Bardhan seeks to formalise CPI(M)-CPI dialogue
CPI (M) leader Ramachandra Pillai greets CPI leader A.B. Bardhan as the party's general secretary Prakash Karat , his wife Brinda Karat and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan look on at the CPI (M) congress in Kozhikode on Wednesday. Photo Ramesh Kurup.
BONDING TOGETHER: CPI general secretary A. B. Bardhan welcomes CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat at the 21st CPI congress in Patna in this file picture. — Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Citing formalised interactivity between the CPI(M) and CPI as a precondition for forging a credible Left and democratic alternative in the country, former CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan has proposed the formation of a ‘mechanism’ for regular and structured consultations between the two fraternal communist parties.

“For the past two or three decades, the CPI(M) and CPI have been working jointly and undertaking joint action on many people’s issues. This joint action among the Left parties should somehow be institutionalised. I would suggest that in your deliberations you consider evolving some sort of a mechanism so that the casual meetings between the general secretaries and the Left parties can be more regularised,” Mr. Bardhan said while addressing the opening session of the 20th CPI(M) party congress here on Wednesday.

“I hope you will be able to sit together after the party congress and work it out,” he added.

The veteran CPI leader noted that though there were differences between the two communist parties, the areas of agreement were much greater today. While acknowledging the resolve of the CPI(M) to

strengthen itself, he hoped that the CPI(M) would also accept the CPI’s desire to become stronger. “The desire of the CPI(M) and CPI to become stronger should be complementary,” he said and added, virtually providing a healing touch to the acrimonious relationship between the two parties in Kerala in recent months, that the 21st party congress of the CPI and the 20th party congress of the CPI(M) would become a glorious chapter in the history of the communist movement in the country.

Concurring with CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat’s observation that the ‘bankruptcy and venality of the present order’ can be overcome only by a Left and democratic alternative, Mr. Bardhan said the two-party system sought be established by the Congress and the BJP can be thwarted only by putting in place a ‘programmatic alternative’ with the Left parties taking the lead and other secular forces playing a major role.

“The recent elections have shown that the people do not accept the two-party system which would only perpetuate the anti-people policies of the Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA. Other parties are coming up, referred to as regional parties. We have to define our relations with them.”

Though the regional parties also ‘suffered from bourgeois ideology’ and at times fell pray to opportunism, they had stood by the Left in protecting the federal polity and fighting anti-people policies.

“Despite occasional opportunism, they are secular. The question is how we can draw them to the broad Left and secular alternative. Unless the Left parties stand together and make a joint effort, it will be difficult to rally the democratic forces,” Mr. Bardhan said.

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