Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Jan. 13: Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee asserted his concern is for capital no matter who provides it, the Tatas, the Jindals, the USA, China or Japan.
Confirming the strain in the LF, the Forward Bloc declined to accept the CPI-M’s invitation to attend the open session of the latter’s state conference and stayed away from the rally.
The fear of adverse impact of its policy of industrialisation through acquiring farm land on the outcome of the panchayat poll a few months away forced the CPI-M to be on the back foot and the chief minister sought to take the wind off the Opposition’s sail by saying that “the question of industrialisation was not one of a conflict between the ruling party and the Opposition, but of creating thousands of jobs.”
Mr Bhattacharjee once again appealed to the Opposition to engage in discussion, “which is a democratic way”, on the crucial issue of industrialisation through acquiring farm land, instead of “blocking development through whipping up violence and disturbance.”
It was Mr Jyoti Basu who set the ball of confusion and self-contradiction rolling by peremptorily dismissing that the CPI-M could achieve socialism since it’s in power in “only three states.” “Socialism is a far cry. We can’t tell lies to the people by promising that we can achieve it. We have to depend on capitalism for economic progress as long as we remain in power in a few states of a federal country.”
Soon after CPI-M general secretary, Mr Prakash Karat launched a tirade against “US imperialism” and warned the USA and multinational corporations are pressuring the Centre to “let their capital enter the country’s retail business, insurance and banking and turn Indian into its junior partner through military alliance.” The nuclear deal, he reminded his party activists, is but a ploy to achieve those ends.
“The UPA-government is deviating from the common minimum programme, which is the basis of the Left parties’ support to it, and yielding to US pressure. We have told the Congress if it adheres to the CMP, we would continue our support, if not, we would vehemently oppose its policies.”
Contradicting what Mr Basu had said recently ruling out the formation of a third front, Mr Karat said the BJP is a communal outfit, while the Congress safeguards the interests of the rich. “We need a third alternative and for this Left unity has to be strengthened,” he said.
Mr Bhattacharjee said the lynch pin of the LF-government’s success during the past three decades was its “agrarian reforms that led to unprecedented growth in agriculture.”
He sought to convince his party men that agriculture continued to be a key policy initiative, while industrialisation is a “must” in the present economic scenario. “We would have to take as little farm land as possible for industrialisation, but our government is committed to protecting the livelihood of the displaced farmers, be they from Singur (where the Tata Motors is setting up its small car project) or from anywhere else. Are we to take lessons from the Congress and the Trinamul Congress in fighting for small and marginal farmers and the rural poor ?” he said. Mr Basu admitted “some problems” had cropped up within the LF. Mr Biman Bose, state secretary, said he was confident the areas of differences would be sorted out.
In the same breath Mr Bose took a potshot at the LF junior partners who have vehemently opposed the CPI-M’s unilateral decision on industrialisation. “Is it wrong to implement our pledge contained in the LF election manifesto on industrialisation ?” he asked in an obvious dig at the partners.