New Delhi: Changing political circumstances demand the Left front and Congress to align at the national level, said Congress Working Committee member A. K. Antony.
However, the former defence minister ruled out any such cooperation in three key states namely Kerala, Bengal and Tripura. According to Antony, the 2014 general elections saw the BJP temporarily succeeding to exploit communal passions. A similar polarization was witnessed during the days of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
“The BJP will never be able to decimate the value of tolerance which is core nature of the majority community. Even though they succeeded this time in creating temporary polarization, the BJP could garner only 31 per cent of the votes. Still, it will be dangerous if the secular forces do not stand allied”, he said.
The stance that the Opposition adopts in the next five years would be crucial for the comeback of the secular forces, Antony said. Clear indicators of Congress–Left cooperation at the national level were seen in the Parliamentary session. However, mutual cooperation is not feasible in Kerala, Bengal and Tripura, as it will prove fatally damaging for both parties, he warned.
Antony’s exhortation for Left cooperation comes at a time when regional parties are displaying interest in aligning with BJP at the national level. In the last Parliamentary session when AIADMK (Tamil Nadu), BJD (Odisha) and Trinamool Congress (Bengal) aligned with BJP it helped to weaken the voice of Congress in the Opposition ranks. BJP successfully put to practice the old Congress trick of keeping the Opposition divided.
The biggest challenge that the Congress party face post the election debacle is to unite all non-BJP forces. When the major regional parties prefer to stay away from the Congress, the only possibility left with the party is to seek common ground with secular minded Left forces and like-minded smaller regional parties.
Antony had brought up Congress–Left cooperation even during the last general election campaign, but had failed to spark interest among the Left parties then.