CPI meet to review government policies

March 22nd, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The Communist Party of India (CPI) is beginning its 20th party congress in Hyderabad Sunday and plans to review government policies at a time when the ties between the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the Left allies who support it from outside are growing sour. The party also plans a bout of self-assessment.

Around 900 delegates from various states will participate in the five-day meet in which there would be detailed discussions on its future political stances and strategies to strengthen the party that has 10 members in the Lok Sabha, lower house of parliament.

The CPI, a constituent of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left parties that extend crucial legislative support to the Manmohan Singh government, will review the policies of the ruling coalition.

“We will discuss the party’s stance on political, economic and foreign policies of the government. We will review how far the Left has succeeded in making the government adhere to the National Common Minimum Programme (the mutually agreed agenda for governance),” said CPI national secretary D. Raja.

The CPI’s national meet will be held in the wake of a fresh call from the Left parties for a ‘people’s movement’ against the government’s economic and foreign policies. The Left has been opposing the India-US civil nuclear agreement saying it would damage the country’s independent foreign policy and indigenous nuclear programme.

Among the internal party issues, the growing differences within West Bengal’s ruling Left Front will be a major point of discussion in the meeting.

The CPI along with the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc - two other constituents of the Left Front - has expressed displeasure over the CPI-M’s “high-handedness” and its industrialisation policies in West Bengal.

The smaller allies had also taken on the CPI-M for the police firing on protesting farmers in Nandigram village during an agitation against land acquisition last year.

According to Raja, the meeting will discuss the possibilities of a non-Congress non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alternative.

“The future course of the entire Left has to be discussed. We feel that a third alternative has to emerge through people’s movement,” Raja said adding that “ways to strengthen the party” would also be under focus.

The party’s political resolution, sent to about 40,000 branches which represent 600,000 members spread over 26 states and union territories, has said that the Left has succeeded in stopping the UPA government from taking “anti-national steps” while forcing it to adopt people-friendly policies.

The meeting is expected to ask A.B. Bardhan, who has been party general secretary for more than a decade, to continue in the post.

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