Having taken a lead role in uniting Left and secular parties ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, CPI(M) on Saturday began a two-day meet to discuss poll preparations and review the evolving political situation.
The meeting of the party’s Central Committee follows days after top leaders of nine parties met in New Delhi to announce their coming together for Lok Sabha elections.
The crucial meeting will also debate the broad contours of the CPI(M)’s election manifesto, party sources said.
The state units will present reports on the pros and cons of state-level alliances and seat-sharing arrangements with the Left and secular parties to enable the Central Committee to arrive at a conclusion as to how many candidates to nominate and from which constituencies, they said.
The party, which has been carrying out agitations across the country against the ‘anti-people, neo-liberal’ policies of the Congress-led UPA government and the BJP and communal forces, is likely to include in its manifesto alternative policies on issues ranging from checking price-rise and unemployment to fighting “disruptive and communal” politics.
Maintaining that Lok Sabha elections would be a three-way contest, CPI(M) feels that the non-Congress, anti-BJP combine, providing an alternative policy trajectory, could prove to be a political alternative.
The party has exuded confidence that more regional outfits would join the combination of 11 Left and secular parties ahead of the general elections.
The parties which have come together in the combine are AIADMK, SP, JD(U), JD(S), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc. BJD and Asom Gana Parishad, which have been a part of the initiative but were not present at the meeting earlier this week, too, have extended support.
Giving an indication of the post-poll number of Lok Sabha seats, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury had earlier said that these 11 parties together represent states which send a total of 300 MPs to Parliament.
People’s Party of Punjab, Prakash Ambedkar’s Republican Party in Maharashtra and several other regional parties have expressed their intention about joining this grouping of secular opposition parties, he had said.
According to CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, given the nature of the parties that have come together, it is not necessary that there should be an electoral alliance or seat adjustment between these in all states.
“Since many of these parties are state-based, it is not feasible to have seat adjustments with other constituent parties in other states.
“But all these parties can pool their strength from their respective states for an all-India combination,” Mr. Karat had recently said.