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"I am a Communist, compromising with capitalism : Buddhadeb

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 13 (UNI) A day ahead of his swearing-in as Chief Minister of West Bengal for the second term, Veteran Marxist leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today admitted that he was a Communist compromising with capitalism and that private capital was needed for development and for addressing joblessness and poverty.

"I am a Communist, compromising with capitalism... I know what I am doing in West Bengal. What is the alternative? If we have to develop, we need capital," he said in an interview to the television channel CNN-IBN, even while admitting that he remained a Communist to the core.

"It is now impossible to create socialism in one state of India alone," Bhattacharjee, who will continue as Chief Minister of West Bengal in the wake of the Marxist-led Left Front victory for the seventh time in a row in the recent assembly elections, said when asked if there would be a rethink in the Left on the issue of privatisation. "It was the people of the country who were forcing the Left to change," he added.

Mr Bhattacharjee said the CPI(M) remained fully committed to Communist principles and to maintaining its rural organisation. "But there is no alternative to encouraging private capital to come to West Bengal because of widespread joblessness and poverty." He denied any differences within the Left Front in West Bengal, adding that the rural sector always remained the first priority for the Left in his state.

Replying to a question, Mr Bhattacharjee said the victory in Assembly polls had dispelled all the myths about the notion of "scientific rigging" in the past.

He acknowledged that the party had made many mistakes during the 60s and 70s. But he said he and his colleagues in the Left were fully in favour of reforms.

"The old is changing. We are not fools, we are realists. We cannot stick to our dogmas, " Mr Bhattacharjee adding that "West Bengal is not ready for full steam capitalist economy yet." He said that in the changing global scenario industrialisation and foreign investments were needed to generate jobs for the millions of educated youth and manufacturing and Knowledge based industries were the key. "West Bengal is working towards this direction." On reported statement of his predecessor Jyoti Basu that Mr Bhattacharjee should play a more active role at the Centre, he said : "I'm just a poor chief minister of West Bengal, let me remain that way. I won't be able to perform at the Centre. I do not have the maturity or experience of Jyoti Basu." UNI SH PK VC2052

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