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CPM, CPI earn traitor tag

Bhubaneswar, March 24: A week ago, BJD chief Naveen Patnaik was labelled “traitor” by his erstwhile political partner BJP for breaking the 11-year alliance. And now, CPI and CPM have been charged with betraying the cause of Left unity and public movements by forging alliance with the ruling party, BJD.

“The move by CPI and CPM is nothing but sheer betrayal and opportunistic,” said CPI(ML) state secretary Khitish Biswal. “Instead of forging a Left unity for which they were trying earlier, they surrendered before a bourgeois party like BJD,” rued Biswal.

The CPI(ML) leader said it was very painful to see the CPI and CPM leaders “running after BJD and begging for a few seats”. The move has not only dealt a blow to the efforts for Left unity, but has deeply shocked scores of comrades who believe in Left ideologies, said Biswal.

However, the CPI and CPM leaders said they had not betrayed anybody. “There is no question of betrayal. We have not deviated from our principles,” said CPI state secretary Dibakar Nayak.

“Our main objective was to create a non-Congress and non-BJP alternative both at the Centre and the states,” said Nayak, adding that the efforts for such an alternative would be strengthened with the support of BJD. “We will also welcome CPI(ML) and other Left colleagues if they join the front,” said the CPI leader.

CPM state secretariat member Santosh Das maintained that his party and CPI had not drifted away from their line, nor betrayed other Left colleagues like CPI(ML) and Forward Bloc. “Forward Bloc has welcomed the political change in Orissa,” said Das, adding that seat-sharing talks with CPI(ML) had not been finalised.

The two Left parties not only invited criticism from CPI(ML), but also from Lok Rajniti Manch, a conglomerate of various mass organisations. “They have betrayed the public cause and deviated from the very principle they had been professing for years,” said the manch’s state convener, Prafulla Samantra, citing their opposition to Posco steel plant and Kalinga Nagar police firing.

Samantra said the two parties were bitter critics of the Naveen government till recently, but they were now forging alliance with his party for electoral gain.

CPM leader Das said: “We were opposing the coalition government, which had a communal party as partner. But now we have extended our support after it parted its way with BJP.” Das said their stand on certain issues like displacement and grant of mining lease to private companies remained unchanged even if they forged alliance with the ruling BJD.

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