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Left to increase intervention, no Third Front : Karat

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 11: Elated over the two big victories CPI(M) Genenral Secretary Prakash Karat said, "the assembly results have strengthened the role of the Left parties at the national level.. we will incease our pressure on the UPA government to implement the pro-people provisions in the CMP".

At a crowded press conference, held at the party headquarters, decorated with party flags, Mr Karat, however, refused to give credit to any individual for the massive victories in the polls, adding that the process of government formation will shortly take place in West Bengal and Kerala.

"We are very earnest and serious about translating our manifestoes, commitments and promises made to the people," the CPI(M) General Secretary said.

The poll results assumed special significance for media shy, ever smiling and the " puritan" Mr Karat as these were the major polls contested under his stewardship. He took over as party General Secretary, succeeding Mr H S Surjeet, the veteran Communist, in April last.

Mr Karat, however, refused to give credit to any individual for the" very good results" saying the CPI(M) worked collectively. He even chided some scribes who posed questions to this effect.

Earlier, crackers were burst at the A K Bhawan, which brimmed with victorious jubilation. Even ladoos and the sweets were distributed. These were also distributed at the press conference, may be for the first time.

He was particularly harsh on the Election Commission's accepting" uncalled for and malicious propaganda" that the Left Democratic Front had mastered the art of" scientific rigging." Referring to the Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon's remark that these were the best ever conducted elections in West Bengal, the CPI(M) leader said this was ''utterly unnecessary", demanding a comprehensive debate on reforms in the EC, which he described as" one of the important democratic institution in the country." Mr Karat also expressed happiness that the poll results were "blank" for the BJP which won only some seats in Assam.

Earlier, CPI (M) Politbureau members Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat said the implementation of the Common Minimum Programme would not only help the poor and the down-trodden but also the people at large. Referring to the splendid victory in Kerala, Mr Karat said the party had not only been able to retain its traditional voters, but made inroads into the Muslim League vote bank.

''The victory was ensured when the UDF was alienated from all sections of the people because of its misrule,'' he said.

On government formation in Tamil Nadu, he said the Left parties would extend support to the DMK-led alliance. The CPI (M) won nine seats in the state compared to two earlier.

In reply to a question on the impact of the poll results on national politics, Mr Karat quipped: ''I can't divulge the details at this moment.'' He hastened to add that the Left parties would certainly intensify their pressure on the government to get the CMP implemented in letter and spirit.

He said the party politbureau will meet here on Saturday to take stock of the political situation and decide on the areas of necessary intervention.

On who would become the new Chief Minister of Kerala, he said it would be decided by the party state committee but the politbureau would convey its views.

Asked about the role of party MLAs in the selection of the chief ministerial candidate, he made it clear that the legislators would go by the party decision.

To a question related to the possibility of forming a Third Front at the Centre, he said: ''I have not said any word on Third Front.'' He said the Left intervention would increase to ensure implementation of CMP.

In reply to a question on the demand of Congress leader Ajit Jogi and others that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi should take over as Prime Minister, he urged the media persons to address questions related to his party and not on the Congress.


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