2019 Lok Sabha polls: CPM decides against alliance with Congress as Prakash Karat wins out over Sitaram Yechury

On Sunday, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) decided not to ally with the Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, according to several media reports. The decision was made after the party's central committee passed a resolution to this effect.

According to News 18, two resolutions were placed before the committee: The first advocating an alliance with the Congress  (favoured by CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury) and the second proposing a broader coalition of Left parties to take on the BJP (favoured  by former general secretary Prakash Karat). The resolution favoured by Karat won by a margin of 55-31, according to News18.

This result laid bare differences between Yechury and Karat, India Today reported. Sources added that the party's West Bengal unit and a large section of Tripura unit favoured the first resolution (which proposed that the CPM  be open to a UPA-I like political alliance when the party extended outside support to the Congress government at the Centre).

 2019 Lok Sabha polls: CPM decides against alliance with Congress as Prakash Karat wins out over Sitaram Yechury

Representational image. Reuters

The other draft was against an alliance with the Congress and proposed broader unity of the Left parties to stop BJP-RSS. This was supported by Karat and the party's Kerala unit, the sources said.

The three-day CPM central committee meeting began in Kolkata on Friday to firm up the party's political and strategic resolutions which are expected to be adopted in Hyderabad party congress in April.

A senior CPM leader said despite internal differences, everybody in the party agreed that the BJP-RSS is the "biggest threat the country is facing presently".

On Saturday, veteran CPM leader VS Achuthanandan said he was in favour of forming a "broader unity of Left and democratic forces including Congress", while  Yechury felt that the party needs to take a call on its "political-tactical line" in order to stop the march of the RSS-BJP in the country, PTI reported.

Yechury, in his introductory speech, urged the party leadership to take a call on the "political-tactical line" as the party will be facing elections in Tripura where it is in power, CPM sources said.

Yechury and the Bengal unit of CPM, which is favour of aligning with the Congress, received a shot in the arm when Achuthanandan in an email to the party leadership advocated in favour of 'forming a greater unity of Left, secular and democratic forces including Congress," another leader said.

Later, the Congress in Kerala slammed the CPM for "playing spoilsport" in the effort to form a secular front to fight the BJP. Speaking to IANS, state Congress president MM Hassan said it is very clear that a section of the CPM in Kerala appears adamant that there should be no such front to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). For the greater part of 35 years when the CPM was in power in Bengal, the Congress had been its main political opponent.

With inputs from agencies

The Great Diwali Discount!
Unlock 75% more savings this festive season. Get Moneycontrol Pro for a year for Rs 289 only.
Coupon code: DIWALI. Offer valid till 10th November, 2019 .

Updated Date: Jan 21, 2018 16:49:12 IST