People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 29

July 22, 2007



The Present And Future Of Coalition Politics Belongs To The Left


Biman Basu addressing a gathering on 'Future of Coalition politics in India'


THE slogan ‘struggle-unity-struggle’ that the Bulgarian communist leader Georgi Dimitrov declared as essential for bringing together the communists and Left with the mass of the working people, was cited by Biman Basu as an example of the dynamics of coalition politics in Bengal.


Biman Basu stressed that the Left that must take the leadership in building up waves of democratic movements in the country. The Left must strengthen its base continuously and nationwide, by expanding the horizon and ambit of the democratic movements and struggles while carrying forth the class struggle, above the surface or at the subterranean level.


It was around this basic tenet that he weaved his arguments while addressing a packed gathering on the ‘Future of coalition politics in India.’ The venue was the Promode Dasgupta Bhavan in Kolkata. Biman Basu stressed repeatedly how the CPI(M) and the Left must go beyond Bengal to spread the democratic movement and to do this they must augment and expand their organisational base in a large way.


Based on the widening democratic movement, the Left must build up a coalition / front that would be a real alternative to the coalitions being set up by the forces of reaction led by the big bourgeois and the big landlords. The alternative coalition shall look to the interests of the common people just as the coalition of the forces of reaction and their lackeys serve the interests of the capitalists, the zamindars, the affluent, and the merchants.


Four Left parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the Forward Bloc, and the Revolutionary Socialist Party are already working at the national level through close coordination so that the Left can play a bigger and more significant role on the national plane, pointed out Biman Basu.




Turning to the political scene in Bengal where a ruling Left Front has been in office for the past three decades, Biman Basu said that all the constituent parties of the Left Front must abide by decisions and resolutions taken by the Bengal Left Front and by the cabinet of the Bengal Left Front government. A constituent partner of the Bengal LF may well have difference of opinion or view in a certain issue or issues. The difference of opinion should be amicably resolved through mutual discussion within the LF and not outside of it. It is observed nonetheless that some of the LF parties would not deign to follow uniformly the decisions arrived at some issue or the other at the LF meetings and at the LF cabinet of ministers. The CPI(M) is never found involved with any effort to create hatred and animosity against any LF constituents. Those who are in the vanguard of the Left movement in India should scrupulously refrain from maligning one another, and try to fulfil the historical tasks before them. They should play a leading role in building up the Left forces in the country. This will crucially decide in which direction coalition politics in India shall move in the days to come, said Biman Basu.




Dwelling on the post-1977 coalition politics in India and Bengal Biman Basu pointed out that at present and in the future, coalition politics would dominate the political scenario. There should be a line of clear distinction drawn, said the CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, between the coalition politics being put in motion in Bengal, Tripura, and Kerala on the one hand, and those in the rest of the states. In the other states, the ruling classes would like to see that their lackeys run the governments. Additional ingredients of these state coalition governments are elements of clan and community. All this, however, has served to enhance the political domination of regional parties. In states like Chhatisgarh, there are even regional parties based on districts. The situation overall has prevented the big national parties from coming to office in a monolithic manner. Thus, coalition politics has started to dominate the politics of India as such.


Biman Basu also detailed out the nature of the Left Front in Bengal that had been formed before the elections of 1977. This made the front different from other fronts. He also said that the Left Front was a pro-people, especially pro-poor front. Biman Basu concluded by presenting a laudatory evaluation of the crucial leading role the late CPI(M) leader Promode Dasgupta had played in the formation of the Left Front and in nurturing its growth through difficult times.