January 9, 2009

Left will have key role after LS poll: Nirupam Sen

KOCHI(Kerala),8th January, 2009: The ball is yet to roll. But, all parties have started preparations for the coming general elections to the Lok Sabha. The three-day central committee meeting of the CPI(M) here will chalk out the party’s strategy for fighting the elections.

The party politburo member and West Bengal Industries Minister Nirupam Sen, who is in Kochi to attend the meeting, in an interview said that the party would have to fight hard to retain its poll share in West Bengal in the coming general elections.

"The extreme right and the extreme left have decided to join hands against the Left, especially against the CPI(M). A formal alliance has not been shaped yet, but once such an alliance materialises, it will be difficult for the party,’’ he said.

But in the last panchayat elections, the party could manage to get more than 50 percent of votes even after having some differences among the Left parties over the issues like the land acquisition, industrial projects etc, he said.

But, in the Lok Sabha elections, the Left parties will sort out the issues and remain united. Nandigram will hardly be a poll issue in Bengal, he said. The poll outcome will give birth to a hung Lok Sabha and the third front led by the Left will then have an important role. Parties like the BSP will fare better in North Indian states. The Left parties will have a say in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tripura, he said.

"The general conviction that the policies of the Left could help cushion the shock of global economic recession will be a positive factor for us,’’ he said. "We had warned the UPA Government. But our advice fell on deaf ears,’’said Sen. "Defeat the BJP and Reject the Congress", will be our stand, he said. The Left has its own alternative for beating the meltdown. More money should be pumped into the infrastructure and agriculture sector.

The government should ask the banks to lend more loans to farmers, especially to the marginalised. The PSUs should be vitalised. Issues of the deprived and marginalised classes like dalits and minorities should get more attention, Sen said.

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