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'Congress Dynamics' Hits Grand Alliance as CPM Too Shows Red Flag Ahead of 2019 Polls

The CPM has upheld the political line adopted in its national conference held in April this year. The political approach is to keep away from the Congress as far as any direct alliance is concerned in the pre-poll scenario, but keep the options open post poll.

Pranshu Mishra | CNN-News18

Updated:October 9, 2018, 3:07 PM IST

New Delhi: The idea of larger opposition unity, the mahagathbandhan, before 2019 Lok Sabha polls has taken another hit with the CPM too ruling out any alliance with the Congress.

The Communist Party of India (M)'s decision to keep away from the Congress was announced after its three-day long Central committee meeting in Delhi, which concluded on Monday.

The party has upheld the political line adopted in its national conference held in April this year. The political approach is to keep away from the Congress as far as any direct alliance is concerned in the pre-poll scenario, but keep the options open post poll.

Politically speaking, it's a setback to the possibility of a larger opposition unity against the BJP. Questions will also be raised on opposition's capability to unite against the BJP. The larger opposition has failed to come together in the state elections which are scheduled later next month.

CPM's Polit Bureau member and former MP Subhashini Ali, however said, “A lot is being read into our party's political line. Alliances ahead of 2019 will be state specific. The CPM, along with the other left parties, is committed to throw the BJP out of power.”

To the question of key left parties, the CPI and the CPM, being divided over the Congress question, she said, “There is no major difference of opinion between the two parties, as far as resolve to defeat the BJP is concerned, the left front is united on that aspect. In the post-poll scenario, the left front will ensure that a non-BJP government is formed at the Centre.”

Ironically, contrary to the CPM leader's assertion about left unity, it has taken a clear approach towards the Congress, at least in Telangana. While the CPI has gone into an alliance with the Congress and the TDP, the CPM has formed a Bahujan left front with around 27 smaller parties.

Clearly, the key constituents of the left front seems to be having different approach as far as question of having any understanding with the Congress is concerned. This, in turn, raises questions about larger opposition unity before 2019.

Atul Kumar Anjan, CPI's national secretary and in charge for state of Telangana, tried to play down this division. He said, “We might be having a different political approach for a specific state, it doesn't mean any significant breach as far as larger left unity is concerned and its effort to remove the BJP from power.”

Anjan further added that ahead of 2019 they will explore possibilities of state specific alliances. “The Congress can be part of such alliances in state where regional parties dominate the political picture,” said Anjan.

Sources say opposition parties including the key regional parties like the BSP and SP, the left parties and others are uneasy with the 'Congress Dynamics'.

The Congress' failure to bring the BSP and the SP on board in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh elections raises serious doubts if the two regional giants will be willing to accommodate the Congress in Uttar Pradesh when the 2019 Lok Sabha elections come calling.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi might still claim of being hopeful of a larger alliance against the BJP. However, the developments on the ground don't inspire much confidence about the mahagathbandhan plans.

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