CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said his party will attend meetings aimed at "protecting the composite culture for a larger cause", but added that it will not take part in any rally of the 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) with the Congress in the future.
Yechury made the comment two days after the Left party skipped the RJD's 'BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao' (Banish BJP, Save Country) rally in Patna, attended by several key opposition leaders.
The CPI(M) leader said that the composite culture movement is not to be confused with 'mahagathbandhan' as the former has "got nothing to do with electoral alliance". The CPI(M) had not participated in the rally, citing presence of its arch rival and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"The question is being raised that the CPI(M) did not take part in Lalu's rally, but is attending Sharad Yadav's meet on composite culture...The 'save composite culture' movement has got nothing to do with electoral alliances or adjustments. Saving the composite culture is a larger issue," Yechury told PTI.
According to the CPI(M)'s stated "political tactical line", there should be no alliance or understanding with the Congress. Referring to that position, Yechury said the Left party is sticking to the stance and that "there is no confusion on that". "But the composite culture movement is not to be confused with mahagathbandhan. Lalu organised the mahagathbandhan rally. There will be several more such rallies, which we will not attend, but we will attend the composite culture meetings," the Marxist leader added.
Besides the RJD chief and Banerjee, several key opposition leaders including AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav, CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy and the party's national secretary D Raja and NCP's Tariq Anwar had attended the Patna rally.
More than a dozen opposition parties had joined hands on August 17 at Yadav's 'save composite culture' meeting, calling for a united fight against the ruling BJP with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi taking the government head on and accusing it of not fulfilling its promises. Rahul Gandhi, however, skipped the Patna rally as he was abroad.
In the 2016 West Bengal assembly election, the CPI(M) had an understanding with the Congress over seat sharing. The CPI(M)-led Left Front, however, faced a drubbing in the polls and was relegated to third position, behind the ruling TMC and the Congress in its erstwhile bastion.
The party Politburo, a key decision-making body of the Left party, had rebuked the state unit over the poll result, saying the "electoral tactics" adopted in the state were not in consonance with its political tactical line.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)