Calcutta, Aug. 5: Left Front partners — the Forward Bloc, the CPI and the RSP — again took up cudgels against “Big Brother” CPM for imposing taxes worth Rs 1,000 crore “on the poor”.
Only a few days ago, the front partners were up in arms against the manner in which the CPM had amended the panchayat act to form gram sabhas (village committees) at the block level to co-ordinate with the elected panchayat bodies on funds management.
The front leaders alleged that the CPM’s plan was to induct party functionaries into the village-level committees where they were not at the helm.
In the just-concluded monsoon session, the Assembly passed tax proposals tabled by several CPM ministers.
Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty had proposed to raise nearly Rs 260 crore by increasing the motor vehicles tax and other road levies. Land and land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah had proposed to raise a substantial amount by increasing the taxes on land in both rural and urban areas.
A senior CPI leader today said the party had written to the CPM leadership against the “phenomenal” hike in taxes in various sectors within 26 days. “Ours is a government of the poor working class. What message will go to the people at the grassroots level if the government goes on increasing taxes'” he asked.
He said elected representatives of the minor front constituents were faced with questions about the sudden imposition of taxes. “Really, our legislators have no explanation to offer to the people. This has tarnished the front’s image,” he said.
Echoing the CPI leadership, Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh said the new taxes would create a “bad impression about the Left Front”. Ghosh resented the manner in which the tax bills were passed in the Assembly without threadbare discussions at front meetings. “How can the CPM take arbitrary decisions on taxes'” he asked.
Equally aggrieved was the RSP. But the party rejected an earlier decision to write to front chairman Biman Bose against the new levies keeping the coalition’s “unity” in mind, party leader and former PWD minister Kshiti Goswami said tonight.