CPI working for an alternative to Cong, BJP

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Hyderabad, Jan 29: Communist Party of India (CPI) National Council general secretary A B Bardhan today said the party was working towards providing an alternative to the Congress and the BJP as both the parties had failed to fulfill the aspirations of people.

Addressing a press conference along with National Council secretary and MP Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, Mr Bardhan said the alternative was Left Democratic and it would be a programme-based alliance as the people were disillusioned with the Congress and the BJP.

Asked whether it was a third front, he said, ''you may call it anyway. But we are working for an alternative. We will interact with other pro-people parties.'' ''Some parties are talking about third front. But the parties in the third front should be pro-people, including the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA). The CPI will interact with the leaders of the UNPA, who pursue pro-farmer, worker and socialist policies.'' Stating that CPI was striving for socialism and the main goal of the party was a socialist society, he said at present, the country was a capitalist society and capitalism was not a solution to the problems of the masses.

He alleged that the policy of neo-liberalism being followed by the government were only helping the wealthy section of the people and not meant for the poor.

According to a CPI survey, 77 per cent of the people in the country survived on Rs 20 a day while on the other hand, some people had accumulated unprecedented wealth. The fast economic growth advocated by the UPA government, was only meant for the rich and not for poor people, he added.

The CPI leader said the NDA's India Shining campaign and the UPA's fast economic growth have not helped the poorer sections of the people, including farmers and workers, and had increased unemployment.

Pointing out that the government had totally neglected health and education sector in the country, he said it was spending just three per cent of the GDP on education instead of six per cent to be spent on the sector and only one per cent was being spent on health instead of three per cent of the GDP.

The government was pursuing the capitalist policies and not taking measures to control the price rise of essential commodities, he said, adding that 25 per cent of the household budget during 2006-07 had increased and it would go up further this year.

Mr Bardhan said the Union Government was proposing to increase fuel charges which would have a great impact on prices of all essential commodities. The policy of globalisation and liberalisation had increased the disparities between the poor and rich and added to the unemployment problem he said, adding that big industrial houses entering retail market would affect the livelihood of small retail traders in the country.

He said nearly 15 crore poor were dependent on retail trade and the entry of big industrial houses would lead to huge unemployment problem in the country.

Pointing out that nearly 1.5 lakh farmers from 1997 to 2005 had committed suicides in the country as more and more agriculture lands were being converted into non-agriculture lands, he said the government was not providing adequate credit to farmers and at the same time, big industrial houses, which had taken huge loans were not repaying the amount.

The government had failed to provide land, credit and remunerative prices to farmers, he said, adding that the CPI had launched land struggle for the poor people in Andhra Pradesh.

The CPI party Congress, which would be held here from March 23 to 27, would discuss various issues pertaining to poor, workers and farmers, he added.


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