Indian Communists still argue on an alliance with Congress. Yechury says YES and Karat says NO

Communists continue to live in a fantasy world, dreaming that they are relevant in Indian politics

Communists continue to live in a fantasy world, dreaming that they are relevant in Indian politics
Communists Yechury and Karat

Update as of Monday the 16th of October, 2017
At the end of the three-day conference, Karat’s resolution won with a small majority.

Original Post
The Indian Communists are funny. The Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI(M))’s highest decision-making body, the Central Committee is debating for three days on whether or not to make an alliance with Congress in the future. This debate started after West Bengal unit of the party passed a resolution for an alliance with Congress, supported by the party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. But this resolution lost out in Politburo. Nine members, basically known as the Kerala lobby, led by Prakash Karat voted against this resolution and Yechury and the Bengal lobby got only five votes.

When will the Communists wake up and smell the coffee? India has long ago moved on beyond the failed ideology of Communism and the CPI(M) appears to be in denial.

As per party’s norms, this decision has to be ratified by the highest body called Central Committee having around 90 members. The three day long Central Committee meeting started on October 14. It is very sure that Kerala lobby, which is now powerful will oppose any sort of alliance with Congress and would try with all its might to defeat the proposal moved by Yechury and Bengal unit. The reason is simple. If CPI(M) agrees for an alliance with Congress, in Kerala, CPI(M) will lose face. In Kerala, CPI(M)’s main rival is Congress, not the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Just a few days before this Central Committee meeting, Kerala lobby headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had booked the who-is-who of Congress leaders from Kerala in a sex scandal case. The irony is that the West Bengal Unit, which was supposed to be the biggest unit of the CPI(M) for many decades is arguing for an alliance with Congress. That is the sad state of affairs of CPI(M) in what used to be its citadel. Now CPI(M) which ruled the state continuously for over three decades has no strength in the State Assembly to send even a single Member of Parliament (MP) to the Rajya Sabha.

In the recently concluded 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, the CPI(M) allied with Congress and Congress got 44 MLAs and CPI(M) got only 32 MLAs. Political experts say that the CPI(M) cadre actually voted for Congress contested seats and worked hard to block the surging Trinamool Congress. This was however not reciprocated by clever Congress workers who preferred their old ally Trinamool Congress to the CPI(M) in the seats contested by them (the CPI(M)). So, in a nutshell, in its alliance with the CPI(M), Congress benefited while the CPI(M) lost and became the third party in the Assembly. And still, the CPI(M) leadership wanted an alliance with Congress, citing the surge of BJP.

Yechury and Bengal unit argues that an alliance with Congress and like-minded secular parties is the need of the hour to counter the BJP. But Prakash Karat and Kerala unit vehemently object to Congress and argue for a platonic alliance of secular parties minus the Congress. From the 1940s, Indian Communists argued, quarreled and split and united over the party’s relationship with the Congress. And this still continues in 2017.

When will the Communists wake up and smell the coffee? India has long ago moved on beyond the failed ideology of Communism and the CPI(M) appears to be in denial.

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