Socialism still a far cry in the country: Jyoti Basu

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Kolkata, Jan 5 (UNI) Defending WEst Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's pro-capitalist path, veteran Marxist leader and former chief minister Jyoti Basu today admitted that socialism was a far cry in the country and capitalism was a compulsion for the state's industrialisation.

''Socialism is a far cry. It is our political agenda and it has been mentioned in our party document. But capitalism will continue to be the compulsion for the future,'' he told reporters in reply to a question after attending the CPI (M) state secretariat meeting.

Observing that socialism was '' not achievable right now,'' the nonagenarian leader said it was within a capitalist system that the party had been working. '' Private capital has to be used while social welfare programmes by the state government would continue,'' he said.

Mr Basu's comments came in the wake of the Chief Minister's strong advocacy for pursuing the capitalist path for industrialisation of the state. The Chief Minister made this observation while speaking at a function on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the party's Bengali mouthpiece 'Ganashakti' on January 3.

However, the issue has triggered a high-voltage debate within the ruling Left Front prompting the smaller partners like Forward Bloc and RSP to air their voice of dissent against the CPI(M) on the way the government was going ahead with its industrial policy.

UNI KDG KK AM AS1724

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