(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 10, 2011
'Re-elect LDF for Continued
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has called on the people of Kerala to re-elect the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the April 13 polls to the state assembly so that the outstanding pro-people governance of the LDF government can be continued in the state.
Addressing a 'Meet the Press' programme organised by the Ernakulam Press Club on April 1, the first day of his election campaign tour in Kerala, Karat expressed confidence that the so-called pattern of change in Kerala after every five years would not hold good this time.
Karat termed the present elections to state assembly as very important for the Left as it is ruling in two of the states going to the polls – Kerala and West Benal. He said these polls are an opportunity to present before the people of both states the record of the Left governments and highlight how they are different from either the UPA-II government or various other state governments.
The unprecedented price rise, particularly of food items and the massive corruption were highlighted as the two important problems confronting the people of the country. After the advent of UPA-II government in 2009, the country has been having one of the highest double digit inflation rates in the world largely due to its policies, charged Karat.
It has raised the prices of petro products seven times since deregulation in October 2010. Both the UPA and the UDF in Kerala are for curtailment of the public distribution system. The UDF election manifesto promise of providing rice to the BPL people at Rs 1 per kg was cited by the CPI(M) leader. That means the subsidised rice would be available to only around 11 lakh BPL people in the state while the LDF government is presently giving rice at Rs 2 per kg to more than 40 lakh people, disregarding the characterisation of BPL and APL. Similarly West Bengal government also opposed and disregarded this characterisation.
At a time when the central government and various other state governments are curtailing the subsidies, the LDF in Kerala has expanded social welfare to a great extent. This is indeed an outstanding record that the people of Kerala will take note of, felt Karat. About the claims of union defence minister A K Antony that the UPA government has offered maximum help to the LDF government, Karat asked in that case why is the Kochi metro rail project languishing without permission from the central government. This despite the state government setting aside Rs 150 crore for preparatory work on this project.
Prakash Karat underlined that all the three Left governments in the country have shown that corruption-free governments are indeed possible. These governments are not only non-corrupt but also take a strong stand against corruption.
Responding to a question, Karat asserted that V S Achutanandan is leading the election campaign of the LDF and the matter of chief ministership will be taken up after winning the polls.
About tax exemption to the ICC cricket tournament, Karat opposed it saying that whether it is IPL or ICC, these propositions are all not just sports but commercial, with big corporates involved. So in such a situation, providing blanket tax exemption is wrong, he felt.
Asked for a comment on the Supreme Court decision of not entertaining Pinarayi Vijayan's petition against Governor's permission to CBI to proceed on SNC-Lavalin case, Karat said it involved a Constitutional question and that could have been better decided by the Supreme Court itself. Whether the Governor can give sanction disregarding the state cabinet view was to be decided but the SC has refused and referred it to state High Court.
Karat campaigned in Thrissur district for the LDF candidates by addressing two election meetings – one for Baby John, the CPI(M) candidate contesting from Manalu constituency, another for sitting CPI(M) MLA Babu M Palisserry in Kundankulam constituency. He also inaugurated the Party office in Pudukadu. Later in the evening, Karat addressed large election meetings in Perumbavor and Kalamasseri in favour of CPI(M) candidates Saju Paul and K Chandran Pillai.