GUWAHATI, Oct 19 - The Communist Party of India (CPI) is looking to contest as many seats as possible in the forthcoming panchayat polls in Assam, even as the party said it is keen to avoid �friendly fights� with other constituents of the Left Democratic Manch (LDM) of which it is a part.
The CPI also believes that a united effort by all non-BJP forces is necessary to defeat the ruling party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
�The panchayat polls were originally scheduled to be held earlier this year. So we had began preparations earlier and asked our district committees to get ready for the elections. Though our party has only limited strength in Assam, we are trying to contest as many seats as possible in the gaon panchayat (GP) level, rather than in anchalik panchayats and zila parishads. That will help the party grow at the grassroots. Most of the district committees of our party have undertaken the task and are getting ready for the panchayat polls,� Dambaru Bora, State Secretariat member of the CPI�s Assam unit told The Assam Tribune.
The Gauhati High Court recently directed the State Election Commission to complete all processes of the panchayat polls by January 15, 2019. The polls were earlier slated to take place in February-March this year but the SEC expressed its inability to hold them citing manpower crunch as most State government employees are engaged in the NRC update process.
Bora said the CPI wants the panchayat polls to be held as per the High Court order. He said the party will focus on certain districts in the polls. �We have some base in districts like Sivasagar, Golaghat and Morigaon and also in Lakhimpur and Jorhat to some extent. We will focus mostly on these districts and try to put up as many candidates as possible,� he said.
He said the CPI wants to have some minimum understanding with the other constituents of the 11-party LDM. "We want to avoid friendly contests with other parties of the LDM. There should be some minimum understanding within the LDM. However, formal talks regarding the panchayat polls have not been held in the LDM forum," Bora said.
He said a meeting of the LDM is scheduled to take place in Guwahati on October 22 when the matter of the panchayat polls is likely to be taken up for discussion, among other issues.
The CPI�s State Executive meeting will take place in November where the party is expected to take some final decisions regarding its strategy for the panchayat polls as well as next year�s Lok Sabha elections.
Bora said that the CPI�s 23rd Party Congress held earlier this year in Kerala had, in its political resolution, termed the BJP as its main enemy. �Besides, in Marxism there is a saying � �find out the enemy and isolate the enemy�. For that purpose, we have to fight unitedly with other forces. All secular forces will have to come together to defeat the BJP,� said the Left leader.
Asked if the CPI is willing to join hands with the Congress in Assam in 2019, he said, �If the Congress comes ahead to join hands with us, why will we say no? Anyway, the Congress had earlier given indication that it is willing to play ball with the Left. Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had said earlier that he wants an alliance with the Left.�