Thiruvananthapuram: CPM state secretary M V Govindan on Monday gave a big thumbs up to the 28-party INDIA coalition and his party's role in it. "CPM will be the strongest presence in the anti-BJP INDIA grand political alliance," he said amid speculation that the CPM will not nominate its member to the 14-member INDIA Coordination Committee.
When asked whether the CPM would be part of the INDIA Coordination Committee, he said: "I was speaking about being part of everything, not just one (organisational structure). We will be there in the broad arrangement."
Govindan also did not seem bothered by its political dilemma of having to share space with its arch-rival Congress. "We share the same platform even now. Our general secretary is also part of the decision taken by the INDIA bloc," he said.
There were unsubstantiated rumours that the CPM had backed out of the 14-member Coordination Committee after its Bengal unit refused to share space with Trinamool Congress, with which the CPM wants to be as distant as from the BJP. This was widely seen as proof of the unstable and fragile nature of the INDIA formation.
However, there was no official confirmation of the alleged CPM decision. A press communique issued by the CPM on September 17, after the Politburo meeting, had no reference to its supposed move to remain aloof from the coordination committee. Like Govindan, the official party communique also expressed an eagerness to strengthen the INDIA bloc.
"The Politburo decided to work for the further consolidation and expansion of the INDIA bloc to strengthen the efforts to safeguard the secular democratic character of the Indian Republic, the Constitution, Democracy and People’s fundamental rights and civil liberties. This requires that the BJP must be kept away from controlling the Union government and State Power. The Polit Buro decided to further strengthen these efforts," it said.
Further, it said that "efforts should be focused to further expand the INDIA bloc and also to draw in significant sections of the people’s movements in this effort".
The party had just one warning. "While all decisions will be taken by the leaders of the constituents, there should be no organizational structures that will be an impediment for such decisions."
Top party sources said it only meant that all the parties should be given equal importance and that decisions should be taken in a democratic fashion.
Nonetheless, top CPM leaders are still not clear how the party would reconcile its political ambitions in Kerala with the political necessity of aligning with the Congress at the national level. Decimating the Congress and the UDF in a big way is the only way in which the CPM can remain relevant in 2024.