Debating India


Left to look beyond elections

Wednesday 8 February 2006, by DORAIRAJ*S.

It will evolve an alternative programme for the new regime

CHENNAI: The State units of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India appear to have independently decided to adopt a two-pronged strategy for the Assembly elections: get due share for the Left camp and evolve an alternative programme for the new Government.

The State Committee of the CPI (M) and the Executive Committee of the CPI met in Chennai on Tuesday to discuss election-related issues.

Reports dismissed

Dismissing reports in a section of the press on "single digit" allocation of seats, sources in the parties told The Hindu that they would not accept the numbers speculated in the media.

"Our party will assert our stand at the meeting called by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday. We hope for a fair settlement," said a CPI leader.

Though the agenda for the meeting does not mention the invitation extended to the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) constituents, the Communist parties are likely to take up issues relating to seat sharing.

An early settlement of seat adjustments in the DPA will lay to rest rumours of realignment in view of the AIADMK’s "attempts to woo some of the constituents by creating confusion in the Opposition camp," the sources said. This would also enable the alliance partners to go ahead with other pre-poll work.

CPI strategy

While CPI (M) State secretary N. Varadarajan has said that a list of 25 winnable segments has been identified and the party will seek seats within these constituencies, the CPI is still holding its cards close to its chest. According to a party spokesman, a decision will be taken only at its State council meeting scheduled for March 11 and 12 in Pudukottai district.

About Mr. Karunanidhi ruling out the possibility of a coalition Government in the State, the Communist leaders said the issue was not on the agenda. Their priority was to defeat the AIADMK. The alliance in the State cannot be compared to the United Progressive Alliance at the Centre, which has the Common Minimum Programme that provides the basis for some parties to join the Government and a few others to support it from outside, a senior CPI (M) leader pointed out.

Different approach

However, both the parties are keen to ensure that the new Government follows socio-economic policies that are different from those of the present regime. The CPI (M)’s political meeting, scheduled for March 18 in Madurai, will come out with an alternative programme for the State, outlining the approach to be adopted by the new dispensation.

The CPI feels it will be better if the DPA evolves a policy framework with a clear perspective, through consensus, to make any future Government accountable.

The Communist leaders rule out the possibility of a "third front" at this stage.

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