Left parties differ on welcoming Xi during Mamallapuram visit

Modi-Xi meet, Modi-Xi visit, India-China, India-China relationship
Xi had visited Mamallapuram for his second informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Photo: PTI

The deeply ingrained difference between the Left parties, the CPI and the CPM, has once again become outright evident in the backdrop of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to India.

While both the Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu, the DMK and the AIADMK, had shown their support to the summit held in the state’s coastal town of Mamallapuram, the Left parties too had followed suit. But, that came after a bout of dilemma over welcoming Xi.

Xi had visited Mamallapuram for his second informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held on Friday (October 11) and Saturday.

The CPI welcomed the visiting president with its state secretary R Mutharasan issuing a statement saying that India is being pushed towards Western economies because the people have always been kept in fear that China will bring problems to India.

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“Indians and Chinese are like brothers. Xi’s visit will be a revival of sorts of the once-stopped relations between the two countries. While welcoming Xi, we also expect China to ensure that our bilateral interests are protected,” he said.

‘Theekkathir’, a CPM organ, too published articles eulogising China and Xi’s visit, a couple of days before the president’s visit. However, the party’s top brass has maintained caution over speaking publicly about the summit.

It may be noted that since the split of the CPM from the CPI in 1964, the former has had a soft stance over China, which has a Communist government, and that has continued for long. Besides, the CPM had differed with the CPI on various other aspects on several instances.

Meanwhile, the CPM also turned down the “rumours” suggesting that Xi had rejected meeting Communist leaders during his visit to India. Speaking to The Federal, TK Rangarajan, a senior CPM leader and an MP, said that his party had indeed welcomed the visiting President and that there was no need for the party leaders to meet him.

Also read | Modi starts Day-2 with plogging at Mamallapuram beach

Rangarajan said, “We cannot answer for the rumours that are being spread on social media. The information that Xi had rejected meeting Left leaders is a false one. There is no need for a meeting. (CPI general secretary) Sitaram Yechury is in Mumbai now rallying for the party’s candidates in the upcoming elections. Why should he need to meet Jinping?”

Commenting on the row, A Kumaresan, political commentator and former editor of ‘Theekkathir’, said that since Xi was in India for an official-level summit, China could have thought that it would not be proper for him to meeting the Communist leaders in the country.

“If the President of China visited India on a political level, then we could have got an opportunity to meet him. Since this was a diplomatic visit, they could have avoided meeting the Communist leaders,” he said.

He added that the party feels both the countries should never zero in on using military power to arrive at solutions for ending bilateral issues. “Both India and China should find solutions only through talks,” Kumaresan said.

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