New Delhi: The central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, has suggested that the party not back a Congress candidate for president.

The committee on Sunday authorized CPM’s highest decision-making body, its politburo, to nominate the party’s presidential candidate. “The central committee has, however, suggested that the person should be from outside the Congress party," a committee member said on condition of anonymity.

File photo of CPI(M) leaders, (from L to R), Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat .

“If the Left has taken a stand of not supporting a Congress candidate for the presidential polls, the only three groups who would now determine the fate of a Congress nominee are Samajwadi Party (SP), BSP and other smaller parties," said Jai Mrug, a Mumbai-based political analyst. “And with the fact that the Congress party did not field a candidate against Dimple Yadav, the actual fight is now down to only BSP and smaller parties."

The Congress party last week decided against fielding a candidate opposite Dimple Yadav, wife of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, in a by-election.

Mrug said that with the growing closeness between the Congress and the SP, he does not see the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP taking the same position as the CPM.

“For CPM taking a stand like this rather points to the future where on the floor of the House the Left would seek non-Congress parties to put the government on the mat," Mrug said, adding that he still believes a Congress nominee will win the presidential election.

An analysis by New Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies in March said that with the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance government falling short by nearly 10% of the votes necessary to get its candidate elected as President Pratibha Patil’s successor, the support of either the SP, BSP or the Left was crucial for winning the election.

In the CPM’s two-day central committee meeting that ended Sunday, ongoing developments in party’s Kerala unit related to political killings came up for discussion.

The central committee and the politburo has criticized the state unit for delaying action against M.M. Mani, a party leader from Kerala, who recently made a statement in a public rally on killing of political foes.

The meeting over the weekend was the first central committee meeting since the CPM met for its party congress in April when it inducted three new politburo and 13 new central committee members.

liz.m@livemint.com

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