The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Capital crush not capitalist

Calcutta, Oct. 24: Getting rich in communist-ruled Bengal is actually glorious, if it happens the CPM way.

As a debate on the need to embrace private capital gets underway within the party, worrying the leadership now backing the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government’s pro-reforms campaign, state CPM secretary Anil Biswas today stepped into the picture to pull back the nay-sayers.

Seeking to convince a large band of intra-party critics — powerful and capable of upsetting the campaign — Biswas said private capital was needed to “empower the poor”.

Addressing party functionaries in a Howrah auditorium, Biswas said the CPM favoured a strong inflow of private capital — which it flogged till the other day to score political points — if it went into enriching the poor.

“Many in the party are raising questions about our government’s decision to invite and allow private capital into Bengal,” Biswas said. “They are erroneously comparing our government with the BJP-led NDA at the Centre on the grounds that both are advocating private capital.”

Biswas said the communists’ quest for private capital was “noble” in that, unlike the BJP, the capital was going to be used for the poor and the backwards.

“I must say there is a basic difference between the approaches of the two governments to private capital. The BJP-led NDA is chasing private capital to further the interests of the capitalists, who are already stinking rich,” he added.

Biswas was addressing partymen on the 83-rd anniversary of the communist movement in India. Other communist outfits might regard the CPM’s participation in a parliamentary democracy a “reformist and opportunist line”, Biswas said. But the participation, he clarified, represented the CPM’s strategy to attain the goal of social reforms, taking advantage of a democracy.

To rev up the spirit of party functionaries before the panchayat elections scheduled for next year, Biswas said there was no alternative to the CPM in the state. “This is because we have faith in our people and they have trust in us. People have a clear idea about the pitiable conditions of our Opposition parties, and how incapable they are of safeguarding their interests.”

Biswas urged the party functionaries to motivate “inactive party members” and work to bring them back to the mainstream.

“Often, we write in our party documents that we have significant number of inactive members. We want to initiate measures in such a way that before the next party congress, there will be no no politically inactive member in the state,” Biswas said.

“There are some other leaders in our party whose political conception is super, but they are bad organisers. We need both type of leaders, but we have to train them properly,” he added.

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