Dec 15, 2008

India - Third alternative within two months, says Karat

Guwahati: The general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Prakash Karat on Sunday said that a strong and viable third alternative of non-Congress and non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secular parties would take shape within the next two months, ahead of the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Addressing a state-level party rally here, Mr. Karat said the left parties had been striving for an alliance of non-Congress and non-BJP parties as an alternative to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

He pointed out that the CPI(M) had reached an understanding with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Karat appealed to the secular and democratic forces of Assam and other north-eastern states to help form the third front. Such an alternative had to be based on pro-people policies. It should be opposed to the economic policies of the Congress and the BJP, fight against the dangers of U.S. imperialism and support an independent foreign policy. The front should also strongly oppose communal and divisive forces, he said.

He said no government at the Centre had ever taken seriously Assam’s problems — floods, infiltration from across the porous India-Bangladesh border. The flood problem should be treated as a national one and solved on a priority basis.

On the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on India, the CPI(M) general secretary said, in the coming six months India would be hard hit and farmers and workers would be the worst affected.

‘Left averted disaster’

Had the left parties not prevented the UPA government from opening up the banking and insurance sectors, and provident fund to the private sector, the impact would have led to closure of banks and insurance companies in India too, he claimed.

He reiterated the CPI(M) stand that the government should not proceed with legislation such as the Banking Regulation Amendment Act, the Bill for increasing the FDI cap in Insurance and the Pension Bill. The party would oppose the bills tabled in Parliament and ask both the UPA and the NDA not to press for it.

He said the only way to save the Indian economy from recession was to increase public spending by the government so that more jobs were created and the purchasing capacity of the general masses increased.

CPI-M Polit Bureau member Biman Bose said terrorists had no religion, language, caste or creed. He attributed the growth of terrorism across the globe to U.S. imperialism.

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