CPI says 'door isn't yet shut' on pact with Congress

CPI leaders Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar Sitaram Yechury Biman Bose and Prakash Karat at the beginning of the central committee meeting in Kolkata on Friday

CPI says 'door isn't yet shut' on pact with Congress

Other members point out that a year ago the central committee had also turned down the proposal to take the Congress' help for Yechury's candidature for the Rajya Sabha election.

Accusing the BJP of befriending "fissiparous" outfits and "extremist organisations" to defeat the Left Front in Tripura, the CPI-M on Sunday said the party was contradicting its own objective and propaganda of "Hindutva nationalism".

It proposed that CPI (M) should be open to a UPA-1 like political adjustment when the party had extended outside support to the Congress government at the Centre.

The draft resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which negates the possibility of an electoral understanding with the Congress, did not come as a surprise, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told The Hindu on Monday.

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At the end of the meeting, 55 members voted in favour of former General Secretary Prakash Karat's strong position that there should not be any truck with the Congress in any form, with 31 voting against it.

According to analysts, Yechury and Karat represent the interests of the party's West Bengal and Kerala units respectively, two states where the CPM still has a presence.

Another draft is against any alliance with the Congress and proposes broader unity of the Left parties in the country to stop BJP-RSS.

Yechury in his introductory speech urged the party leadership to take a call on the "political-tactical line" as the party will be facing elections in Tripura where it is in power, CPI (M) sources said. Both drafts said that the BJP and its ideological mentor the RSS "are the biggest threat the country is facing at present" and need to be defeated.

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"We may have differences of opinion within the party but these are thrashed out during the course of the meetings, whether Central Committee, Polit Bureau or party Congress proving that we are democratic party".

Briefing reporters, Yechury said that the draft resolution was adopted after voting.

He said the draft resolution was adopted on the basis of a "majority decision". To a question whether Congress will be among the secular democratic forces that his party is seeking to unite, Yechury said: "Our effort will be to mobilise all the secular democratic forces and how that will be done will be decided at the time of elections. We have not taken any decision as yet", Mr Raja said.

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