The CPI(M) Congress is likely to witness a showdown at its mega meet beginning here tomorrow, as this highest decision-making body seems polarised between factions supporting and opposing an understanding with the Congress to take on the BJP, party insiders said.
About 765 delegates will participate at the five-day meeting that will determine the political line of the major Left party, that has seen its political fortunes decline over the years and recently lost its bastion Tripura to the BJP.
With the next general elections just a year away, the Party Congress assumes added significance as any decision taken here will form the basis of the political line underscoring the CPI(M)'s strategy to better its performance from the nine Lok Sabha seats it won in 2014.
"In the Party Congress which is the highest decision making body of our party, we will debate and adopt the political line for the party," a party leader said requesting anonymity.
At the centre of the debate is the nature of the equation with the Congress and how it will play out in the months before the general elections. The political resolution adopted by the Party Congress will hold the key, he said.
Party sources said an overwhelming number of about 8,000 amendments have been received on the draft political resolution, which would be voted at the Congress. A large chunk of them concern whether or not to join hands with "all secular, democratic forces", implying the Congress too, to form an anti-BJP platform, they said.
Over the last two months, the CPI(M) has been witnessing acrimonious debate between the factions in the Politburo and the Central Committee over the draft resolution with general secretary Sitaram Yechury and his predecessor Prakash Karat on opposing sides.
The present draft resolution, ruling out any electoral understanding with the Congress, is backed by Karat and has found majority support in the Central Committee meeting last month.
Preferred over a document proposed by Yechury, the draft resolution rules out treating the Congress as an ally or a partner in a united front since it has the same "class character" as that of the BJP. It notes that both are parties of the ruling classes and the Congress has proved to be incapable of consistently fighting communal forces.
It also identifies the BJP as the main threat today given its basic link to the RSSand since it is in power. That is why, it states that the CPI (M) cannot pursue a line of treating both the BJP and the Congress as equal dangers.
The draft resolution also underlines that the CPI(M)'s tactical approach should be to cooperate with the Congress and other secular opposition parties in Parliament on agreed issues.
Outside Parliament, it has advocated cooperation with the Congress to mobilise people on issues of workers and farmers and against the communal threat.
There is a growing feeling within the party that the party can adopt a middle path to incorporate both the political views to end the ideological differences between the two factions, a leader said.
Karat wrote in an editorial last month titled Uttar Pradesh Portents' in the CPI(M) mouthpiece People's Democracy, the UP by-elections provide important lessons for the future in terms of election tactics to defeat the BJP... If the major non-BJP parties unite, then the smaller parties and forces can extend support to them.
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