Former Marxist-turned BJP candidate calls CPI-M ‘regional outfit’

March 27th, 2009 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Kolkata, March 27 (IANS) He is a former die-hard Marxist now in a saffron garb. Former Rajya Sabha member Bratin Sengupta, who switched his loyalties to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), champions the cause of the majority community and says the BJP has been wrongly portrayed as “communal”.
Sengupta, previously a firebrand student leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), was sent to the Rajya Sabha by the Marxist party. But he joined the BJP and has been nominated by it to contest the Lok Sabha elections from West Bengal’s Barasat constituency in North 24-Parganas district.

“The Congress and CPI-M have always tried to present the BJP as a communal party to motivate people against us. But the truth is, our party is a secular one… we neither have bias towards a particular community nor believe in provoking communal tension,” Sengupta said at a press conference here Friday.

“It was during the regime of BJP-backed National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express and even the Lahore-Pakistan bus started operating.”

Sengupta asserted it is not possible to overlook the interests of the majority community.

“In India, 85 percent of people are Hindus, and we can’t deprive or overlook their interests. If the BJP comes to power after this Lok Sabha polls, one of our principal agenda will be to work for the development of the minority community, and at the same time strengthen India-Pakistan relationship.”

Commenting on the December 1992 Babri mosque demolition, Sengupta said the BJP should not be identified as solely responsible for the incident.

“It happened during the regime of Congress prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh. What were they doing on the day the mosque was demolished? BJP is not the only party responsible for the massacre… The Congress and Kalyan Singh were equally responsible for what happened.”

On reasons for leaving the CPI-M, he said his aim was to serve the nation, not a particular state. He termed the CPI-M a regional outfit.

“I was in a regional party whose vision for progress of the common man was limited to the state. Hence, I joined the BJP so that I could serve a bigger cause,” Sengupta said.

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