The Telegraph
Tuesday , June 24 , 2014
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Cong tie-up a blunder: CPI

New Delhi, June 23: The CPI has acknowledged that its decision to align with the Congress in Telangana was a “political blunder” at a time a “massive anti-Congress” wave swept the country.

The CPI central leadership had bowed to the Telangana leaders and allowed the alliance for the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections, going against the “oust Congress” slogan of the party elsewhere.

The move had angered ally CPM but the CPI stuck to its stand, attributing the alliance with the Congress to “special circumstances” in Telangana.

“It was a political blunder to allow the state unit to enter into an electoral alliance with the Congress,” CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy said today.

The CPI could not win a single Lok Sabha seat in Telangana and managed only one in the Assembly.

Reddy was speaking to reporters at the conclusion of a three-day meeting of the CPI’s national council to review the party’s performance in the elections.

The CPM and the CPI were split on Andhra’s bifurcation. The CPM was opposed to the division but the CPI favoured it.

This had led the CPI’s state unit to align with the Congress, whose government at the Centre had taken steps to form Telangana despite opposition from Andhra leaders.

The CPI’s poll review concluded that the alliance with the Congress had not helped at all.

At the meeting, national council members were learnt to have been extremely critical of the central leadership for having allowed the state unit to align with the Congress.

They pointed out that it was a “big mistake” given the anti-Congress stand of the party in the rest of the country. The central leadership then acknowledged that the move was a “political blunder”.

The CPI report said the BJP had benefited from a “massive anti-Congress wave” in the country and the failure of the Left and other parties to present a viable alternative.

“The review says that it was a massive anti-Congress negative vote that brought the BJP to power in the absence of any other viable alternative,” Reddy said.

The relationship with the Congress has dogged the CPI since inception, leading to the split and formation of the CPM in 1964.

In its review report on the recent elections, the CPI central leadership took “moral and organisational” responsibility for the party’s worst performance in the general elections, following in the footsteps of big brother CPM which had done so a few weeks ago.

“The central leadership has taken moral and organisational responsibility,” Reddy said and promised a revamp of the organisation.