KOLKATA: Addressing a face-to-face session at the Kolkata press club in the afternoon of 4 May, CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was again talking of the Left support because after three phases of the nationwide polls, he was resigned to the fact that the UPA was not coming back to office.
The speaker said that pressure from the neo-liberal economic policy and the worldwide economic depression has made the common people suffer the most. The central government should have spent much more than it did on development so that employment opportunities grew. This would have accelerated the stagnant economy. Neither of the two political formations led by the Congress and BJP thought about the mass of the people. This had been proved during the tenure of the governments they successively ran.
Sitaram Yechury referred to history while answering questions on the uncertainty that faced the Third Front in terms of nomination of a Prime Minister. In 1996, the United Front was set up post-elections and H D Deve Gowda became the PM. In addition, at a different end of the political spectrum, A B Vajpayee became PM following the completion of the electoral process in 1998 when the NDA was established. It can even be said that Dr Manmohan Singh did not know that he would be chosen the prime Minister by the Congress in the wake of the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Again, the UPA was set up post-poll.
Strongly refuting the charge that the setting up of the Third Front would benefit the BJP, Sitaram Yechury said that it was the Congress that was responsible for the rise of the BJP. Had not the Congress withdrawn support from the UF government in 1998, there was no way the BJP would have come to office. He iterated that of the 61 Left MPs who won their way to the Lok Sabha in 2004, 54 defeated the Congress. Yet, to keep the communal forces away from office, the Left chose to support a Congress-led UPA government based on a CMP. The Left is most committed of all political formations against communalism and they have carried out consistent struggle against the BJP-RSS combine in a continuous manner throughout the country.
Sitaram Yechury also spoke on the malafide Congress campaign against the Left Front government in Bengal, he ruled out the possibility of the Left supporting the Congress to form a government in Delhi, and he called upon all the socialists and former socialists to augment the Left forces nationwide.