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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
Sunday, 04 February 2018 12:06

CPI(M)'S INTERNAL TUSSLE ON ALLIANCE WITH CONGRESS - KN Ramachandran

AFTER the PB meeting of CPI(M) in December had rejected the Yechuri line on arriving at tactical alliances with Congress, the following note was published by us in the Red Star online weekly. “The debate on alliance making taking place now in CPM is a drama to create interest on its April, 2018, party congress among their tired, de-politicized and dispirited ranks. Whether to form or not to form alliance with Congress is at the best a pseudo debate. In 2016, before elections to Bengal assembly both PB and CC had taken majority decision not to go for alliance with Congress. Still the Bengal committee violated it. What action was taken against it? Now CPM is in the alliance with DMK and Congress in TN. CPM is supporting the DMK candidate along with Congress in the by-election to RK Nagar assembly seat. In AP, Telangana, Odissa like states, where the CPI- CPM have some mass support, they are going to ally with regional parties who implement neoliberal policies as fervently as BJP or Congress. Even in Bihar CPM went for a LF only because the Grand Alliance did not give any seats to it. So, in effect the last party congress decision for strengthening the alliance with left parties/organizations was implemented only where there was no possibility to make alliance with regional parties. In all these issues there are no basic differences between Karat and Yechuri groups.

“Similarly, even after the decimation of the CPM front forces and their repeated defeats in the elections from 2011 in Bengal in spite of 34 years of continuous rule, it has not made any self-criticism against implementation of the neo-liberal policies whenever and wherever it comes to power, and the support it gave to the UPA government at centre from 2004 to 2009. Even now its governments in Kerala and Tripura are pursuing the very same ruling class policies. On this vital question also both Karat and Yechuri groups have no differences at all. So, it is crystal clear that both have no intention to fight for independent left assertion based on a common minimum program bringing together all like-minded left and democratic forces with the strategic socialist orientation. In short, the pseudo debate is created to get some media attention and to convince the ranks that there is something taking place. As the elections to more states and then to Lok Sabha in 2019 is going to take place, the absurdity of this ongoing debate shall become clear. It is in this context CPI(ML) Red Star has decided to have no political alliance with CPM led LF and to go for independent left assertion by drafting a People’s Manifesto and uniting all struggling oppressed forces in a Mass Political Platform giving emphasis to non-parliamentary struggles. We should launch a political debate on this question before the Party Congresses of CPM, CPI and Liberation are taking place in March, April 2018".

As the party congresses of CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML) Liberation are taking place in March-April to be followed by the 11h party congress of CPI(ML) Red Star in November, it is of great importance that a serious discussion on the tactical line put forward in the Political Resolutions by all of them is taken up. As far as CPI is concerned it has reaffirmed its social democratic line once again in its draft PR. Though in Kerala, where it is part of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), it raises certain critics against the rightist policies pursued by the Pinarayi government, it is proved that it is just an opportunist attempt to satisfy its ranks and the gullible middle class sections. It has reduced its tactical line to go for adjustments with Congress and all non BJP parties for electoral gains. It has abandoned the vision of Left assertion absolutely.

As far as CPI(M) is concerned, after our note was published some of our friends had asked whether the internal tussle taking place in it can be just rejected as a drama. Yes, it is a very pertinent question. We do understand that there are large number of cadres and members in CPI(M) who are not satisfied by the line followed by the leadership. But due to ‘party loyalty’ and in the absence of any other strong communist formation, they are still remaining in it. This was evident during the time of Singur, Nandigram struggles in W. Bengal. Many had revolted against the party line and opposed this neo-liberal policy. Similarly now in Kerala many of their party members from ‘party villages’ like Kizhattur in Kannur district have challenged the LDF government’s ‘development’ policies, and they are expelled for it. Many left intellectuals like Prabhat Patnaik are also very critical about the policies pursued by the leadership. Their articles revels that they are not satisfied that the Karat-Yechuri inner party struggle shall lead to a line of independent left assertion, which alone can wage a consistent struggle against the ultra rightist, communal fascist forces. It is in this context we are republishing an article by Prabhat Patnaik appeared in The Wire two months back.

When we point out that the present inner party struggle in CPI(M), focusing on whether or not to form electoral tactical alliance with Congress, is a pseudo debate, we mean that from the time P. Sunderayya resigned from General Secretary ship in 1975, as the PB rejected his line of out rightly opposing the Emergency declaration and struggling for left assertion, the CPI(M) leadership had veered to more rightist positions and electoral pragmatism under the leadership of EMS and Jyothi Basu, and later Harkishen Singh Surjeet. From that time onwards its electoral tactics went on shifting from adjustments with Congress to building grand alliance against Congress as in 1989, and again to adjustments with Congress as during 1996-8 united front years and later in 2004 at central level, and to many adjustments with electoral fronts in the states in which Congress was also a constituent. Again, as pointed out in the beginning, when the WB state committee went for tactical alliance with Congress in 2016 elections even after the CC rejected this stand, no action was taken against it. For all practical purposes, like in its last party congress, even if a line of no tactical alliance with Congress is adopted in the coming party congress also, it is not going to be implemented in practice as the leadership has already degenerated to increasingly rightist positions, abandoning the Marxist stand.

Today as far the Marxist-Leninist forces are concerned, there is absolutely no doubt that we have to strive hard to defeat the communal fascist BJP rule and the penetration of the Sangh Parivar values in the socio-cultural-political fields. But this struggle shall become fruitful when it is linked to the struggle for out rightly rejecting the neo-liberal/globalization policies and with the orientation of continuously strengthening the line of independent left assertion. With this perspective we are engaged in active discussions with all left and democratic forces, along with the various struggling forces based on a common manifesto against the corporate - communal fascist forces. The ongoing Bhangar movement has provided a new fillip to these efforts. This discussion could not be carried forward with forces like CPI(ML) Liberation who are actively supporting the Bhangar movement, in spite of many efforts as they continued in the CPI(M) led Left Front. But the article “The Yechury-Karat Debate Frames Left Politics In a False Binary” written by its General Secretary, just after the CC meeting of the CPI(M) and published in The Wire has created favorable situation for restarting discussion with it for a joint front. We are re-publishing this article to help this debate to help the building of a left and democratic People’s Alternative with a common manifesto.

Our call is to intensify the ideological political debate to widen the scope for building a left and democratic People’s Alternative based on a common manifesto focusing on defeating the corporate-communal fascist rule with the vision of strengthening the independent left assertion. In such a platform, Bhangar like people’s movements as well as organizations of oppressed classes and sections like dalits, adivasis, women, ecological movements etc also can play an active role. Let us strive hard to build such a front/platform at state level as well as at all India level. n

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