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Left blames Congress for political, economic turmoil
January 29, 2006 18:41 IST
Gearing themselves up to take on the Congress in the coming assembly polls, the Left parties Sunday charged it with plunging the country into "economic and political turmoil", asserting that their outside support to the Congerss-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre had not caused any loss to their credibility.
The leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India and the Forward Bloc noted that right from the day the UPA assumed power, the Left parties had not supported any of its "wrong policy".
They enlisted their opposition to Manmohan Singh government's economic policies, its perceived tilt towards the United States, its "mishandling" of political developments in Bihar and Jharkhand, and decisions to privatise airports, reduce interest rate on EPF to 8.5 per cent and allow FDI in the retail sector.
CPI-M parliamentary group leader in the Lok Sabha Basudev Acharia and other Left leaders told UNI that the Left would have to play a bigger role in the given national political scenario.
"The Left is the only credible alternative. People are looking forward to us. But our problem is that we are limited to only four to five states," they said.
Acharia said the viable third alternative will emerge out of people's struggle against the UPA government's retrograde economic and poltical policies and programmes and the BJP's Hindutva and hatred agenda, inimical to interests of the people at large.
"People by now know that the real opposition to the government comes from the Left, both in and outside the Parliament. As we are trying to distance ourselves from the Congress-led government, we are not affected by the declining credibility of the Congress. The latest being our opposition to the government's stand on Iran issue," he said.
"Our pressurising the government to adopt pro-Iran issue, re-examine the modernisation plans of airports are the latest examples of our sustained protest," the CPI-M leader said adding the Left took a serious view of the US's objections to India acquiring an oilfield in Syria in partnership with China.
CPI-M senior leader and politbureau member M K Pandhe said the Left parties had nothing to lose by lending "outside support" to the Centre as they were neither in the cabinet nor enjoying any office of profit.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party, the main oppostion party, has virtually ceased to exist as it did not raise even single pro-people issue. In a way we are the main force, poeple have greater expectations from us and our credibility has gone up," Pandhe said.
CPI national secretary D Raja said the credibility of the Left had gone up many a time as it had won all the byelection and the local body polls in Kerala. "The Left parties brought economic issues to the fore, replacing divisive and sectarian agenda of the communal forces," Raja said adding, it is unfortunate that the Congress is not drawing proper lessons.
The CPI leader reminded how the people of the country had rejected the "discredited economic policies". Even the BJP lost due to its continuation of the fiscal policies pursued by the Congress, not only because of secularism and the foreign policy issues. People threw the party and its allies out of power in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections becuase they disapporved the anti-people and pro-rich and pro-MNCs economic policies, he added.
He urged the UPA government not to vote against Iran at the IAEA meet on February 2 in Vienna."In any case if the Congress-led government dares to oppose Iran and side with the US-EU, it will have to face serious consequences," Raja adeed.
Forward Bloc general secretary and member of Parliament Debabrata Biswas said he regretted that the Congerss had not only given up its Nehruvian model of development, but also bid farewell to foreign policies pursued by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Though the Congress was ruling in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Goa and Nagaland, Biswas said the party had failed to revive its presence in country's biggest states, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
"The Congress continued to be non-transparent and took unilateral decisions without consulting the allies," Biswas said.
"The Left even if it has opposed, intervened and objected to the government's anti-poeple decisions and moves, it still needs more teeth to bite," he added.
He opined that only the "unified force" of the Left could fill the vacuum on the national political scene as even the BJP was "in the doldrums" because of its internal disorder and being devoid of any issue of national importance.
The Left leaders argued that the Janata Dal-Secular-Bharatiya Janata Party combine would not impact the national political scenario as the issue was limited to Karnataka alone.