The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Don’t tell lies, Basu tells cadre

Hatgobindapur (Burdwan), Dec. 27: Jyoti Basu wants the CPM to come clean before the people when it goes canvassing for votes in the run up to the panchayat polls.

“Do not lie, do not mislead the people when you go asking for votes,” the former chief minister said at a rally organised by the district unit of the All India Kishan Sabha here today.

“Our comrades should realise that taking recourse to falsehood was not the way in our party’s politics. We are the most important party in the state and our comrades should maintain close ties with people. We do not want to hear that that our partymen are humbugs,” Basu said.

He stressed on the importance of being able to digest criticism of the party’s work. “You should listen to and accept the criticisms if they are true and, then, act instead of losing temper.” Basu added that the CPM workers with such drawbacks should “correct” themselves immediately.

“We do not believe in the politics of deception and false promises,” the octogenarian leader said.

Referring to Gujarat, Basu said it was a triumph of barbarism. “I think (A.B.) Vajpayee has lost his head the way he has been saying different things about (Gujarat chief minister) Narendra Modi,” he said.

Sounding a note of caution, Basu said the BJP is trying to make inroads to Bengal with the help of the Trinamul Congress. “They have to be countered politically. Though we had cornered most votes (in the last Assembly elections), there were many who were misled into voting for Trinamul,” Basu said.

“Our comrades will go nowhere by just sitting through meetings, they have to fan out into the villages and explain our stand and win them back to our fold. Getting large crowds at meetings will achieve nothing.”

In the same breath, the party politburo member said nothing could be achieved by “sticking to party politics”, organisation was the key.

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