Barring the Communist Party of India (CPI), three other constituents belonging to the Left in Punjab have taken a stand to now have any form of alliance with the Congress in any of the upcoming assembly polls.
Rather, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), CPM-Punjab and CPI (ML)-Liberation have reached the decision to take Congress and the ruling Akali-BJP combined party head on during this election.
CPI, on Monday, even refuted to any news reports claiming that an alliance with the Congress was possible, saying “nothing has been decided yet.”
“We appreciate the CPI refuting such reports, but it should make clear as there is also the question of credibility. All other three Left wings have resolved to fight the neo-liberal policies of the Congress and Akali-BJP combine,” CPM-Punjab general secretary Mangat Ram Pasla told HT.
On a two-day state council meeting that concluded on Monday, held by CPI, voices were raised against an alliance with the Congress. Many even advocated a strong ‘Left Morcha’ that was formed by all four constituents in Punjab two years back.
Bhupinder Sambar, CPI’s senior state council member, acknowledged the fact that the matter was indeed “discussed at length” in the meeting. “Yes, we stick to the ‘Left Morcha’ idea and will soon decide how to convert this movement into a force for the electoral battle,” he said.
Raghu Nath, state secretariat member of CPM, said the party had identified around seven constituencies to field its candidates from an alliance with other Left parties. The segments are: Raikot, Jagraon and Dakha in Ludhiana district; Garhshankar and Mukerian in Hoshiarpur; Balachaur in Nawanshahar; and Anandpur Sahib in Rupnagar.
The CPI (ML)-Liberation wants to field 15 candidates, including from Talwandi Sabo, Maur, Bathinda (rural), Mansa, Budhlada, Sardulgarh, Dirhba, Lehra Gaga, Sunam, Mehal Kalan, Bhadaur and Baba Bakala.
“We are fighting for the masses and cannot compromise on that. Being on the Congress’s side is not possible,” said CPI (ML) Liberation secretary Bhagwant Samaon.
The CPM-Punjab has their eyes set on Bhoa and Sujanpur in Gurdaspur district; Baba Bakala in Amritsar; Phillaur and Nakodar in Jalandhar; and Sardulgarh in Mansa, assembly segments. Pasla said that the overlapping of a couple of seats is something that could be sorted out.
There was a lot of confusion during the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls as Left parties had back then supported Manpreet Badal who was the PPP leader fighting on a Congress Candidate. The CPM and CPI had then also jointly fielded 12 candidates who had all forfeited their security deposits.