The call may have been to assimilate “all non-BJP secular forces” of the country to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party but severe trust issues remain between the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress over joining hands in the run up to the state polls in Tripura.
The lack of faith has primarily been displayed by the big brother of the Left Front which feels that the Trinamool is yet to establish its secular credentials in a state where it has only recently stepped in with political aspirations.
“The CPI(M) continues to be at the forefront of opposition to the BJP in Tripura. It’s our workers who are at the receiving end of the BJP’s attacks in that state. We are yet to decide what role our party would play in working together with the Trinamool there. There’s still a lot of time before the polls take place and a lot of water would flow down the rivers of North-East by then. We will see how things stand closer to the state polls,” said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
“A significant section of current BJP leaders in Tripura are erstwhile Trinamool leaders. And there are rebel BJP leaders which the Trinamool is now trying to woo. Trinamool Congress hardly has an organisation base in that state. We need to wait and watch how things develop,” he added.
Yechury was in Kolkata to attend a two-day state committee meeting of the CPI(M), the first in-person meeting of the party’s state unit since the Bengal elections where it suffered the ignominy of receiving the worst electoral drubbing since almost half a century and failed to bag even a single seat.
Interestingly, sources confirmed News18, Yechury was furious at the party’s state leadership for having undermined the party’s central political-tactical position which it adopted at the last party congress and putting the Trinamool Congress and BJP in the same bracket during the run up to the Bengal polls.
The CPI(M), much to the chagrin of some of the smaller Left partners, had formed the Sanjukta Morcha or a United Front comprising the Congress and ISF to jointly take on the ruling Trinamool and its prime challenger in Bengal, the BJP… a move that evidently failed to yield political dividends for the party.
A review note published by the CPI-M Central Committee read: “The Central Committee had decided that the Party can have electoral adjustments with others to maximise the pooling of anti-BJP, anti-TMC votes. But during the course of campaign the seat adjustments with the Congress Party and the Indian Secular Front were projected under the terminology of Sanjukta Morcha as a United Front calling for an alternative government. This was wrong and not in consonance with the CC understanding.”
“The political line of our Party Congress clearly states at the very beginning that we must defeat the BJP. That is our priority and there is no confusion about that,” Yechury said at the CPI(M) Alimuddin Street state headquarters in Kolkata on Friday.
“We have already admitted that equating the Trinamool and BJP as one and coinage of words like ‘BJ-mool’ to describe the two was a mistake. But one must also keep in mind that those were done under specific political circumstances,” the party general secretary explained.
While Yechury made it amply clear that CPI(M) has lost its interest over the fate of the so-called Sanjukta Morcha in Bengal now that the state elections are over, he was careful to stay away from making any commitment over entering into any kind of political understanding with the TMC in Tripura as a rebound.
That, despite the fresh attempts to draw non-BJP parties together at a virtual meeting convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on August 20 where both the Left parties and Mamata Banerjee are scheduled to participate.
It certainly looks like the opposition sphere in poll-bound Tripura would be as interesting to watch out for as its factional feud-riddled ruling dispensation.