New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, conceded openly on Monday that its efforts to cobble an alternative coalition in the run-up to the 15th general election had been “unrealistic,” but said the tactic of supporting a non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formation was “correct.”
Poll debacle: CPM general secretary Prakash Karat addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. Atul Yadav / PTI
A statement released by the party after a two-day meeting of its apex decision-making body, the central committee, said: “The central committee concluded that the effort to build a non-Congress, non-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) alternative was required..
“However, we failed to create a viable and credible alliance at the national level,” the statement said.
The committee also felt that the party’s attempts to form a third alternative had been “unrealistic” because there was no “countrywide alliance” and “no common policy platform being presented.”
The meeting, held on Saturday and Sunday, reviewed the party’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections that returned the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance to power.
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, who briefed the media, said the central committee concluded that there were “shortcoming” in the functioning of the party-led government, panchayats (village councils) and municipalities in West Bengal and that disunity in the Kerala unit of the party had cost it heavily in the southern state.
According to Karat, the central committee decided to “settle the organisational matters” in its Kerala unit, where feuding between factions led by CPM state secretaryPinarayi Vijayan and chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan has intensified recently. A politburo meeting has been called on 4 and 5 July to specifically discuss organisational matters in Kerala.
The central committee, in its statement, admitted that there had been “some erosion of support among the rural and urban poor and section of the middle classes” for the party. While it blamed the shortcomings in the functioning of the government and other administrative bodies for its poor performance in West Bengal, the factional feuding and an alienated Christian community were cited among the reasons for its setback in Kerala.
The CPM lost 25 Lok Sabha seats in these two Left bastions in the April-May general election.