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CPI(M) toes Karat line, 'rules out' tie-up with Cong

CPI(M) toes Karat line, 'rules out' tie-up with Cong

Kolkata: For the second time in six months, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury failed to convince the party's most powerful decision-making body, the Central Committee (CC), that it was imperative to forge an understanding with the Congress to oust the BJP from power at the centre.

One draft favoured adjustment with the Congress to stop the BJP and has the support of Yechury, the sources said adding that the party's West Bengal unit and a large section of Tripura unit are in its favour. You can suggest changes and so will thousands of card-holding CPM members.

Though the central committee and the politburo are dominated by the Kerala faction, a state where the CPI (M) is in power, it is the other state committees, led by West Bengal, which are keen on an alliance with the Congress as the party cadre feel that without it the party will lose all its electoral relevance.

Yechury's draft called for the formation of a Left Democratic Front as a political alternative encompassing all secular forces in the umbrella coalition.

The draft resolution, which was adopted after a vote on the concluding day of the party's three-day Central Committee meet here, would be released for discussion within the CPI (M) before its congress scheduled to be held in Hyderabad in April. However, traditionally, the party congress has never accepted any amendment which goes against the sense of the draft resolution adopted by the central committee.

"The point is, what happens internally in the party, I don't need to say that here", Yechury said. His draft though was favouring an alliance with the Congress did not name the party and avoids the word "understanding".

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He said that that the IPFT has claimed to have received assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah that their demand for a separate tribal state would be considered positively, and if this was the case, this was the extent of promises that the BJP could agree in order to defeat the Left.

Karat's draft, after incorporating several amendments, will now be presented by Yechury at the 22nd party congress for final adoption in April. "The final call on the tactics to tackle the BJP would be taken during the elections", he said.

He said since the general secretary's views are being rejected time and again, him continuing at the helm will not send out a good message to the party's rank and file.

Sources said the central committee meeting held four rounds of voting over the draft. To buy peace with the dissenters, he agreed to exclude the ruling class parties from the proposed electoral front, keeping the option of alliance, but still, Karat faction insisted of no truck with Congress policy.

Though the CC approved the politburo outline which firmly opposed any form of a tie-up, the Bengal unit made it clear that the issue had not ended yet and would come up at the party congress. He also ruled out possibility of an electoral understanding with Congress as far as the Assembly election in Tripura is concerned.