Inner party dissidence in CPIM over alliance with Congress

Wednesday, Jul 13, 2016,12:59 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kolkata | CPIM, known to be a regimented party, appears to be facing unprecedented inner party dissent as its Bengal comrades challenge the party’s political line on alliance with Congress in the state.
The party has never faced such a situation as its Bengal unit has questioned the political understanding of CPIM central leadership and challenged the decisions and political line adopted by the Party Central Committee against the teaming up with Congress.
Debates within the party over any issue are part of (the functioning) of a communist party. But yes, this is the first time that a debate such as this where our comrades from West Bengal have openly questioned the decision of the Central Committee has come out in the open, a senior proalliance state committee member told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
Our point is Bengal is facing an extraordinary situation and it calls for extraordinary steps. We had forged an electoral adjustment with Congress to protect democracy.
It was fight for existence and leadership has to acknowledge the fact. But a section of the Central Committee members failed to understand our situation and have been accusing us of violating the party’s political line. What will you do with a political line if your comrades and party supporters get killed everyday and your very existence is at stake? he said.
At the CPI(M) state committee meeting here yesterday senior members of the Politburo, including party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury held a closed door meet with state committee members to implement the official party line.
The Central Committee had on June 20, over a month after the poll result in the state which saw Trinamool Congress ride back to power, said the electoral tactics adopted in West Bengal was not in consonance with its decision not to have an alliance or understanding with Congress.
Stating that this should be rectified, it also stressed the importance of adhering to the politicaltactical line adopted at the 21st Congress of the Party.
The Central Committee had then authorised the Politburo to ensure its implementation in consultation with the state leadership of the party. But with the central leadership trying to enforce the official line, it is facing a stiff opposition from its Bengal unit.
The CPIM Bengal unit termed the Central Committee’s decision as arbitrary and a gesture of disrespect to the 2.15 crore voters of the state who voted in favour of the CongressCPI(M) alliance.
The central leadership has always neglected the sentiments and arguments of the party’s Bengal leadership. Be it the historic blunder of not allowing Jyoti Basu to become prime minister or arbitrary expulsion of Somnath Chatterjee Bengal has always been neglected.
How will the leaders from Kerala or south India understand the groundlevel situation in Bengal which we are facing everyday ? You (Central Committee) try to enforce anything by force you will face resistance, another CPIM state committee member said. In the face of such stiff resistance, it was decided in the Central Committee that a broadest people’s resistance will be formed to counter the onslaught of TMC.
It has been decided that as there are no elections in the near future the question of electoral alliance does not arise as of now. But yes, the people’s alliance is still there. And joint movements with Congress and other secular and democratic forces will still be there, yet another senior state CPI(M) leader said.
We cannot disrespect the people who have voted in favour of the (CongressCPIM) alliance, he added. Another CPIM state committee member, who was unequivocal against the central leadership, said the debate will continue in the party forum till the next party Congress.
The CPI(M) state leadership has called for a plenum at the state level to look into the organizational aspects of the party’s state unit. The political line will not be discussed in the plenum. It will discuss how to cope with organisational lacunae and their solutions. It will discuss the organisational aspects of the party, CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim said.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) is facing tremendous criticism from within the Left Front, which it leads, over its decision to ally with Congress with RSP even threatening to quit. We have told CPI(M) clearly that there will be no alliance, front or understanding with Congress.
If the Bengal CPI(M) decides to continue its alliance or understanding with Congress, it would be next to impossible for RSP to stay in the Left Front, RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami told PTI. Forward Bloc, another member of the LF, went a step ahead saying the Left Front is not a personal property of CPI(M) and it is free to leave the Front if it wants to ally with Congress.