Karat lambasts Congress not attacking communalism in Gujarat

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New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) Lambasting the Congress Party for shirking from launching an ''uncompromising struggle'' against communalism in Gujarat, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said such a ''flawed'' and ''shortsighted'' policy was largely responsible for the surge of saffron forces in the western state.

''The Gujarat election results underline the necessity for an uncompromising struggle against the Hindutva variety of communalism.

Such a platform has to be built up in the state and forces rallied around it. The Congress party, as the main opposition in Gujarat, has shirked doing so,'' Mr Karat said.

Commenting on the Gujarat poll results for the first time, Mr Karat, writing in the forthcoming issue of CPM's mouthpiece People's Democracy, said the Congress' predominant attitude had been to avoid raising anti-communal issues on the plea that it would help the BJP to polarise the people.

''This is a short-sighted and harmful approach'' that was reflected in the Congress' election campaign, he said.

He alleged that the Congress in Gujarat did not seriously challenge Mr Modi's communal plank as it was ''not inclined to oppose the BJP government's policies in any determined fashion''.

The CPM chief also trashed BJP leader L K Advani's assertion that the Gujarat election results were a ''turning point'' in national politics. He, however, asked the secular forces not to underestimate the victory of the saffron party in the western state.

''If some of the secular opponents of the BJP were mistaken in underestimating the deep communal impact in Gujarat, the hopes of L K Advani that Gujarat marks a 'turning point' in national politics are also misplaced,'' Mr Karat observed in his article. He also reminded Mr Advani that in 2003, after the BJP had secured poll victories in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, its leadership decided to go in for early Lok Sabha elections, which they lost.

Making a strong case for political parties to launch a sustained anti-communal campaign and actively pursue pro-poor economic policies, he said it was erroneous to view Mr Modi's politics separately from that of the RSS and the Hindutva brigade.

''Modi is a product of this communal movement and to view his politics and persona separately from that of the RSS-Hindutva brigade is a serious error,'' he added.

Mr Karat said the Gujarat Chief Minister had been truthful when after the elections he decried all the efforts to project him as bigger than the BJP or the Sangh.

''Just as, in another context, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was inaccurately seen as the 'right man in the wrong party', Modi cannot be seen as anything but a creature of the Sangh combine,'' he asserted.

''Avoiding a forthright stance against the communal platform; depicting a contradiction between Modi and the BJP-RSS combine; and hoping for normal issues of bourgeois politics to assert themselves are all symptoms of how flawed was the strategy to fight the BJP in these elections,'' he said.


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