Why is Rahul Gandhi frequently meeting with Yechury?

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New Delhi, March 8: Is the Congress eyeing to join hands with the Left before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections? According to reports, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is frequently meeting CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury as the top leadership of the party believes that the Left is a more reliable partner than the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to forge an alliance. This is irrespective of the fact that Gandhi had said a few days ago that it is time to drive the Left out of the country.

Enough is enough with Trinamool

The continuing strain in the relation between the Congress and the TMC, which culminated in Mamata's pulling out from the UPA government at the Centre and the Congress's withdrawing from the TMC government at the state, has boosted the West Bengal state Congress's position of not backing Mamata Banerjee again. The central leadership of the party had always held the state unit back from not going into an all-out war against the TMC but it seems now that the deteriorating relation has now compelled the former to harden its stand.

Sources said Congress president Sonia Gandhi has assured the state leaders of the party that she would not call for an alliance with Banerjee ahead of the next big polls. The TMC's continuing attack against the Congress in the Parliament is reducing the possibility of a fresh alliance between the two parties. The state leaders of the Congress are genuinely happy.

A return to UPA I days?

In this situation, Rahul Gandhi's frequent meetings with Yechury at the latter's office in the Parliament have made political observers curious. The Congress vice-president has met leaders of the NCP, IUML and DMK besides RJD leader Lalu Prasad and LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan. Speculation is rife that the Congress is considering a return to the UPA I model in which the Left had extended support from outside.

It was over the 2008 Indo-US nuclear deal that the Congress and the Left had serious differences resulting in the withdrawal of the latter from the ruling alliance. The Left was pushed to the margins and it is yet to return to the focus in all-India focus. The loss in West Bengal and Tripura has also made it desperate to regain some prominence. Last month, the Indian Left survived the scare of getting eliminated from the country's political map by winning the Tripura assembly election under the leadership of Manik Sarkar.

Cong wants a predictable partner, Left a chance to regain lost space

Yechury has a crucial role to play if the Congress and the Left come together again. He was the main link between the two sides during the days of UPA I and he was among those Left members who were upset over the decision to pull out from the UPA government.

The disappointed members believed that it was this withdrawal which had made the alliance between Congress and TMC easier in West Bengal and invited the electoral debacle in 2011. With the Congress and TMC witnessing a serious rift now, the Left is reconsidering the possibility to enter into an alliance with the Congress again and form the UPA III to keep the ‘communal forces' out.

According to Congress sources, the Left is not as unpredictable as Banerjee, who is known to be throwing tantrums at every other reason, making it difficult to abide by coalition rules. Ideological differences, if there are, are easier to overcome, feels 10 Janpath.

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