Kolkata: 7th February, 2009: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, former West Bengal chief minister and Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu on Saturday said politicians and people should work together for a "better and more responsible government" at the centre.
"It's high time politicians and the public worked together to form a better and more responsible government (at the centre). Hence I request all people through the media to cast their votes as well as make sure that their neighbours exercise this democratic right too this election," Basu told the media at his Salt Lake residence here.
The nonagenarian, who is a veteran of the Communist Party of India-Marxist - CPI(M) that has been in power in West Bengal since 1977, called upon people to exercise their democratic right in the Lok Sabha polls in April-May.
The CPI(M), along with three other left parties, had provided crucial outside support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that came to power at the centre in the 2004 elections, but withdrew last year to oppose the India-US civil nuclear deal.
Coming down heavily on the state's opposition parties, primarily the Trinamool Congress, Basu said they only wanted to make West Bengal a backward state.
"The parties who are opposing the CPI(M)-backed Left Front in the coming Lok Sabha elections don't want any development - be it social, economic or political - to take place in the state. And they are thrusting their opinion on people using firearms," said Basu.
"These parties have neither a definite political agenda, nor any principle. All they are concerned about is making West Bengal a backward state. They want to harm the state and its people."
"In the absence of morality and political knowledge, all these parties understand is to make people obey them by threatening them with firearms," Basu said.