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Will Lok Satta please explain why it is engaging with the Communists?

I'm very surprised (and distressed) by this news item on Lok Satta website:

Mr. Varma said that the Lok Satta Party has decided to support CPI(M) candidates in Tirupati and Anantapur as the CPI(M) has decided to back the Lok Satta Party in Ongole by dropping plans to contest from it in the by-elections to the State Assembly on June 12.

The decision was taken by the Lok Satta Party's State Working Committee here today, said Mr. Varma.

As a result of the electoral adjustments, the CPI (M) will support the Lok Satta Party in Ongole, Pattipadu, Rayadurgam and Yemmiganur Assembly constituencies.

The Lok Satta Party in turn will support CPM candidates in Tirupati, Anantapur, Payakaraopet, Udayagiri and Polavaram Assembly constituencies and Nellore Lok Satta constituency.

What's going on? Why?

What is all this if not politics? What about principles?

Could someone please explain.

This may well mark the end of Lok Satta as a party that stands for SOMETHING, unless some explanation is offered immediately. 

If LS is not going to stand unambiguously for LIBERTY, then I'll need to have a re-think about this whole issue.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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11 thoughts on “Will Lok Satta please explain why it is engaging with the Communists?
  1. Prakash

    It’s politics. That’s all it is. Deals with the devil are very, very common in electoral politics. I’m suprised that you’re acting with so much surprise. I think that FTI’s eventual party form will also have to make numerous compromises. Can you give any examples of a principled party succeeding anywhere in the world?

  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    I’m afraid it is easy for Indians to rush to the LOWEST denominator of the worst kind.

    Why talk of other nations? What’s that go to do with what LS stands for? Is it the aim of LS to take India down a gutter?


  3. Hanumanth Rao Parnandi

    Hello Sir, thank u for u r contribution all the way, nice to meet u online. Thank you once again for this question for making a way to justify our stand as to why to go with Left. There are many problems that we face today starting from bad governance, policies with wrong priorities, improper implementation of the policies, corruption and so on. There are many forces in this country which have been fighting to address these issues, there ideologies and the way of approach may be different, but they share the same vision. In this category falls Loksatta Party, Left parties and many more from the 1000 or odd political parties. Yes we agree that to share the same platform there should be some similarities, which we thought are decentralization, corruption, farmer’s issues, electoral reforms (bringing in proportional representation system) and so on. On the other hand we have major differences in matters of bringing in Liberal policies. But we thought of integrating the disintegrated forces fighting for the same cause.

  4. Ram

    Dear Sanjeev Sablok,
    Please read the pressnote released by Lok Satta Party while announcing it. They are not tying up with ideology. They clearly said again that lot of difference is there b/w LSP and CPM ideology. But they are joining hands in support of Electoral reforms and Anti corruption movement where 90% of their ideology matches. And they came together with a motto like “where lsp doesnt contest they give support to CPM and vice-versa”. It was CPM who came forward to fight together when Dr JP met Suravaram on Electoral reforms. SO basing on those two specific issues which is direly needed for today politics the two parties are supporting each other.

    IT IS CLEARLY NOT UNETHICAL COELATION. One side all the so called traditional parties are becoming stronger in wrong means and bringing elections again and again for selfish causes. Now its time that people with good motto should support each other with a few adjustments.

    I appreciate Loksatta, CM for the decision. Its time that all the like minded (in some ways) parties hsould join together to give the big parties a boom and bring electoral reforms and Anti Corruption Bill.

  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ram

    If this argument is applied then there will always be one or two topics on which LS (or any party) matches with other parties 90 per cent, even with Congress or BJP.

    It is a different thing to vote (in parliament) for issues along with other parties, but to support a communist party for seat sharing is unacceptable.

    I can imagine that LS can work together with Jago Party or similar group where the philosophy matches at least to a large extent. But with a group (communists) with whose philosophy there is 100 per cent disagreement, such seat sharing is, a poor strategy that can come back to hurt LS.

    It is best to contest with the people want LS to contest (so LS candidates will win). If the only way to get more votes is by selling one’s philosophy, then credibility is lost. Nothing can get back credibility once it is lost. After that winning becomes even harder.

    Communists are a dying force. Let them die in peace. Leave them alone.

    LS is a new force of idealism and youth. Let it not lose its unique selling proposition. Far better for LS to not contest seats till the time when it is sure of mass support.

    The heavens won’t fall if LS waits to prepare. Better to wait and win than to struggle to lose – permanently.


  6. Aravind

    Sanjeev, I am from AP too and I follow the state politics closely. On paper, yes, LSP and Communists have differences on economic freedom and liberty in general. However, there are some issues and they are extremely important issues where we can fight together. The question then is why electoral alliance. LSP has not compromised on its position on any issues as part of this alliance. The 3 main parties in AP have turned elections into enterprise where they invest more than 60 crores per constituency. How do you fight against that money power with meager financial resources and volunteer support and still convince voters that we are better than any of them? The votes for honesty and clean politics are split among these parties (LSP, Communists). The strategy here is to provide confidence to the voters that there is still hope for changing political culture of the state and this united force will inspire more voters to consider LSP as alternative. Communists have sway in rural areas and they do not buy votes with liquor and money. They agree with LSP on basic political issues of corruption, decentralization of power, health, education etc. This alliance is more to enhance morale of party supporters and provide stronger alternative to people. We can try to be perfect on paper and seek ideal path but it takes too many years and people of the country will lose if we don’t rise to the occasion with our best effort.

  7. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Arvind

    I don’t understand such a sweeping statement: “They agree with LSP on basic political issues of corruption, decentralization of power, health, education etc.”

    Classical liberals and communists have entirely opposing views on what causes corruption, and the role of the state in health and education. That leaves decentralisation of power, even on which communists have NO models. The only workable models are those of classical liberals which are capitalist in approach and accountability.

    In brief, I can’t see more than 1 per cent (at most) overlap with communist policies and those of LSP.

    If the problem is this: “The 3 main parties in AP have turned elections into enterprise where they invest more than 60 crores per constituency. How do you fight against that money power with meager financial resources and volunteer support”

    – the solution is not to form liaisons with questionable forces but to prepare and prepare. THEN, when the people WANT LS, then contest.

    Effectively, LS is committing suicide since it will now confuse (even alienate) its core supporters like me, thus becoming a khichri party of no consequence to India’s history.

    A job worth doing is worth doing well. This is not the way to do the job well. No amount of rationalisation will work in such a case.


  8. kesav

    CPI(M), in it‟s 1999 election manifesto committed itself to
    electoral reforms including, “Proportional Representation with partial list system”.

    “The CPI would intensify its struggle to ensure that parties are given proportional representation in elected bodies.”S. Sudhakar Reddy, CPI General Secretary


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