Congress concern for ''aam aadmi'' a farce, says Left

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New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) The Left parties today termed as ''mere lip service'' the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's defence of the working class interests in the backdrop of global recession by recalling the 1969 Indira Gandhi bank nationalisation decision saying it demonstrated the two faces of the Congress-led government.

They said Ms Gandhi, the Congress chief, was deluding the ''aam aadmi'' at the time of Assembly polls for six states.

Talking to UNI, Left floor leaders in Parliament Gurudas Dasgupta and Rup Chand Pal came down heavily on the Manmohan Singh government's decision to wind up the sessions of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by December 23, saying the government was trying to ''usurp'' the powers of Parliament and take decisions through exectuive measures alone.

The Left leaders' comments came in the wake of Ms Gandhi's plea for protection of the poor from impact of global meltdown and the government's decision to resume the second part of the 14th session of Parliament on December 14 and its likely conclusion on December 23.

While the Left parties claimed that by blocking the ''reckless spree of economic reforms'', they had saved the nation from a ''disasterous financial crisis'', Ms Gandhi seemed to have outsmarted them when she not only invoked Ms Indira Gandhi's historic decision to nationalise the banks and its bearing on the country's financial sector - the resilient economy till date. She chose the Hindustan Times leadership Summit to stress the need for a sensible liberalisation, physical and social infrastructure and sustained unorganised sector.

On Ms Gandhi's eulogising the public sector banks and her critcism of the unbridled liberlisation, Mr Dasgupta maintained that "this is just a lip service by the Congress. They are only trying to be very intelligent people - what actually they did, what they wanted to do, what they tried to do.

''They wanted to do extreme liberalisation and only the Left prevented it from doing so,'' the veteran CPI leader said adding that ''liberalisation without adequate safeguards is dangerous for the economy.'' On the Government decision to shorten the duration of the Parliament session, Mr Dasgupta said they were afraid of debating on various issues of national importance and so they were running away from it. ''When the nation is facing a serious crisis on the fronts of financial sector, buergeoning unemployment and loss of millions of jobs, the retrenchments and closures, why the government is not discharging its Constitutional obligations to take the Parliament into confidence? Elaborating Mr Pal, the CPM chief whip in the Lok Sabha, said, they had demanded a separate full session, but to their dismay it has been further curtailed. ''Sarcastically, while a section of the party is calling it a Monsoon session, the other terming it as a Winter session, some ministers terming it as the current session. But we are at a loss to call this Special session number two as the Monsoon or the Winter session.'' On Ms Gandhi's claim on protecting the poor, the veteran CPM leader said what she was not saying was - the Congress government's steps for passing the Banking Regulation Bill to facilitate 74 per cent of FDI in Indian Private Banks, full convertibility of rupees which has depriciated to 50 plus against dollar, putting the Pension Fund to the stock market while more than two trillion dollars have been wiped out in the western world by way of collection of such funds.

He said the Congress was adopting two-face posture - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh harping on the same ''rejected path of disaster'', while UPA Chairperson Ms Gandhi making a strong case for the mixed economy.

RSP Leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abani Roy reminded Mr Singh as to how the market economy had collapsed in whole of the capitalist world - representing the US, UK, EU, Japan and others, making a strong case for heavy investment in infrastructure, education and health. ''This is the only way to improve the quality of life of the 'aam aadmi' to which the Congress is so 'emotionally attached'.'' UNI KSA GL PK BD1512

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