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|March 20, 1998||
EMS wanted 'limited understanding' with Congress to oust BJP
D Jose in Thiruvananthapuram
E M S Namboodiripad, who breathed his last at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, was very disturbed about the prospect of the Bharatiya Janata Party coming to power.
His last article, completed just before he was rushed to the hospital, stressed the need for ousting the BJP government at the time of the Speaker's election or vote of confidence.
In his column in the Communist Party of India-Marxist weekly, Deshabhimani, titled Hung Parliament from the point of view of class politics and published on Friday, the veteran leader said the Left parties should change its rigid stand against the Congress and go for 'a limited understanding' to keep the BJP away from power. The article criticised the Congress for not responding to CPI-M general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet's proposal to form a non-BJP government. EMS felt this was needed as the BJP was more 'venomous' than the Congress.
The article, intended to educate party cadres about the shift in the CPI-M's stance, said the Left parties supporting the Congress was meant to strengthen the Left, democratic and secular forces in the country.
The CPI-M patriarch said the task was difficult in states like Kerala and West Bengal where the party was pursuing a rigid anti-Congress line. A common stand on this need not mean an end to the Left parties's anti-Congressism.
The Hung Parliament from the point of view of class politics was the third one in an eight-column series, in which EMS had promised to enlighten the cadres about the need for a change in stance. The second part, which appeared on Thursday was a criticism of those who opposed floor coordination between the Left parties and Congress in Parliament. He had taken a dig at Opposition leader A K Antony for his position that there would be no dialogue between the Congress and the CPI-M in the event of a BJP government assuming office. He said that since his party bosses have started the dialogue in a changed political situation, Antony should accept the reality of working close with the CPI-M in the coming days.
The CPI-M patriarch said there were three ways to divide Indian politics -- two combinations led by bourgeois parties, and a third comprising Left, democratic and secular forces, pregnant with the matured thinking of the electorate.
He said the mandate the electorate gave this election implied that the working class, and parties which represented their interests, had the duty to defeat the BJP and strengthen secular forces. Even as this is done, he said, the third force has to expose the anti-people policies being pursued by both the Congress and the BJP.
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