Basu feels sad over CPI(M)s withdrawal of support to the CentreJuly 9th, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by ANI
By Gautam Ghosh
Kolkata, July 9 (ANI): Veteran CPI (M) leader and former Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu received an unexpected gift from his party on his 95th birthday yesterdaywithdrawal of support to the UPA government.
Basu, who wanted to see the Congress-led coalition completing its full term, has described it as a sad development in his close circles. Other Bengal party leaders like Biman Bose, state CPI(M) secretary, and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who are not quite sure about the partys prospects in the next Lok Sabha polls, also share Basus concern. But they had to swallow the bitter pill in view of general secretary Prakash Karats hardline regarding the proposed Indo-US nuclear deal.
The CPI(M)s decision to revoke its support to the Congress-led government marks an end to the political honeymoon between the two parties during the past four and a half years. The Marxists, however, were under constant pressure from other Left Front partners, particularly the RSP and the Forward Bloc, to withdraw support much earlier in view of the Centres failure to implement the common minimum programme and contain price rise.
According to informed sources, there is also a marked difference in the wishlist of the central CPI(M) leadership and its Bengal unit in the post-withdrawal era. While Karat and other party hardliners want the fall of the UPA government to prevent implementation of the nuclear accord, the Bengal CPI(M) leaders want the government to continue and last its full term.
They feel a Lok Sabha election in February or March next year will provide them enough time to revamp the organisation in the state and face the opposition with renewed strength. The Bengal CPI(M) is now ill-prepared to face a mid-term election in view of the reverses it suffered in the panchayat and municipal polls.
The state CPI(M)s decision to launch an anti-Centre stir from July 14 to protest against the nuclear deal and price rise is essentially aimed at boosting the flagging morale of its cadre and revive the partys traditional anti-Congress stand. As a state secretariat member of the CPI(M) put it, Our party is basically against the policies followed by the Congress. We had supported the UPA government at the Centre only to keep the communal forces at bay. He, however, conceded that the party had to pay a heavy price in Bengal for supporting the UPA government as a large number of people have started blaming it for the price rise and high rate of inflation.
The withdrawal of support by the left parties has created mixed reaction among the Bengal opposition parties. While it has come as a boon to the Bengal Congress, which has often been dubbed as the CPI(M)s B team, Trinamul Congress has welcomed the development for an entirely different reason.
TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee feels the ruling Marxists in the state will not be in a position to launch a fresh attack on the opposition party workers as the Centre will not help them in their bid any more. Banerjee has pointed out that the Congress-led UPA remained indifferent to her pleas for help during the CPI(M) attacks in Nandigram and Singur as it was dependent on the Marxists support.
At the same time she has decided to maintain her partys policy of keeping equidistance from the BJP and the Congress and may abstain from voting when the Lok Sabha takes up a confidence motion. (ANI)