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Prakash Karat plays down differences with Yechury

Prakash Karat plays down differences with Yechury
New Delhi: Senior CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat on Thursday played down differences with party general secretary Sitaram Yechury over the issue of having an understanding with the Congress to fight the BJP, insisting that divergence of views reflected inner-party democracy.
After days of veiled attacks between him and Yechury, Karat claimed that the media has been portraying "differing political views" as "personality clashes" and "personal differences". Without naming Yechury, he, however, said that those who "who violate the collective decisions of the party" are "considered to be factional".
"A majority view, or, a minority view, within a committee on a political question is not to be seen as a line up of two factions.
"It is only those who violate the collective decisions of the party and band together for extraneous reasons who are considered to be factional," he said in an article.
The article came days after the party's Central Committee meeting in Kolkata which saw the differences coming out in the open over the political-tactical line to be finally adopted by the CPI(M) at its Congress in April.
A group led by party general secretary Sitaram Yechury had pitched for an understanding with "secular parties" along with Congress to fight the "communal agenda of the BJP".
However, the policy draft in this regard was rejected at the meeting, with Karat among those who were not in its favour.
In the article titled 'Exercising Inner-Party Democracy' in the latest issue of party organ 'People's Democracy', Karat emphasised that factionalism and factional groupings were "impermissible" in accordance with the CPI(M) Constitution.
Accusing the media of creating misinformation about split within the party, the former CPI(M) general secretary said the reports had reduced inner-party democracy of the party to personality clashes and personal differences.
He alleged that most media persons were either ill- informed about the style of functioning of the CPI(M) as a communist party. "They utilised the occasion to draw motivated and distorted conclusions intended to depict the party leadership in a poor light," he alleged.
Interestingly, in an earlier interview, Karat had said, "for us, opposition to neoliberal economic policies is as important as fighting communal forces. We cannot be part of an alliance with the Congress which stands for such policies".
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