Millennium Post

As Yechury bats for alliance to take on BJP, CPM looking at possible split

Kolkata: The forthcoming party congress of CPI-M in Hyderabad is likely to be an interesting story, with the party's former general secretary Sitaram Yechury pleading strongly in favour of "bigger alliance with democratic and secular forces," to combat communal BJP, political experts feel.
He was addressing a meeting to condole the death of former Politburo member Mohammad Amin, at Pramode Dasgupta Bhavan on Tuesday.
The controversy within CPI-M over having an alliance with Congress, has deepened after Pradesh Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Wednesday said the party will support Yechury, if he is nominated for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha election. CPI-M candidate Tapan Sen's term in the Rajya Sabha will come to an end in March.
Without naming Congress, Yechury had said that alliance with all secular parties was the need of the hour, to combat the "communal BJP."
Political experts maintained that Yechury's statement clearly indicates that there will be a virtual split in CPI-M, over having alliance with Congress in Hyderabad, as his lobby will again raise the issue at the party congress.
In the recently concluded meeting of the party's Central Committee in Kolkata, the party has taken a resolution that it will maintain equidistance with Congress and BJP. The Prakash karat lobby had defeated the Yechury lobby handsomely, when election on the issue was held.
Accordingly, there is no scope to raise the matter at the Hyderabad party congress. But, Yechury is still hopeful of an alliance with Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and his lobby is likely to raise the matter.
Political experts maintained that without an alliance with Congress, the future of CPI-M in Bengal will be bleak. Without an alliance with Congress, the party will not have any member in Rajya Sabha in the next six years, from Bengal. In Lok Sabha, the party has two MPs and it will be difficult for them to retain the seat without Congress' help.
Yechury and some leaders of the party from Bengal led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, had strongly pleaded for the alliance with Congress, before the 2016 Assembly polls. However, it proved to be disastrous, with CPI-M getting only 28 seats and Congress 44, in the 294 strong Bengal Assembly.
Later, the Politburo issued a statement, which stated that the "decision was not in consonance with the party's Central Committee's decision."
Political experts said in this backdrop that the Hyderabad party congress is likely to be stormy and might lead to a split in the party.

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