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Samyukta Morcha over, says Yechury; age bar lowered

“There is no confusion now among party workers and leaders that our national agenda is to defeat the BJP, our main opponent. In West Bengal too, we are opposing the saffron brigade. However, at the local level, we are also carrying out protests against the TMC. There is no cut and dry solution in Indian politics, going by its history.”

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Amid much speculation surrounding the future of the ‘Samyukta Morcha’, comprising Left, ISF and the Congress, post-2021 state polls, CPIM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the morcha was over after the polls but the political understanding with Congress and ISF, continues.

The 2021 Assembly poll which concluded in a devastating defeat for the Left, also made the party’s future in Bengal politics look “bleak”. The reason for the defeat was largely attributed by political analysts to the inclusion of ISF which allegedly had tarnished the secular image of the Left.

The ISF also had paved the way for an apparent rift between the Left and Congress. Addressing a press conference at Muzzafar Bhavan, the CPI-M general secretary Yechury said, “Samyukta Morcha was an electoral alliance
that was struck keeping in mind the assembly polls. It is now over. The political understanding with the Congress and the ISF in fighting the BJP in Bengal continues, and may witness the addition of more secular anti-BJP parties in days to come.”

The CPI-M state leaders had identified failure to recognise the main opponent between TMC and BJP as the main cause for the poll debacle. Yechury said, “There is no confusion now among party workers and leaders that our national agenda is to defeat the BJP, our main opponent. In West Bengal too, we are opposing the saffron brigade. However, at the local level, we are also carrying out protests against the TMC. There is no cut and dry solution in Indian politics, going by its history.”

The CPI-M, meanwhile, has now set age bars on committee members in centre, state and districts. Yechury said, “In central committee, the age bar has been brought down to 75 from 80. In states, it is 72 and lesser in district committees. We are presenting a youthful CPI-M.”

The move came amid criticisms that the party is reluctant to let go of its veteran members from the leadership position thus disallowing the young leaders, who were though fielded as candidates in the Assembly poll, are yet to be the party’s face.

Commenting on the situation in Tripura as to whether it can strike an alliance with Trinamul Congress there, if not in Bengal, to fight BJP, said, “CPIM will always remain the main opposition in Tripura as long as BJP is in power there. We had been fighting them and will continue to. As for TMC, the BJP MLAs in Tripura now were Trinamul workers before. The case is similar to Bengal.”

“Politics also isn’t just focused on who is joining who but tackling issues that obstruct the welfare of the people of the state. It is based on ground level situations. It will be foolish to not act according to circumstances.”

Yechury said that the CPIM is starting a nationwide protest against the BJP in September while a virtual meeting of 14 opposition and secular parties that are scheduled to be held on 28 August will determine the next course of action towards “ousting BJP and saving India”.