Thinking Together

Q: Why CPI(M) did not participate in Patna anti-BJP rally on August 27, whereas almost all anti-BJP parties including Left parties like CPI and RSP were present?


Asok Majumdar


The rally in Patna on August 27 organised by Lalu Prasad Yadav and the RJD was meant to be a display of opposition unity. It was held to reiterate the call for mahagatbhandan against the BJP at the national level.

The CPI(M) is for fighting the BJP with an alternative agenda. This means a political platform which rallies people to fight against the BJP government’s neo-liberal economic policies and the Hindutva communal agenda.

This is not what efforts for all-in opposition unity such as the Patna rally stands for. Such a unity of parties, ranges from the Congress party to the TMC and some other regional parties. Whether such a unity comprising various parties without a common programme can have any credibility or sustain is a moot point.

The CPI(M) cannot have a political alliance with the Congress which epitomises neo-liberal policies and corruption that stems from such a regime. Nor can the CPI(M) countenance any political understanding with the TMC which is responsible for the brutal suppression of democracy and the killing of hundreds of our comrades in West Bengal.

The CPI(M) will cooperate with the opposition parties in parliament on all issues concerning the harmful policies of the Modi government, its communal outlook and to raise people’s issues. But this cannot be translated into an all-in opposition political alliance.

It should also be noted that the August 27 rally was announced by the RJD within days after the Supreme Court revived one of the fodder scam cases against Lalu Prasad Yadav in the beginning of May this year; the main intention being to rally support against what was claimed as a conspiracy to defame and corner Lalu Prasad Yadav. It was not a rally called after the betrayal by Nitish Kumar and his defection to the BJP camp.

It was alright for Mamata Banerjee, whose party is facing the Sarada and Narada cases of corruption, to join the rally and speak out against the central agencies harassing the opposition leaders. But this is not an issue on which the CPI(M) can join a united opposition platform.

The CPI(M) will join united platforms for struggles which concern the issues of different sections of the people. It will strive for building the widest unity against the communal forces. But this cannot be accomplished by united opposition rallies whose sole purpose is to forge electoral unity to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

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