It is the follies of the Congress which brought a local satrap like Modi to the national level: Karat

Days after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) conceded that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had emerged as a viable non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party alternative in Delhi, the Left party remains wary of stitching up an alliance with the ‘new kid on the block’ though it is scouting for allies ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

This became clear on Monday when CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat countered the impression generated by some television channels that AAP could be a potential constituent of the alternative formation the Left was hoping to put up post-elections if the BJP emerges as the single largest party. He told The Hindu that any electoral arrangement – pre or post – would be considered only after the AAP took clear policy positions on what the Left considers core issues: communalism and neo-liberal policies.

“While AAP’s performance has shown there is a space for alternate politics, the party is yet to spell out its policy on various issues,’’ Mr. Karat said; adding that the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) would meet around January 20 to firm up the party’s election strategy. The Left parties have been talking about an alternative policy plank to the one projected by the Congress and the BJP. As far as the Left is concerned, there is little to choose between these two parties except on the issue of communalism.

Soon after AAP stunned the nation with a spectacular performance in its maiden elections, the CPI(M) Central Committee said: “The lesson from the Delhi election is that where there is a viable alternative to the Congress and the BJP, the people have extended support to it. This explains the success of AAP.” Privately, leaders from the CPI(M) and the Communist Party of India admitted that the AAP had succeeded in grabbing the space the Left should have occupied.

Keeping BJP at bay

In fact, some policy wonks have advised the AAP not to become the “new improved CPI or CPI(M)” even as several Left activists have admitted to voting for the new party to keep the BJP at bay. The Congress, according to the Left assessment, would not be able to keep the BJP out of power. “Only Left and all secular forces can do so. It is the follies of the Congress which brought a local satrap like Narendra Modi to the national level.”

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