The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM sees outside role in Cong govt at Centre

Midnapore/Calcutta, Feb. 21: The CPM will play an important role in framing policies in the event of the Congress forming a government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections, state CPM secretary and politburo member Anil Biswas said today.

Addressing a public rally at Ghatal in west Midnapore, Biswas said the party would back the Congress from outside if it came to power at the Centre.

“Though we will not join the government, we shall play a crucial role in framing its policies and programmes. We are extending support to the Congress to ensure the defeat of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre,” Biswas said.

The CPM leader was confident that the NDA would not be able to return to power this time as secular forces have become united and were receiving people’s support.

Biswas slammed the BJP for advancing the Lok Sabha elections, saying that the party’s hope to capture power in the wake of its victory in three Assembly elections will be belied.

“The BJP wanted to cash in on the differences among the secular parties, but this will not happen as the people of the country have already had a taste of their misrule during the past four-and-a-half years,” he said.

Referring to Mamata Banerjee’s late induction into the Vajpayee cabinet, Biswas said: “She has been made a minister at the Centre to create problems for the Left Front. Mamata has not spared efforts to conspire against the state government but the politically conscious people here have frustrated this.”

The CPM state secretary also accused the Trinamul Congress of joining hands with extremist outfits like the People’s War Group, the Maoist Communist Centre and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation. “We know that the people of Belpahari, Garbeta and adjoining areas have some legitimate grievances and the Naxalites are trying to capitalise on them. We will meet the challenge politically.”

Echoing Biswas, former chief minister Jyoti Basu said in Calcutta tonight the CPM would back the Congress from outside if it comes to power at the Centre. “It is (our) avowed policy to stand by the Congress to ensure the defeat of the BJP and its communal allies. We do differentiate between the Congress and the BJP. While the BJP is out and out communal, the Congress is a secular party,” Basu said.

He added that the people would oust the BJP-led coalition this time because of its anti-people policies. “It is regrettable that the BJP has emerged as a force to reckon with in the country. The Opposition is strong enough to oust the party from power through the ballot,” the veteran Marxist observed.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee also came down heavily on the BJP and said the Left would fight the party tooth and nail in the elections. He was addressing a Left Front rally at Dum Dum in North 24-Parganas, organised in support of the four Front nominees in the district.

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