soft corner for the BJP, their aim is to weaken the Congress,” Satheesan says.
Former State secretary and senior leader of the CPI, Pannian Raveendran says that these are all policy decisions and it is not appropriate for a leader to comment publicly on this. But he adds that it is better to have a common platform to fight against the fascist forces in the country at the national level.
“By platform, it means joining together for subject-based issues. It doesn’t mean electoral alliance or adjustment politics.”
He says that the since the party congress of the CPI (M) and the CPI has been scheduled, the resolutions will be open for the members to discuss well in advance, before the parties take a final decision on it. “That is our democratic way of functioning,’ he says.
At a press meet in Kollam on Tuesday, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran expressed the view that democratic secular forces should unite against communal forces. He added that the situation in Kerala is not the same as at the national level.
The CPI (M) leaders however said that since the matter was discussed at the Central Committee and a draft resolution was passed, it is not appropriate to make comments outside a party forum.
A Sampath, MP and CPI (M) Kollam District Secretary and former MP, KN Balagopal, echoed the same opinion.