‘Parties develop vested interest in remaining part'



New Delhi: CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan has not ruled out the possibility of merger of his party with CPI(M) but gave ample indication it would not happen in the near future because parties develop a "vested interest" in remaining separate.

"I think it will eventually lead in that direction. But once the parties are separate, they continue to be separate. You may even say that they may develop a vested interest in being separate," Bardhan said when asked about the possibility of the merger of the two parties.

Bardhan, who will step down from the post of CPI General Secretary during the party Congress in Patna March next, said he was happy that both CPI and CPI-M share "same perception" on both international and national issues and working together.

"Left unity and Communist unity are two separate things. When we say left unity we mean broadly parties that are left inclined. Communist parties have the ideology of Marxism which the Left parties do not have," he told Doordarshan in an interview.

He also sought to dismiss suggestions that the CPI in particular and the Left in general have "weakened considerably" in the past few years.

"I don't think weakening is a permanent phenomenon, its a temporary phenomenon. Elections sometimes are lost, that's quiet a different issue, but the base organisation of the party, mass organisations that it leads, the moment which it conducts are all there to show that it is still a vital force in our party's life and it is recognised by all other parties," he said.

Bardhan also said "communal and casteist forces" eroded to a "great extent" the section of the backing of people who were behind the Communist party. To a question on his party being ideologically opposed to Congress and Mahatma Gandhi, Bardhan said: "We were never against Gandhi as a person. In fact the greatest contributor in the Indian freedom movement was Gandhi himself who took it to the masses".

He said the party differs with Gandhism and "very frankly and openly" believes in Marxism.

"Gandhi was a truthful man, never hid his ideas, openly expressed them. We were never against Gandhi as a person. In fact the greatest contributor in the Indian freedom movement was Gandhi himself who took it to the masses. He took it to the villages, farmers came up and took part actively in there freedom movement because of Gandhi.

"So, therefore, we were the first to give him the title of Father of the Nation, but we never agreed with Gandhism as an ideology. P C Joshi gave him the title of father of the nation, in his letter..." he said.

He said his party differentiated between Gandhi's role in the freedom movement and Gandhism as an ideology. "We differ with Gandhism, very frankly and openly we believe in Marxism. To a question on his party being ideologically opposed to Congress and Mahatma Gandhi, Bardhan said: "We were never against Gandhi as a person. In fact the greatest contributor in the Indian freedom movement was Gandhi himself who took it to the masses". He said the party differs with Gandhism and "very frankly and openly" believes in Marxism. "Gandhi was a truthful man, never hid his ideas, openly expressed them. We were never against Gandhi as a person. In fact the greatest contributor in the Indian freedom movement was Gandhi himself who took it to the masses..he took it to the villages, farmers came up and took part actively in thre freedom movement because of Gandhi. "So, therefore, we were the first to give him the title of Father of the Nation, but we never agreed with Gandhism as an ideology. P C Joshi gave him the title of father of the nation, in his letter..." he said. He said his party differentiated between Gandhi's role in the freedom movement and Gandhism as an ideology. "We differ with Gandhism, very frankly and openly we belive in Marxism. But Gandhi's role in the freedom movement is undeniable," he said.

To a question about forging alliances with other parties, Bardhan said BJP continues to be untouchable and the Left thinks it is a "reactionary communal party".

"When we supported the UPA-1 we gave our support from outside and there was a view, whether we can influence it by joining, that view got rejected the same day," he said. At Gandhi's role in the freedom movement is undeniable," he said.

To a question about forging alliances with other parties, Bardhan said BJP continues to be untouchable and the Left thinks it is a "reactionary communal party".

"When we supported the UPA-1 we gave our support from outside and there was a view, whether we can influence it by joining, that view got rejected the same day," he said.

PTI