Left will join a secular, non-BJP, non-Congress government at the Centre: Bhattacharya

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Kolkata, May 11 (ANI): The Left will join a secular, non-BJP, non-Congress government at the centre if its based on the right economic and foreign policies, has the interests of the poor, the working class and wherein, the Left can play a meaningful role, according to West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.

He pointed out that the Party Congress had taken this decision following the 'historic blunder' when Jyoti Basu was not allowed to become the Prime Minister because the Left decided against joining the then government.

Addressing a press conference in Kolkata today, Bhattacharya also said there was no surety that the Congress-Trinamul alliance in West Bengal would last beyond the poll period.

On a question on whether the Left would support a Congress-led government which has Mamata Banerjee as an alliance partner, Bhattacharya said even Pranab Mukherjee was not sure that the TMC will remain with the Congress, hence, such a scenario would not arise.

On Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee's recent statement that it would take another 250 years for the Left to form a government at the centre, Bhattacharya said first of all the Left was not trying to form its own government at the centre right now.

He also queried why the Congress numbers in Parliament have seen a steady decline in the subsequent Lok Sabhas. The CPI(M) leader, however, conceded that Pranab Mukherjee was a 'bhadralok' who had to carry around a booklet which pointed out the Left failures while he kept the actual facts in another booklet at home. Bhattacharya said Pranab Mukherjee was actually "not happy" bashing the Left.

On a more worrying note, the Bengal Chief Minister said the violent era of the 70's has returned to Bengal. Pointing out that the state had witnessed turbulent times from 71-77, during the Congress rule, when the Naxalite movement reached its peak, he said that kind of chaos, violence and lawlessness has returned to the state since the emergence of the Trinamul Congress.

He said it was accepted that in politics only political dialogue would do the needful but while the ruling Left Front was trying to find political consensus on different issues through dialogue, the Trinamul Congress was bringing back the violence.

He also said national parties like the BJP were trying to divide Bengal.

The Chief Minister said it was dangerous that BJP has put up a candidate in Darjeeling, taking responsibility to carve an independent state out of Darjeeling, Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri. He said it was not just the local groups who are demanding division of Bengal, some political leaders of some political parties were actively supporting divisive demands like the one in the west where there is demand for joining the districts of west Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura to Jharkhand.

He said even if the Left had fallen short on its anti-division campaign, it was surprising that the opposition was absolutely silent on the issue. Mr Bhattacharya demanded to know the stand of the Congress and the Trinamul on Darjeeling. He reiterated that the Left will not allow Bengal to be divided again.

Even though the Chief Minister took great pains to stress that the mandate for the Lok Sabha would be a mandate on central politics and would in no way be a reflection on his industrial policy, he reiterated that an industrial project would definitely come up in Singur.

He also said he was willing to admit a mistake and had therefore apologized for the police firing in Nandigram. He however, made it clear that the current spate of violence in Nandigram had nothing to do with land acquisition, which had anyway been cancelled, but every thing to do with the vested interests of the opposition. By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

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