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Mainstream, VOL LV No 18, New Delhi, April 22, 2017

Why Possibilities of Cooperation and Alliance between Congress and Left Parties May Increase

Monday 24 April 2017, by Bharat Dogra


In the emerging situation it appears that possibilities of cooperation between the Congress and Left parties are increasing. There are five main reasons for this.

Firstly, it should be increasingly clear to the Congress that in the emerging situation it can increase its relevance and appeal only by a Left-of-Centre agenda.

Secondly, it should be equally clear to the Congress that in important States where it is weak, particularly Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, it needs to build alliances but forming alliances with the dominant regional parties of these States can be counter-productive for Congress in the longer term as it will get very few electoral seats in any seat-sharing arrangement. Therefore the only option for the Congress is the first factor mentioned above: to have an alliance with the smaller Left or Left-of-Centre parties in these States and the goodwill built in the process can increase cooperation in some other States as well.

Thirdly, the Left parties should also realise that at a time of such aggressive and arrogant efforts to marginalise them and to destroy the socialist and secular agenda of the country, they should have a relationship of cooperation with the leading national Opposition party with a nationwide presence and a broadly secular agenda.

At the grassroots level there is need for increasing cooperation on the most important issues of maintaining and protecting communal harmony as well as equal rights of all communities.

Last but not the least, given the importance of India in the international context, there is the need to assert the voice of India at the international level to protect the agenda of peace, secularism and socialism which is increasingly under attack. In this context some aspects of the legacy of India’s earlier foreign policy must be asserted and protected.

Bharat Dogra is a freelance journalist who has been involved with several social movements and initiatives.

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