People's Democracy

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


No. 14

April 12, 2009


CPI(M) Terms Pranab’s Remarks As Double-Speak

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP Brinda Karat said the remarks of senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee while releasing the so-called AICC ‘report card on the West Bengal Left Front government’ smack of doublespeak.

Responding to queries from media persons on the occasion of release of CPI(M) election campaign audio CD and posters on April 6, 2009, Karat reminded that not even a month ago, it was the same senior minister who in public acknowledged the achievements of the government of West Bengal. While inaugurating JD Diabetes Institute in Kolkata on February 2, 2009 Mukherjee had stated: “Patients suffering from complex diseases in West Bengal earlier had to travel to other states to get treatment. Thanks to the chief minister the picture has now changed completely. All advanced facilities for treatment are now available in the state.” And in an article in Pratidin newspaper published on March 2, 2009, he praised the West Bengal Left Front government for proper implementation of Bharat Nirman programme. He wrote: “Out of the 37,910 villages in the state, 31,705 have already been electrified. I am optimistic that electricity will reach the rest of the 6205 villages soon. Nearly 4054 kms of rural roads have been constructed in 2008-09 alone. Almost the entire state has been covered by the rural employment scheme for some time now. This is greatly benefiting the people in the districts. Almost 25 lakh households in West Bengal have been covered under the NREGS. Altogether 504 lakh man-days have been created. According to the union rural development ministry, nearly Rs 595 crore has been spent. Under the NREGS, 36,201 projects have been completed and work is being undertaken in 39,738 more projects. I do not want to bring in party politics in addressing developmental questions.

Brinda Karat questioned as to what prompted Mukherjee to now say the exact opposite and felt that it had more to do with the desperation of somehow weakening the CPI(M) instead of fighting the communal BJP. Also the fact that Congress chose to become a junior partner to a party which is hell bent on thwarting all developmental work in the state. She also explained how West Bengal leads any other state in the country in terms of achievements in addressing rural inequalities, hunger, health and education.

On the BJP’s decision to field one of its senior most leaders, Jaswant Singh from Darjeeling, she termed it as a shame. They want to ride on the back of a separatist organisation whose only objective is to divide the state of Bengal. The people of Bengal have always opposed all divisive forces, and they will give a fitting response to the BJP, she added.