Prathmesh Patil spoke to Ashok Dhawale, Central Committee member of Communist Party of India (Marxist), regarding the sense of diversion in the ideological lines of ex-general secretary and the current General Secretary of the party Sitaram Yechury and other issues.
Q The Central Committee voted against the opinion of your General Secretary. What exactly happened? Is this a sign of a rift within the party?
Nothing of that sort has happened. The discussion was basically about how to fight the politics of the BJP. Two opinions emerged and the CC chose one unambiguously. There is no rift in the party, just a difference of opinions. All parties have such differences. The only difference is that we openly and democratically discuss these differences.
Q What is your analysis regarding the Congress? Is the Congress and the BJP the same for your party?
No, of course there is a clear difference between the two.
The BJP is the biggest threat to the nation. But we are still discussing our political strategy.
The party congress, which is our highest decision making process, will be held in Hyderabad in April. Whatever is decided there will be implemented by our party.
Q Did Yechury actually offer to resign after the recent vote?
No, The media is reading too much into a simple democratic debate.
Q So what alternative strategy is the left looking at for 2019 if it does not want to go with the Congress?
There are many other secular parties out there. There is still time for 2019 and we are focussing on our struggles currently.
In the period of the last year or so, we have raised successful fights along with other democratic and progressive parties like the successful farmers’ struggle that was led by the Kisan Sabha, which got the state government to announce the loan waiver or the historic bandh under the leadership of Prakash Ambedkar after the Bhima Koregaon attacks. Alternatives will rise out of struggles.
The challenge is to bring everyone together.
Q From successful farmers’ agitations in Sikar to the ones in Maharashtra, the left has seen good support from the people, but then why the electoral failures?
Electoral success will happen too. We need to project ourselves as trustworthy electoral alternatives. People’s hearts need to be won.