CPI-M to continue support to government; will explore ‘third alternative’

March 30th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Coimbatore, March 30 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Sunday said it would continue to support the government while opposing its economic and foreign policies, and will explore the possibility of a non-Congress, anti-communal political alternative. According to party sources, the CPI-M, whose leaders are meeting here for a five-day party congress from Saturday to formulate its future political strategy, has decided to keep its options open for a non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alternative at the national level.

The organizational report, which has not yet been publicized and will be discussed in detail Monday, says the communists should continue to “maintain their relations with the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) allies like the DMK and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)” to form a “common platform of policy.”

“We should pursue our efforts for it,” the report says.

Explaining why the CPI-M and other Left parties did not extend their support to the third grouping Untied National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), the report says that it was formed “without having a clear cut viable alternative set of policies”.

It also said the communists could not join hands with a formation that had parties like the AIADMK, the main opposition in Tamil Nadu.

However, at a press conference party politburo member Sitaram Yechury refused to divulge the details of the party’s stance on third alternative.

Giving out a long and convoluted statement to the media after the first day deliberations on the draft political resolution at the 19th party congress, Yehcury said: “A strong opinion continue to emerge that while combating communalism and communal forces and keeping them away from state power, which the CPI-M believes is important and necessary for maintaining the unity and integrity of India.

“While that objective remains supreme, the discussions have so far shown that there is a large amount of discomfort (among the party cadres) at the fact that both the major parties - the ruling and the opposition - not only subscribe to a neo-liberal economic trajectory but also making India a strategic ally or partner of the US imperialism. In this context, the need is that to oppose the reckless and unbridled liberalization and changing the course of India’s foreign policy to suit the US interests that are not in the interests of Indian people,” Yechury told reporters here.

He went on: “There is a need for developing and strengthening a third alternative - a non-Congress and anti-communal forces political alternative - that is based on definite policy and measures such as uncompromising opposition to communal forces, oppose the anti-people content of the economic reforms and the policies which widen the hiatus between shining India and the suffering India.”

Yechury was quick to add that a ‘third alternative’ is different from a ‘third front’ which according to the CPI-M leader is a “cut and paste job”.

He, however, evaded the questions on whether the CPI-M would take the lead in forming an alternative force at the centre in the case of a fractured verdict after the next general elections, due for 2009.

“We will cross that bridge when we come to it.”

At the same time Yechury denied that the CPI-M would maintain an “equal distance” from the Congress and the BJP.

“We are not subscribing to the theory of equidistance. Communal forces are very dangerous.”

The Communist leader, however, admitted that the party delegates who took part in the deliberations on the political resolution Sunday, have “endorsed and approved” the CPI-M’s decision to extend an outside legislative support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led government.

“The 18th party congress wanted the party to undertake an independent trajectory of supporting the government on what is positive in the common minimum programme and opposing the policies when they are anti-people.”

He said the party delegates, who have spoken so far, has appreciated that the party has “scrupulously adhered to this understanding”.

“We will continue to support this government, we will continue to oppose the communal forces and at the same time we will oppose all the anti-people measures this government pursues and will pressurize this government to take positive measures.”

The party congress passed two resolutions Sunday cautioning the government that it would lead a mass movement across the country in support of a “radical restructuring of the centre-state relations” and urging the government to take steps to contain the rise in the prices of essential commodities.

The 19th party congress will continue its deliberations Monday and Tuesday. A final draft of the political-organisational report is expected to be adopted Wednesday.

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