CPI(M)-Congress alliance to continue for ensuing civic polls
Taking advantage of the silence of the politburo on the issue of the party's alliance with Congress in Bengal, Suryakanta Misra, party's state secretary in sheer desperation on Thursday announced that the alliance would continue in the municipal polls scheduled to be held in May.
In the recently-concluded meeting of politburo in Delhi, no clear cut instruction was given to the Bengal leaders. After the poll debacle of the party in the 2016 Assembly polls, the politburo had issued a statement and said: "The alliance was not in consonance with the decision of the Central Committee."
It may be mentioned that when the politburo meeting was on, CPI(M) and Congress candidates had organised a joint rally and submitted nomination in Domkol in Murshidabad where election would be held on May 14.
The alliance's performance in the 2016 Assembly poll was disastrous. The Left Front got 31 seats of which CPI(M) got 26 seats, the lowest in the past three decades. In the recently-concluded Kanthi West Assembly by-election, the Left Front and Congress fought separately and the deposits of their candidates were forfeited. The CPI candidate got 17,000 odd votes, the Congress candidate remained satisfied with 2,200 odd votes.
Political experts said as there had been a massive erosion in CPI(M)'s party base with a large number of cadres not renewing their memberships, the party had no other option but to hold the hand of the Congress. Also, without the support of Congress, the party will not be able to send its general secretary Sitaram Yehchuri to Rajya Sabha for the third consecutive term. "So the politburo has to swallow its own spit and has to keep quite on the issue in Bengal," said a political expert.
Misra said: "One has to take any decision keeping in mind the ground reality. In this backdrop, the alliance will continue."