Debating India

TAMIL NADU

Communist parties not for 2001 formula

Friday 10 February 2006, by DORAIRAJ*S.

Not to compromise on getting a just share of the Assembly seats

The CPI(M)’s State secretariat will meet on February 13 to finalise its election strategy `It is unjust to penalise the CPI (M) and CPI for taking principled positions

CHENNAI: Just as the seat sharing talks in the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) has entered the crucial stage, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India want the leader of the front, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), to view the issue de novo instead of citing the formulae adopted for the previous elections.

Leaders of the two communist parties, who met here on Wednesday and discussed the issue in detail, had taken a firm stand that they would not compromise on getting a just share of the Assembly seats. They had also agreed to ensure that there was no clash of interest between the two parties while presenting their wish list.

The CPI(M)’s State secretariat will meet on February 13 and the State council of the CPI on February 11 and 12 to finalise their election strategies.

On DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s call to the DPA partners to be prepared for sacrifice and adopt a "give and take" approach to ensure an amicable understanding on seat sharing, the communist camp said it was unjust to penalise the CPI (M) and CPI for taking principled positions. Representatives of the parties had made their position in unmistakable terms at the DPA meeting.

Initially rumours were spread by "vested interests" about the number of seats to be contested by the communist parties. Now they have started tossing of constituencies represented by communists, a CPI leader regretted.

No comparison

Sources in the communist parties categorically said that there was no point in comparing the prevailing pre-poll scenario with the situation that existed during the 2001elections. The CPI and CPI(M) settled for eight seats each in the alliance led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) then, as the main issue before them was to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Now the issue was to work for the defeat of the "anti-worker and anti-people" AIADMK and formation of an alternative Government, they pointed out.

"We are for the continuance of the DPA to fulfil the task. But at the same time, we want to safeguard the interest of the Left. We draw strength from our ideology, which should not be mistaken as our Achilles’ heel," said a senior Left trade union leader.

Stating that the seat sharing formulae during previous elections would not serve any purpose now, a CPI (M) veteran said if the same alliance pattern as in the Lok Sabha elections were to be followed for the ensuing Assembly poll, the DMK could field its candidates only at 90 Assembly segments, as the party contested only 15 Lok Sabha seats in 2004.

On the DMK’s desire to contest more seats to enable the party to form a Government on its own, and its contention that people of Tamil Nadu would reject a coalition, communist party leaders said though coalition politics had come to stay at the Centre and in several States, they were not focussing on the issue in the State now.

Issues such as coalition or single party rule had to be decided objectively.

"None of our comrades here is keeping the Minister’s robe ready to wear after the elections," a CPI (M) leader commented.

See online : The Hindu

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