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Left slam Mulayam's idea of non-Congress govt
January 15, 2006 18:59 IST
The Left parties on Sunday outrightly rejected as 'immature and impractical', the proposal by Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav that Communists should lead a non-Congress government at the Centre.
In separate interviews to UNI, the Left leaders said even as they continued to oppose the United Progressive Alliance government's 'anti-poor and anti-people' economic policies and the pro-United States tilt in foreign affairs, they could not 'buy Yadav's proposal, as it did not conform to the political realities of the day'.
The Left parties however, made it clear that there was no question of diluting their scheduled protest during US President George W Bush's coming visit to India.
On Yadav's proposal, senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and Polit Buro member M K Pandhe argued that they could not think about forming a government at the Centre with the strength of only 61 MPs in the Lok Sabha.
Communist Party of India national secretary Shamim Faizi elaborated - "We are not interested in any alternative arrangement at this juncture. The Left will continue to support the UPA government provided it sticks to the Common Minimum Programme and does not take unilateral anti-people economic decisions."
Faizi, editor of the CPI weekly New Age, said Yadav's proposal was 'immature' and that did not conform to the political realities of the day.
Yadav had, on Saturday, spoken of the possibility of non-Congress parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, coming together under a CMP and asked the Left parties to lead such an alternative.
Forward Bloc general secretary and MP, Debabrata Biswas argued that there was no question of accepting Yadav's suggestion when the Left parties were working towards 'Left-led people's alternative'.
"We are opposed to the politics of both communalism as well as casteism. The need of the hour is not to cobble an alternative at the Centre which includes the BJP, but to strengthen the unity among Left entities to pressurise the Congress-led coalition to accede to our alternative policies regarding agriculture, economy, foreign policy, industry and both organised and unorganised workers," Biswas added.
The Left leaders also expressed complete solidarity with the demand of over 40 lakh government employees for the Sixth Pay Commission and extended support to their strike scheduled for February-end.
The Left dismissed as 'gossip and speculation', the views expressed in some political quarters that it has given up its demand for retaining 9.5 percent interest rate on the EPF and thus had not raised it at the UPA-Left Coordination Meeting on January 12.
"Who says so? We will fight it out. We have already given the call for a countrywide protest on January 20 against the government's unilateral announcement bringing down the EPF interest rate by 1 percent," CPI Parliamentary group leader in the Lok Sabha, Gurudas Dasgupta, said.
Pandhe, too, asserted, "We don't backtrack. This is not the habit of the Left parties."
The issue could not be raised as the focus of that meeting was on resource mobilisation and disinvestment of profit-making Navratna PSUs, they said.
They were also firm on going ahead with their scheduled protest on January 24 regarding the US President's forthcoming visit to India.
"George Bush has unleashed even more terror than former US president Bill Clinton on sovereign and indepedent nations in the name of international fight against terrorism and defence of democracy," they said.
The Left has already announced that it will boycott the US President's proposed address to the Joint Session of Parliament.