The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A year to get past crunch, says patriarch

Calcutta, Dec. 22: Another year and the government would be out of its financial crisis, Jyoti Basu said today.

The CPM patriarch was addressing a party programme to mark the golden jubilee of its mouthpiece, Ganashakti. The crunch, Basu said, was coming in the way of the government’s political agenda and it was imperative for it to swim out of trouble.

“They (government) will take another year to overcome the crisis. We have discussed the problem in our party. Our party secretariat is trying to help the government to overcome the problem. The state committee will also take it up for discussion. The government would have to defeat the crisis at any cost,” Basu, now a politburo member, told partymen amid intermittent cheers.

“Personally, I never thought that the Left Front will return to power with a two-thirds majority (in the last Assembly election). But the people of Bengal have supported the front wholeheartedly .We had promised the people a responsive government, but, unfortunately, it is ensnared in the crisis,” he said.

For the CPM, the one discordant note at the programme was struck by former city mayor Kamal Basu. The veteran leader felt the party was “increasingly” deviating from its ideology and had concentrated all its energies and time in ensuring organisational growth and managing electoral compulsions.

Jyoti Basu said the continuation of the front government in Bengal was “essential” for the growth of the Left forces in the rest of the country. “It is a matter of great regret that we have failed to spread our party in other states, though we are running an excellent government in Bengal for the past 26 years. Our fault is that we have forgotten to follow the communist ideal of self-criticism and self-analysis. Our governments in Bengal and in the small state of Tripura will have to perform better to set examples in good governance before the people of other states and that’s why it is urgent for the front to continue,” he added.

CPM state secretary Anil Biswas linked the people’s confidence in the government with the lack of popular faith in Opposition parties like the Trinamul Congress and the Congress.

Reacting to the state BJP’s recent remark that it will follow “the (Narendra) Modi line” in Bengal, Biswas said in the past, several leaders had tried “their line” in the state and failed. “This would be no exception.”

“You had heard about the ‘Panskura line’, which Trinamul tried to follow during the last Assembly polls. They failed to convince the people. In 1963-’64, then Union minister Guljarilal Nanda had tried to pursue his own line to isolate the communist movement. He failed, as did Y.V. Chavan in 1971-’72,” Biswas said.

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