With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leading the charge, the CPI(M)’s Kerala leadership has argued in the party’s Central Committee, a meeting of which is underway in Delhi, that the Congress cannot be the “fulcrum” of anti-BJP Opposition unity and it cannot be considered as an alternative to the BJP.
Sources said the central committee members from Kerala argued that this understanding should reflect in the draft political resolution, which the party is preparing for its national conclave, Party Congress, to be held in Kannur in Kerala next year.
The last Party Congress held in Hyderabad in 2018 had concluded that the BJP was the “main threat” and that the BJP and the Congress cannot be treated as “equal dangers”. The party had then decided that the main task is to defeat BJP and its allies by rallying all “secular and democratic forces” but this has to be done without a “political alliance” with the Congress.
Sources said the outline of the draft political resolution approved by the CPM politburo and presented before the Central Committee advocates continuation of this stand. But since then, the CPM had entered into electoral understandings with the Congress.
While the Left parties fought the Assembly elections in alliance with the Congress, the CPM was part of the Congress-led alliance in Assam. In Tamil Nadu, the two parties were a part of the DMK-led alliance. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury argues for continuation of this tactical approach.
But Kerala leaders, sources said, believe that the Congress’s approach to fight communalism was insincere, and on many issues, opportunistic. They argue the Congress often takes a soft Hindutva approach.
Sources said Central Committee members from Delhi, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh supported this approach. But they believe that the Congress, which is still the main Opposition party with a presence in most states, cannot be ignored at the national level.
Sources in the Central leadership believe that there was no need to change the line taken during the last Party Congress or reopen the debate. They argue that instead of discussing the party’s approach to the Congress, the party should be focusing on forging a wider unity in the wake of people’s movements like the farmers’ agitation and increasing trade union unity gaining strength.