TAMIL NADU

CPI, CPI(M) told to keep off Congress

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JAN. 20. Reiterating its firm opposition to the Left doing business with the Congress, the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) has called upon the CPI(M) and the CPI not to allow the Congress to replace the BJP at the Centre. The party wants the Left to work for a third alternative to both the BJP and the Congress.

The RSP position on the emerging national political scenario is contained in the draft political resolution to be moved at the 16th national conference to be held at Kolkata from February 16 to 19. The resolution was introduced at the two-day party State conference which concluded here today.

The RSP feels that its firm stand against offering support to the Congress to form a Government after the fall of the 13-month-old Vajpayee Government in 1999 had been vindicated by subsequent developments. Had the RSP and the Forward Bloc agreed to endorse the proposal for a Congress-led Government, mooted by the CPI(M), the shortfall of seven votes could have been overcome, but that would have meant the Congress assuming power.

Subsequently, the CPI(M) also veered round to the position that a third alternative was the only option before the Left. But this stand came a day too late because during the intervening period, the Janata Dal had split into six and some of the splinter groups allied with the BJP. However, the Chennai special conference of the CPI stuck to the position that the Congress must be supported in the event of the BJP being forced out of power.

Similarly, the CPI(M) was engaged in acts aimed at building bridges with the Congress. The differences in the approaches of the RSP on the one hand, and the CPI(M) and the CPI on the other were reflected in the former's demand for a Left alternative as the core of a `Left and democratic front' and the two Communist parties stand favouring a `Left and democratic alternative', the resolution notes.

Making a self-critical evaluation of the West Bengal Government's performance, the resolution points out that though the Left Front Government could stand its ground in the Assembly poll, the serious shortcomings in its functioning and resultant alienation of the poor from the Left Front and its Government could not be lost sight of. The Government did not take RSP's criticism and demands seriously.

Referring to the LDF's defeat in the last Assembly elections in Kerala, the resolution says that the poll outcome and the voting percentages show that the general public had turned against the Government for various reasons. The policy of tactical adjustments with the Muslim League in the local body elections adopted by the CPI(M), with the silent connivance of the CPI, proved a costly experiment. So did the alliance between the CPI(M) and the Indian National League (INL) in the last Assembly poll.

The LDF Government's financial management proved a disaster, particularly with the State employees' pay revision costing Rs. 1,200 crores causing a treasury payment crisis. Some of the agitations launched by the SFI alienated powerful sections of the electorate. The liquor policy also caused erosion of a sizable number of traditional LDF votes.

The sharp differences between the CPI(M) and the CITU and that between the CPI(M) and the CPI also saw the LDF losing votes in the Travancore-Cochin region. The CPI(M)'s electoral understanding with the Congress and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu also caused confusion among LDF cadres in Kerala.

The Left parties should take serious note of the socio-economic changes taking place in the State, particularly the growth of a new moneyed class who have started cornering leadership positions in communal and casteist organisations and the bureaucracy, the resolution says.

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