Thiruvananthapuram: The love-hate relationship between the left parties and Muslim League, currently in debate following Brinda Karata’s statement of IUML as not a secular party, can be traced as far back as the formation of Kerala state.
This relation, as often as not, decided the political fate of some veteran communists. Hence Brinda Karat’s statement, reminiscent of UP Chief Minister Yogi’s rant, is controversial.
Brinda’s statement could at best be seen as a ploy to thwart exodus of Muslims to the Congress camp. But both CPM and CPI have the history of covertly and overtly forming ties with IUML.
After mother party CPI split, the emergent faction CPM, for two years (1967-69), was in alliance with Muslim League. During Emergency, CPI had a chief minister as an offshoot of its alliance with IUML and Congress.
For seven years between 1977 and 1985, CPM accommodated the All India Muslim League, the breakaway faction of Muslim League.
It was then MV Raghavan who put forth his ‘alternative tactical line’ seeking to forge alliance with IUML for the party’s continuance in power. This led to expulsion of Raghavan and others, just as CPM teetered on the brink of a costly split.
This was followed by LDF campaigning with the catchcry, ‘no alliance with communal forces’ and thus winning its way back to power in 1987. Later, CPM went on with its overt ties with IUML. In 1991 Kerala again witnessed LDF’s unsuccessful move for an open alliance with IUML. Subsequently, LDF forged ties with IUML splinter faction INL.
In 2000 CPM state committee witnessed a heated debate over forging alliance with IMUL in the following local body polls.
CPM general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet explained the party line: alliance with any party opposing Congress and BJP was feasible. Following this, factions headed by Pinarayi Vijayan and vs Achuthanandan entered into an ideological tussle. 29 out of 45 members voted against the party’s ties with Muslim League, forcing Surjeet to openly dismiss alliance with IUML.
Pinarayi faction both within CPM and LDF faced the flak that it was always in favour of an alliance with IUML. VS Achuthandan and CPI blocked moves to forge alliance with PDP.