The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday sought to dispel the perception that the non-Congress non-BJP platform that is being forged is an opportunistic coming together of power hungry parties with little national appeal.
In the editorial for the forthcoming issue of the party organ Peoples Democracy, the CPI(M) said while the parties may be regional, they either rule or are in opposition in States which together send over 300 members to Parliament. Even if the Asom Gana Parishad and Biju Janata Dal – two parties which have been associated with the process but were not present at the Tuesday meeting of the leaders of this group in Delhi – stay away, the number of Lok Sabha seats, where the other nine parties in the bloc have a sizable presence, is 265.
As for this being a platform put together with only elections in mind, the editorial has drawn attention to the fact that the joint declaration issued on Tuesday was in accordance with the understanding that the CPI(M) arrived at in Kozhikode at its 20th Congress in April 2012.
In the political resolution adopted at Kozhikode, the CPI(M) had said that it puts forth the Left and democratic alternative against the Congress and the BJP. "Only a Left and democratic platform can be the alternative to bourgeois-landlord rule. This alternative needs to be built up through a process of movements and struggles and the emergence of a political alliance of the Left and democratic forces. In the course of these efforts, it may be necessary to rally those non-Congress, non-BJP forces which can play a role in defence of democracy, national sovereignty, secularism, federalism and defence of the people’s livelihood and rights.''
On the issue of the prime ministerial candidate of the non-Congress non-BJP platform, the CPI(M) contention is that the structure of Indian parliamentary democracy is such that the premier can only be elected by those members of Parliament who are first elected by the people. Quoting from Tuesday's media briefing, the editorial pointed out that Morarji Desai, V. P. Singh, H. D. Deve Gowda, I. K. Gujral, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh were all elected Prime Minister post-poll.
"In India's parliamentary history, all coalition governments starting from the 1977 Janata Party government, the coalitions took, both a concrete shape and a name, only post elections. This was the case with the Vajpayee-led NDA and the Manmohan Singh-led UPA as well. Hence, 2014 would be no different".