Left cracks show as CPM stays away from meet
A rare effort to bring together smaller Left formations and the four major Left parties on a common platform on Sunday brought to the fore the fact that a broader Left unity is still a long distance away.
Despite talking about Left unity, the CPM skipped a convention organised by the All India Left Coordination — spearheaded by the CPI (ML) and comprising a clutch of parties formed by leaders who had left or were expelled from the CPM over the years — while its friends CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc attended it.
A few months ago CPM's top decision-making body had spoken on the need to bring together Left-minded groups outside the mainstream Left bloc. But on Sunday it chose to stay away from the first-ever effort in recent times to sow the seeds for broader Left unity ostensibly because the AILC — barring the CPI(ML) — is made of those who were persona non grata for it.
The AILC includes Mangat Ram Pasla's CPM Punjab, Gobind Chhetri's Darjeeling-based Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists and Kerala's Left Coordination Committee whose secretary T P Chandrasekharan was murdered allegedly by CPM workers. Prasenjit Bose, who quit the CPM in June, was also a key speaker. S P Udaykumar, who is leading the Kudankulam protests, addressed the meet through video-conference.
CPI's D Raja, Forward Bloc's Debabrata Biswas, and CPI(ML)'s Dipankar Mukherjee attacked the government's economic policies and BJP's "communal agenda" — the glue they hoped would keep the Left together. There were subtle as well as open criticism of the CPM for staying away.