No third front before poll: Communist Party of India (Lead)

March 28th, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, March 28 (IANS) The Communist Party of India (CPI) has virtually ruled out formation of a third front before the next general elections and hinted at state-specific electoral adjustments with the regional parties. CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan told a meet-the-press programme here Friday that the party’s goal was to build a third front based on Left and democratic programmes.

“If it comes before next general elections we will be happy but we don’t believe it will come into effect so early,” he said when asked about the possibility of a third alternative taking shape before the next elections.

He was briefing the media about the decisions taken at the party’s 20th national congress, which concluded here Thursday.

While opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal and taking strong objection to some of the steps of the Congress-led UPA government in the economic and foreign policy spheres, the party decided to launch a massive agitation against price rise.

“In the longer perspective, our efforts are to build a third alternative. It will not be a mere conglomeration of some political parties but will be based on Left and democratic programmes,” he said.

Bardhan said the third front would evolve out of joint struggle on peoples’ issues. The party congress also underlined the need for broader Left unity to enable the building of a third alternative.

“In the coming elections we will try to have state-specific adjustments to ensure defeat of communal forces,” he said adding that his party along with other secular parties would prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party from coming to power at the centre and in states.

“The situation differs from state to state. You have Samajwadi Party only in Uttar Pradesh, DMK in Tamil Nadu, RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) in Bihar and TDP (Telugu Desam Party) in Andhra Pradesh,” said Bardhan who along with other CPI leaders had a meeting with TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu Tuesday.

“Let elections be announced. We will see. A collective decision will be taken based on the political situation and ground realities,” he said when asked whether the CPI would have an electoral alliance with TDP and other regional parties.

Voicing concern over price-rise affecting poor and the middle-class people, Bardhan announced that the CPI would launch a massive ‘militant’ movement against price-rise next month.

During the agitation, the party plans to lay siege to central government offices, stage road and rail blockades and target “certain godowns used to stock huge quantity of food grains”.

Disputing the government’s claim of taking steps to control inflation, he said it had gone up by 20 percent since the union budget was tabled a month ago.

The CPI plans another nation-wide agitation for distribution of land among landless on the lines of ‘bhooporatam’ or land struggle launched in Andhra Pradesh.

The party opposed the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). “We are for industrialization but not for SEZs because they have become instruments of land grabbing by big industrial houses and entrepreneurs, who are doing real estate business. Our party believes that SEZ are neither inevitable nor necessary for industrialization.”

Making a climb-down on the issue of separate Telangana, CPI said it would not stand in the way of formation of separate Telangana state but would not take up an agitation on the issue.

The climb-down came after the Congress witnessed differences over the issue. Bardhan admitted that an “abrupt statement” on the issue in the draft political resolution created confusion. The draft resolution had stated that CPI supported the demand for separate Telangana. Saying that it was a complicated issue, Bardhan said the party would come out with a detailed resolution on it.

“The appropriate time for creation of separate Telangana is now. It is for the Congress and the UPA to take the initiative. The ball is in their court. If they take a decision we will not stand in the way of consensus,” he said.

Bardhan made it clear that CPI would not take up any agitation for separate statehood to Telangana, saying the party was taking up agitations on only those issues that affect the entire country.

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