Without revealing the party’s hand on whether the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could be a potential ally, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat on Thursday said the virtues the new party claims for itself and its agenda of social justice, democratisation and decentralisation of power has long been the Communist programme.
Mr. Karat made these observations in a detailed article in the forthcoming issue of the party organ People’s Democracy in a bid to clear the air on the CPI(M) position vis-à-vis the AAP.
However, he did not answer the question the media has been posing on a possible alliance between the two parties. In fact, AAP leader Prashant Bhushan was quoted in a newspaper report as stating that the party would not tie up with the CPI(M) as corruption had seeped into its rank and file.
Acknowledging that the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s appeal to the middle class and youth was blunted by the AAP, Mr. Karat added: “However, the AAP’s stand on communalism and its attack on the communal Hindutva agenda were absent. Can the AAP ever hope to present itself as an alternative without taking a clear-cut stand against communalism?” He also questioned if the AAP had an alternative to neo-liberalism, adding that there was a tendency to gloss over these matters “perhaps due to the contradictions that exist in the social base” of the AAP.
Noting that the AAP’s rapid rise has been “generally welcomed by the democratic and secular circles in the country,” Mr. Karat said: “The involvement of a normally apolitical middle class and attracting the youth to political activism with idealism is a singular achievement.”