Left slams Chidambaram for ‘irresponsible’ statement

March 23rd, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) The Left parties Sunday launched a scathing attack on Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for making “irresponsible” statement about the Congress-led UPA government’s communist allies, and reminded him that the central government survived with the support of “60 Left MPs”. “What Chidambaram said in Madurai Friday amounts to an irresponsible and unkind statement. It is grossly incorrect to accuse us of blocking the country’s economic growth. The fact is the wrong policies of the government have led to inflation, and the common people are suffering,” Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member M.K. Panthe told IANS.

Chidambaram Friday said in Madurai that “some 60 members of parliament” were trying to hinder India’s economic progress.

“Some 60 members of parliament find fault with whatever myself and Manmohan Singh do for economic growth. They say that the economic growth is irrelevant and only a small group of people had benefited from the growth,” Chidambaram said.

Expressing the Left parties’ ire over his comments, Panthe said: “He knows that his government is surviving on our support, and yet he makes irresponsible observations. As a matter of fact, we have only opposed the government’s policies and subverting of the Common Minimum programme (CMP) drawn up for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.”

The All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), a key constituent of the CPI-M-led Left Front, termed Chidambaram’s statement “ridiculous and far from the realities”.

“There is not an iota of truth in Chidambaram’s observation. It is ridiculous and far from the realities. For Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his finance minister, development means only to help out the country’s 20 percent affluent, and doing nothing for the rest,” G. Devarajan, national secretary of AIFB, told IANS.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) said the finance minister was making “non-serious statements out of desperation”.

“His economic policies have widened further the gap between the rich and the poor, the rural and urban India. We do not approve of Chidambaram’s neo-liberal economic policy. It has failed in ensuring equitable growth of the people of all sections,” D. Raja, a senior CPI leader and member Rajya Sabha, told IANS.

Raja said people did not expect “immature statements” from a senior member of the Manmohan Singh government.

“His statement is immature, lacks logic and meaning. It is a non-serious statement, and not expected from Chidambaram. His economic policies do not have effective ingredients to convince us positively. Farmers are still committing suicide,” Raja added.

The finance minister Friday said that if the country’s economy grew close at 9 percent, by 2020 India’s per capita income would be $2,000 and $16,000 by 2050.

“If this growth rate continues, I will provide Rs.15,100 crore (Rs.151 billion) for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (universal education programme) and Rs.8,000 crore (Rs.80 billion) for the midday-meal scheme next year,” said Chidambaram.

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