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CPM to go soft on Congress, the lesser evil - The Indian Express

N P Chekkutty ()
January 4, 1998

Title: CPM to go soft on Congress, the lesser evil
Author: N P Chekkutty
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: January 4, 1998

Indicating a softer approach to the Congress in the forthcoming
Lok Sabha elections, CPM general secretary Harkishen Singh
Surjeet today said the Left forces must demarcate the crucial
difference between the BJP - a communal force threatening
national unity - and the Congress - a bourgeois party which has
weakened itself through its communal compromises and rampant

Inaugurating the 16th State party conference here on Friday,
Surjeet said the key policy of the United Front-Left Front would
be to defeat the BJP at any cost even as refusing to have any
alliance with the Congress.

However, he stressed it is imperative that even in places where
the UF-LF are not strong enough, the main thrust must be to
defeat the BJP, which gave sufficient hints that the Congress
would no longer be anathema to the CPM outside its traditional

Surjeet said the question of whether the CPM should join the
Government was not relevant now. It would be discussed and
sorted out by the party at the appropriate time, he said.

The CPM leader, a key figure in the UF set-up, spent a lot of
time explaining the electoral strategy his party had pursued in
the past few decades, referring to the important role the CPM and
the left parties had come to play in national politics.

He said the CPM had now acquired a dominant role in national
politics where it could have a crucial influence in deciding the
course of events. However, it has not yet arrived at a juncture
where it would be able to change the course, asserting the need
for the party to strike tactical alliances with various other
parties with a view to furthering its political objectives.

"We must intervene as and when the occasion comes," said Surjeet,
stressing that the party's policies must be tuned to increase
this national role.

He said the national politics was presenting three combinations
now - one led by the UF-LF, the second the BJP and its allies and
the third the Congress and its allies. He felt the fourth
combination, proposed to be led by Laloo Prasad Yadav, was yet to
take shape.

His major attack was on the BJP, which he said, was a threat to
national unity, a danger to a country with 20 per cent minorities
population. He said the CPM would not allow a situation where
the divisions and bloodshed of 1947 is repeated with the BJP in

Surjeet said the Congress' hunger for power led to the present

He said there was a mass exodus from the Congress to the BJP and
they hope Sonia would turn the tides. But, it is the communal
compromises indulged in by the Congress that led to the present
plight, as people had lost any demarcation between the Congress
and the BJP, he felt.

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