Left damaged development of Kerala, Bengal: PM
Accusing the Left parties of destroying the progress of West Bengal and Kerala during their rule, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said they were on the "wrong side" of history and pursuing policies not relevant to the changing times.
Taking on the Left on its home turf, he said, "Our Left friends are on the wrong side of history. They fail to recognise the very fundamental ways the world we live in has changed, and is changing," Singh told campaign meetings of the Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kottayam and Kollam.
In a frontal attack on the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left government, he accused it of political opportunism in the garb of their ideology.
"Every one knows how much damage the Left Front had done during 30 years of its rule in West Bengal. It was due to their faulty programmes that your state (Kerala) could not progress as it could have and should have," he said.
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Image: PM Manmohan Singh
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
'Left friends are on the wrong side of history'
"It is unfortunate that the Left Front refuses to change with time. The result is that they pursue policies and programmes that are not relevant to times," Singh charged.
"When I came during the Lok Sabha polls in 2009 I said that our Left friends are on the wrong side of history. I reiterate that," he said in his first campaign meeting for the April 13 Kerala assembly polls at Kottayam.
While interests of the common man were neglected under the Left rule, CPI-M party workers gained at the cost of ordinary people, Singh said.
If central schemes like rural employment guarantee programme failed to benefit Kerala fully, it was due to the "indifference" of the LDF government, he said.
Left leaders Sitaram Yechury, A B Bardhan, A Raja and Prakash Karat in a protest rally in New Delhi
Image: Left leaders Sitaram Yechury, A B Bardhan, A Raja and Prakash Karat in a protest rally in New Delhi
'We need to reverse the present state'
Appealing to voters to bring UDF to power on the strength of what his government had done these seven years, Singh said Kerala needed a government that would work hand-in-hand with the Centre to ensure rapid development of the state.
"LDF lives in the past. On the other hand, the UDF stands to safeguard the future of Kerala. We need to reverse the present state. We need to build a climate that attracts investment and creates more jobs, especially for youth," he said.
Despite the global financial crisis, the country had been able to maintain high growth rate under the UPA government without diluting the concerns of the disadvantaged sections of the society to ensure inclusive growth, Singh said.
Image: Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan