January 20, 2013

Bengal realizes harm of voting for TMC: Prakash Karat

TNN | Jan 20, 2013, 04.47 AM IST

KOLKATA: Even Prakash Karat didn't expect it so early. Getting a whiff of the rising anti-incumbency in Bengal, the CPM general secretary on Saturday cited instances to showcase what he called Mamata Banerjee's poor governance.

"The state has witnessed a number of farmer suicides, hunger deaths, denial of pension to state transport employees, and above all the intra-Trinamool feuds. I think people have have realised what harm they have done to the state by voting this kind of a party," Karat said at the end of the three-day CPM central committee meeting.

Expressing concern over the continuing violence in Bengal, he said: "There is no let up in the violence unleashed on Left activists. As many as 85 CPM men have been killed since the assembly elections. Protests have been met with bullets, bombs and lathis - the latest being the attack on Abdur Rezzak Mollah. The Trinamool government is patronising all this, though more people are coming out against the terror."

Karat also broadly endorsed the Bengal CPM's land policy, saying that the government should have a role in accumulating big patches of land. However, he had a rider about the proposed compensation and rehabilitation package: "We believe that the government should acquire the land only after 80% of landowners give consent. And, the compensation and rehabilitation should stand integral to the new land bill. We are not in favour of making exceptions for certain sectors such as railways or mining."

Digressing from the projected correlation of political forces into two camps - secular and communal - as the Congress and its allies, particularly RJD chief Lalu Prasad, have been preaching, Karat preferred to stick to the formulation of the Coimbatore Party Congress that calls for fighting the Congress and the BJP as well.

"We will work for the defeat of the Congress and keep the BJP at bay. We have decided to float policy alternatives instead on food security, hike of railway fares, deregulation of diesel prices and the proposed dismantling of the drug control authority that will burden the common people," Karat said. He also ruled out chances of a Third Front.

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