People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX

No. 35

August 27, 2006

CPI(M) To Strive For A Viable Alternative: Prakash Karat


THE Left parties while opposing the anti-people policies of the UPA government were at the same time projecting the alternative policies before the people. A real and sustainable alternative political platform – popularly known as the third alternative – shall emerge only from the battlefield of the fight against these policies of the government and definitely not through round-table discussions of some top leaders during the elections for making alliance for electoral gain or by post-election parleys for forming of a government. 


This was asserted by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat while addressing a massive rally held at Stable ground, Agartala, Tripura on August 18, 2006. The rally was organised as part of the Party’s ongoing countrywide August campaign movement. He felt that this movement is a step towards that goal of striving for a viable alternative. The Left parties, particularly the CPI(M), shall play a prominent role in that front, he said. 


This huge rally was the culmination of the month-long August campaign movement launched by the Party on 10-point charter of demands raised by the Party central committee to which were added 4-point urgent demands in connection with the all round development of the state. 


Besides Prakash Karat, Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and Party state secretary Baidyanath Majumder also addressed the rally. It was a massive rally attended by the people mainly from the sub divisions like Sadar, Bishalgarh, Sonamura and Khowai of West Tripura district. While the people from distant places joined the rally travelling by bus and other vehicles, the masses from Agartala town and its suburbs participated in the rally marching in militant processions and chanting slogans on the 14-point charter of demands. At one time, the streets and thoroughfares of Agartala town were entirely under the feet of the pedestrians. The rally was presided over by CPI(M) state secretariat member Niranjan Debbarma. 


Conveying the wide experience of rallies he attended throughout the country, Prakash Karat said that the people of the country are highly eager to know the reasons of repeated victory of the Left Front in West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala while all other bourgeoisie parties are facing erosion. We have been explaining that there is no miracle, but implementation of radical land reforms and proper decentralisation of power to the people through Panchayat Raj Act, sincerely executing the electoral pledges which result in such victories, he said. Lambasting the attitude of the Congress towards communal forces of the country, Karat said the Left is supporting the UPA government on the basis of a CMP only to keep the BJP-RSS Hindu communalist combine out of power. But the Congress, though ideologically not communal, is not at all prepared to confront directly with the communal forces. They only seem to be compromising with the BJP and RSS, he said.


On every issue relating to rendering relief to the common people, the Congress shows constraint of resources. But the multi-nationals, big business houses are making profits in crores of rupees a day from our share market and they are exempted from tax net whereas the downtrodden people of our country are being lynched with heavy taxation, administrative price hike in the name of resource mobilisation, Karat observed. Depriving the country’s farmers from remunerative price of their product, the UPA government is importing 32 lakh million tonnes of wheat. The public distribution system has been marginalised; Profit-making public sectors like navaratnas are being sought to be sold at throwaway price in the name of collecting resources for implementing ‘pro-people’ programmes. In the name of Special Economic Zones (SEZ), an attempt is on to hand over vast areas of land to the foreign capital owners. Rampant privatisation, adoption of globalisation policies, curtailment of hard-won trade union rights of the working class – all these shall not be conceded, Karat warned.


Lastly, severely criticising the India’s shameful servility to US imperialism in respect of country’s foreign policies, Karat said that India had voted twice against Iran in IAEA at the dictates of the US. It has abandoned the India-Iran gas pipeline project because it was not liked by the Bush administration. US has got access to our vital strategic installations through joint military cooperation, Karat said. And now by signing the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, India is going to surrender its independent atomic research right, which is imperative for peaceful developmental purposes. Karat apprehended serious danger to India’s independent foreign policy saying the UPA government has abandoned our agreed and traditional non-aligned policy.


Baidyanath Majumder in his speech said the CPI(M) has characterised Congress in its Party programme in 1964 as a party representing big bourgeoisie and the landlords. “Even today the Congress is same to us. In spite of that, for the bigger national interest, we had given outside support to UPA to form the government at the centre on the basis of the pledges contained in the CMP. But after two years of UPA rule, the Congress remained true to its character” he said. He asserted that just because the Left is supporting the Congress government at the centre, it cannot surrender its right to protest against the anti-people policies adopted by the government. Describing the present plight of the peasantry in the country, Baidyanath Majumder said it is tragic that the central government is not actively moving to address severe agrarian distress prevailing in the country. Thousands of farmers are committing suicide, finding no way to get rid of the debt-trap. And the central government remains criminally indifferent so far, he said. 


Polit Bureau member and chief minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar, in his speech said that the 14-point charter of demands were not the demands of any party but of the millions of common people of the country, including those of Tripura. From the two year rule of the UPA government it is crystal clear that Congress shall not budge from its class interest. They will not stand by the side of the millions of common people working in the factories, fields, offices and markets. He emphasised to carry on this struggle till the demands are translated into action. 


Amidst cheers of the masses, Party state secretary Baidyanath Majumder handed over a draft of Rs 5 lakhs to Prakash Karat as Tripura people's contribution to Palestine Fund called by the central committee of the Party.


(Haripada Das)