He had objected to the alliance in Bengal tooth and nail, but CPI(M) stalwart Prakash Karat will be on the campaign trail in Bengal.
The senior politburo member and party's former general secretary had been asked by none other than Surjya Kanta Mishra, CPI(M) state secretary and the prospective chief minister candidate of the Congress and the Left alliance, to campaign in the election in the state.
Buzz in the party circle was that Karat, who was opposed to the alliance might keep a safe distance from the Bengal election, which has seen an unusual alliance between left and Congress. As he was not involved during the initial phase of the campaign, a section believed Karat, a strong Congress opponent, might even give the West Bengal election a miss.
But on Friday, Karat told THE WEEK, “Yes. I am coming to campaign in the Bengal election. I will stay there from April 25 to 27.”
Mishra had earlier told THE WEEK that he had requested Karat to campaign in the election.
Sources said as Bengal election was already half way, the Left and Congress were energised with the voting pattern so far. Both the parties have come out and prevented what they are calling 'rigging' by Trinamool Congress workers. However, CPI(M) needed Karat to join the campaign to send the message that party was united about the alliance.
It is not known whether any Congress leader would share the dais with Karat. A CPI(M) state committee member laughed when asked the same. He said, “I think that is a distant possibility.”
Congress leaders said they had no issue of untouchability and it was up to CPI(M) leadership whether to invite Congress leaders in Karat's public meeting.
“In fact we invited CPI(M) when Soniaji came,” said a PCC leader, who is also candidate in Kolkata.
CPI(M) sources in Kolkata have said that Karat would address rallies for senior leaders like Sujan Chakraborty and Rabin Deb in Singur.