Debating India

STATE ELECTIONS 2006

CPI (M) discusses poll strategy

Friday 10 February 2006

Special Correspondent

Polit Bureau meeting begins in Kolkata, Surjeet unable to attend

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THRASHING OUT ISSUES: Senior CPI(M) leaders (from right to left) Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Prakesh Karat at a Polit Bureau meeting in Kolkata on Thursday. - Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Kolkata: The "tactical line" to be adopted by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the upcoming Assembly elections in four States and one Union Territory, keeping in mind the recent contentious decisions by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government, was the focus of discussions on the first day of the two-day meeting of the CPI (M)’s Polit Bureau here on Thursday.

Most members of the party’s Polit Bureau were present. The former party general secretary, Harkishen Singh Surjeet, was unable to attend due to ill health.

On the agenda was the chalking out of an election strategy for the polls with particular reference to Kerala and West Bengal, where the CPI (M) is a major political force.

This is the first time that the party will fight the Assembly polls in these States against the Congress after having extending support, albeit from outside, to an alliance led by the latter at the Centre.

Not mincing words

The CPI (M) has minced no words in its opposition to India’s support to the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran’s nuclear programme to the United Nations Security Council which, the party believes, is a betrayal of the policy of non-alignment as enunciated in the Common Minimum Programme.

The Centre’s move to invite the private sector for modernising the Mumbai and Delhi airports and its announcement to open up the single brand retail sector to foreign direct investment have also been bitterly criticised by the party.

The future of the party’s relations with the Centre is reportedly being brought within the ambit of the Polit Bureau’s meeting. The Polit Bureau will also discuss issues over which the party has reservations before they are taken up with other Left allies at the UPA-Left coordination committee meeting in Delhi on February 13.

Talks with Forward Bloc

CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat also had talks with his counterpart in the Forward Bloc, Debabrata Biswas, on the sidelines of the meeting. They discussed how the Left should prepare for the coordination committee meeting.

The party had not received any proposal from the Samajwadi Party to bring a no-confidence motion against the UPA Government, said Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury.

The Polit Bureau will also deliberate on pressuring the Centre to ensure that the coming Union Budget accommodates those provisions of the CMP that aim to improve the lot of the common man.

The party’s programme of protest, both inside and outside Parliament, against those policy decisions of the Centre that are contrary to what has been spelt out in the CMP is also expected to figure in the meeting.

See online : The Hindu

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