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CPM hugs capitalism, allies shrug it off
January 09, 2008 11:01 IST
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) contention that capitalism was the only way to industrialise West Bengal has made Left Front partners aghast.
"The CPI(M) is speaking the language of Manmohan Singh [Images]. The unabashed advocacy of capitalism by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee cannot be the political position of the Marxist Leninist party," Manoj Bhattacharjee, a central committee member of the RSP, a Left Front constituent, said.
The CPI, another LF partner, also joined the chorus of protest with its state secretary Manju Kumar Mazumdar, saying private capital was needed to set up industries. But that does not mean capitalism is the only way, he said.
"Such a position is unacceptable to us and we do not agree with the chief minister's interpretation of capitalism and socialism."
At the annual function of party organ Ganashakti last week, the chief minister said the reality today was that capitalism was the only way to industrialise the state and ensure economic progress, though socialism was a better alternative.
When Left Front partners fumed at this, CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu rallied behind Bhattacherjee questioning how in a federal structure three left-ruled states could establish socialism when the country's economy was controlled by capitalism.
Another Left Front ally, the Forward Bloc, which has criticised the CPI(M) for its handling of the turmoil in Nandigram [Images] and the Tata Motors [Get Quote] small car project in Singur, also criticised the CPI(M).
It held a meeting with the RSP, outside the Left Front, to declare it would tell the CPI(M) that it would have to change its policy of industralisation through acquisition of farmland and stop advocating capitalism if the Left Front was to function as a cohesive political unit.
A senior leader of the opposition Trinamool Congress Saugata Roy told PTI "This has exposed the CPI(M)'s bankruptcy in ideology. While calling themselves Marxist, they are wooing capitalists for so-called development of the state."
He ridiculed the CPI(M)'s claim that it was charting out a new path.
"This cannot be the path of socialism."
Roy, a former union minister, jocularly suggested that the party should give up its nomenclature of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and adopt a new name such as the Party for Progressive Democracy Socialism, a breakaway group of CPI(M).
"Then there would be less hypocrisy," he said.
With the CPI(M) having to spend an entire year in defending the its agenda since the trouble at Singur and Nandigram, the party was probably in a hurry to carry forward its industrialisation drive.