KOLKATA, 8 February, 2009: Addressing more than 12 lakh supporters from across West Bengal, an aggressive Left Front has revealed its political agenda for the upcoming general elections.Among the top priorities was the need for a third front that would ensure that the BJP and Congress were kept away from power.
"We do not need a BJP- or Congress-led government at the centre. We need a government that will prioritize the needs of the farmers and poor people that will not let be communal. A government which will have an independent foreign policy and not dictated by western countries, we dream of such a government and we know that it will be difficult task," said Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal.
The state leadership also used the occasion to reject the demand of the Trinamool Congress to return the acquired land in Singur to farmers. The Left Front chairperson said returning the land can harm the industrialization process in the state. "We cannot delay our projects on industrialization, but the opposition claims that we can go ahead with the projects but will let us build factories on barren land or in air but not on land. They have been opposing our policies without any reasons. Now they will have to answer the public and explain why they never came to discuss with the state despite several invitations from the Chief Minister," said Biman Bose, Chairman, Left Front.
Veteran leader Jyoti Basu could not make it to the rally due to illness, making it the first instance in the past three decades when Left's election campaign was kicked off in his absence. However, in a written message that was read out to the supporters, Basu talked about the need to industrialize in the state.
From withdrawal of support from the UPA government to Tata’s pulling out of Singur and the unrest across the state, the Left Front used the stage to clear its stand, blaming the opposition for everything that did not fall in place in the past five years. With the allies presenting a united face in its first election campaign sans Jyoti Basu, the Left now hopes to play a vital role in the Third Front in the impending general elections.