Bhubaneswar, Jan. 12: The CPI today said it would continue to nurture its relations with the BJD despite having differences with the Naveen Patnaik government on a number of issues.
The party has already enjoyed the status of a BJD alliance.
Addressing a news conference here on the concluding day of the two-day meet of the CPI’s national executive, senior leader A.B. Bardhan said: “The party will continue to pursue its policy of equidistance from the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA. However, we will certainly try to continue our relations with the BJD even though we have sharp difference on issues such as Posco and Vedanta.”
The party said it would fight the next elections with the goal of winning and increasing its representation in the Assemblies and for a strong Left block in the next Parliament. “To achieve this goal, we will explore possibilities of state-specific alliances and seat adjustment with non-Congress, non-BJP democratic parties and democratic forces,” he said.
However, the party made it clear that it would continue to oppose Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress.
On being asked how the party would continue its relationship with the BJD when its leaders were being jailed for opposing the proposed Posco project, Bardhan said: “We feel sorry that one of our leaders was killed during the anti-Posco movement last year and also our people are being jailed. But, the national executive body has decided to go ahead with supporting the Naveen Patnaik government because of its stand on maintaining equidistance both from the Congress and the BJP.”
Bardhan said Naveen Patnaik had pledged his support to the two-day general strike on February 20 and 21 called by the Central Trade Unions and independent federations against the Centre’s failure to check the hike in petrol, power and kerosene prices. “Naveen extended his support when general secretary of the All India Trade Union Gurudas Dasgupta, accompanied by Ramakrushna Panda, met him at Naveen Nivas yesterday evening.”
“Agriculture is in a mess and farmers are committing suicide. Growth is negative in all sectors, including manufacturing. Export are declining,” he said.
The national executive council also said the party was totally opposed to cash transfer scheme so far supply of foodgrains is concerned. “We are in support of setting up a universal public distribution system under which all the poor will be given 35kg of rice or equal amount of wheat as Rs 2 per kg.”
The party also opposed the proposed disinvestments by the Centre in Nalco. The national executive also expressed concern over the growing Indo-Pak tension and called upon the Centre to initiate steps to normalise the situation.