CPI not to force mid-term polls to LS: Bardhan

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Hyderabad, Mar 21: While vehemently opposing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's political and economic policies, CPI national general secretary A B Bardhan today indicated his party will not go to the extent of pulling down the government.

Talking to newspersons here ahead of the party's 20th National Congress to be held from March 23 to 27, he made it clear that review of support to the UPA government was not on the agenda of the meeting. However, he expressed concern over the UPA government's 'pro-US' foreign policy and economic policy leading to skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. Stoutly opposing the foreign policy, he contended the government was getting closer to the US military through 'strategic partnership.'

Mr Bardhan also expressed shock over the government's ''military relations with Israel, US's military outpost in West Asia.'' Ruling out forcing mid-term polls on the nation, he opined ''the elections (to the Lok Sabha) is still an year away. Of course every party has to get ready for it.'' Stating the party was not ''underestimating the dangers posed by the ''communal forces like the BJP, which was hoping to return to power at the Centre,'' he said ''the BJP is counting the chickens before they are hatched.

''Prime Minister in-waiting L K Advani, who is holding Vijay Sankalp rallies has to wait for life time,'' he remarked, adding the BJP was day-dreaming of regaining New Delhi.

The CPI was working for emergence of a third alternative to the Congress and the BJP, he said adding ''we will interact with the UNPA constituents in this regard.

''The third alternative has to emerge through people's struggles.

We will certainly take into account the sentiments of those secular parties which are fighting both the Congress and the BJP. We will draw them into the people's struggles,'' he said.

Asked whether the party would align with the TDP, a constituent of the UNPA, he said ''we have not discussed any electoral tactics.'' Warning the UPA government that unchecked price rise would be only at its peril, he said the party would organise a people's movement after the National Congress to press for a ban on future trading in essential commodities, universalisation of the public distribution system and supply of essential commodities to various sections of people and amending the Essential Commodities Act to stop hoarding of essential commodities by traders.

The so called faster economic growth, hyped by the UPA government had not ushered in development for the commonman.

India had the dubious distinction of having four Indians among the ten richest persons in the world even while 78 per cent of the people in the country were eking out a living with less than Rs 20 a day, he lamented, adding India stood 128th in human development index of the United Nations.

Referring to the loan waiver scheme announced by the Centre for small and marginal farmers, he said the limit had to be increased from the present five acre and a distinction made between wet and dry areas.

The government must address the larger issue of freeing farmers from private money lenders with the constitution of a Debt Relief Commisson and ensure cheaper credit, farm inputs and renumerative price for the produce, he added.


UNI

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