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HVK Archives: DMK issue widens Left-Left divide

DMK issue widens Left-Left divide - The Economic Times

Kamil Zaheer ()
19 November 1997

Title: DMK issue widens Left-Left divide
Author: Kamil Zaheer
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: November 19, 1997

The complex and fast-changing political chess being played out between the Congress and the United Front over the Jain panel interim report has taken its toll on ties between the Left parties. The CPI is becoming increasingly suspicious and alarmed about the CPI(M)'s stand towards the DMK in particular and the 'unity' of the ruling coalition in general.

The differences in perception between the ruling CPI and the supporting CPI(M) on the Jain interim report and its political fall-out, if not addressed, could see the parties taking strikingly different positions on the question of the DMK.

Some fears have been raised that if the CPI(M) agrees to the DMK ouster, the Left-Left relations could take a major hit if the CPI pulls out along with its regional ally.

The CPI leaders , despite all talk the Left-Left unity, are now wondering whether the CPI(M) has given up all pretence of the keeping the United Front government united (inclusive of the DMK).

As one CPI leader put it unhappily: "Really, the CPI(M) does not seem to be playing it straight on the Jain panel interim report."

The reference is equally targeted at the CPI(M) as well as its general secretary, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, who when asked by pressmen today, whether he is meeting Congress leaders nonchalantly said: "As a politician, I meet everyone."

There are fears in the CPI, which is allied to the DMK and whose Union home minister, Mr Indrajit Gupta, is in the front-line in the battle over the Jain panel report, that the CPI(M) may be 'pedalling' the appeasement line towards the Congress and be amenable to the Congress demand that the DMK be ejected from the ruling coalition in order for the Gujral government to get a reprieve.

In this context, the anxieties of the CPI have been increasing over the last few days, as the CPI(M) continues to refuse to make any commitment regarding the DMK's position in the UF government.

Rather, the 'realistic' Marxists are 'very keen' to study what the Jain panel interim report has to say about the DMK's role. Then only will they 'take a position' on the issue.

This is hardly reassuring for the CPI, which is allied with the DMK in Tamil Nadu. It must be said that it has been an electorally beneficial alliance for the CPI which picked up two Lok Sabha seats in the southern state in 1996 largely thanks to its tie-up with the Dravidian outfit.


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