New Delhi: With their biggest bastion, West Bengal, slipping out of their hands and questions being raised within the communist movement about the way forward, the usually reclusive Left leadership is now thinking out loud about the possibility of a merger.
The strongest indication about the new line of thinking came from none other than senior CPI(M) leader and party politburo member Sitaram Yechury, who said that supporters of the Left ideology have called for an immediate merger of the CPI(M) and CPI in order to meet the challenges posed by the new political equation emerging in the country.
Yechury, however, clarified that there was no timeframe, yet, for a possible merger of the Left parties.
Yechury’s statement has triggered a fresh debate over the reunification and outlines the growing concern that a greatly weakened CPM, which is in power only in Tripura only, should merge itself with similar like-minded parties.
“The merger of the two parties, however desirable it may be, has to undergo a certain process. One way of doing it is through the unification of various mass organisations and joint activities at the lower level, which will percolate to the top. The parties are working together now at the mass organisation level,” Yehury was quoted as saying.
The Left leader also highlighted the CPI(M)`s commitment towards fighting corruption by saying that his party demanded comprehensive anti-corruption measures, including an effective Lok Pal legislation bringing the Prime Minister under its ambit, setting up of a National Judicial Commission to oversee the judiciary and electoral reforms to curb the use of money power.
Endorsing Yechury’s views, CPI national secretary and Rajya Sabha member D Raja said that his party has, for long, advocated the reunification of the Communist movement, but now there is a strong “sense” among Communist leaders and sympathisers of the Left movement for the merger.
Raja, however, disagreed with Yechury’s views that the merger would have to be done at the lower levels. Raja argued that earlier decisions to merge organisations like Kisan Sabhas and electricity unions at lower levels had failed.
The CPM was created in 1964 after it split from the parent CPI, then headed by SA Dange, over ideological differences and the party’s position on the Sino-Indian war.
Unity moves at the highest levels had been initiated in the early nineties when Indrajit Gupta headed the CPI and Harkishan Singh Surjeet was CPM general secretary.