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.

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