CPI(M) Virtually Abandons 'Third Front' With Regional Parties

CPI(M) Virtually Abandons 'Third Front' With Regional Parties

Virtually abandoning the idea of forging a 'third front', the CPI(M) today said it would not have a national alliance with regional parties, though it could work together on specific issues to fight the BJP-led government's policies.

The announcement that the party would not strive to forge a non-BJP, non-Congress front was made by General Secretary Prakash Karat at the ongoing 21st Congress here, on a day when six parties of the Janata Parivar announced their merger.

"We may join movements and struggles with them. It is possible that we may have an electoral alliance in some states at a particular juncture, but there will not be any national level alliance with them. We will not project any alliance at national level with such parties," Karat told a press conference here.

"Since these parties, with their policies and programmes, cannot be alternative to the Congress and the BJP, we may cooperate with these parties on different issues," he said.

Acknowledging that his party had earlier propagated the idea of forming the third alternative, he said such a formation has become "irrelevant" in the current political situation.

The party Congress is currently debating its political- tactical line and a draft review report of its activities in the past three years since the previous Congress, with a focus on the strategy to grow its organisation independently.

The CPI(M) has seen a drastic decline in its numerical strength in Parliament and state legislatures including those in West Bengal and Kerala.

Earlier, senior party leader Sitaram Yechury, who is tipped to be the front-runner for the top post of General Secretary of the party, spoke to PTI on the infighting in the Aam Aadmi Party, he said AAP was a "party of contradictions" and the bickerings would continue so long as it does not "come out clear" on economic issues and communalism.

"If they try to push these issues under the carpet using opportunistic strategies, then there may not be a good future for that party. If they do not have clarity on these two issues, the internal bickerings will continue," Yechury said.

Yechury also said it was a matter of grave concern that "there is a clear shift towards India becoming an appendage to USA's strategic interest in the world. That is not in India's interest."

During the day, the CPI(M) Congress, being attended by over 1,000 delegates including top leaders from various states, also adopted two major resolutions -- one, to demand the holding of a special session of Parliament to mark the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar and the other against the new land acquisition bill.

The resolutions exhorted party members to integrate the struggles against social and caste-based discrimination and for the rights of Dalits, with class struggle, while intensifying protests against the land bill.

It decided to mobilise support for all struggles of the kisans, agricultural workers, tribals and other affected sections for the withdrawal of this "anti-farmer" legislation.

The discussion on the Draft Review Report on the Political Tactical Line was presented by Karat when the Congress began yesterday.

The review covers the period of 25 years from 1990-91. It focussed on assessing whether or how much the political- tactical line of the party has helped in the 'independent growth' of a Left and Democratic alliance.

Karat said the report was processed after over 1,430 amendments and 136 suggestions were received from the party members and units and 29 of these amendments accepted.


"Still discussions are going on and by tomorrow we will be able to come out with the resolution on Political Tactical Line of the party," he said, adding that the party has a membership base of over one million, mostly concentrated in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura.

During the meet here, the CPI(M) would deliberate on the present political situation and discuss strategy for strengthening the party.

The organisational elections will be held on the last day of the Congress on April 19 when the new general secretary will be elected, as the term of incumbent Prakash Karat is going to end.

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