NEW DELHI: Left parties today questioned the Rs 1.25 lakh crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for poll-bound Bihar, and sought to know if itoffered anything extra to the region.
Addressing a press conference here, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and his CPI counterpart S Sudhakar Reddy also said that the Left parties were going to contest the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections as an independent block.
Taking a jibe at Modi over the announcement of the new package, Yechury said similar announcements made earlier have only been rehashing of existing schemes and funds.
"Unless we know nuts and bolts of the announcement, we won't be able to say whether there's any extra benefit for Bihar. Merely pulling central assistance and saying this is the package, that is not what is being demanded," he said.
On contesting Bihar elections, the Rajya Sabha leader said, "We (Left parties) had decided to contest Bihar polls as an independent block. Our seat-sharing talks for the same are going on. We have not finalised anything as of now. Defeating BJP there is our priority."
He said Left parties are at present not discussing seat-sharing with other parties like Janata Parivar. He added it is not only the BJP, the Communist parties are critical of the performances of governments under JD(U) and RJD too.
"It is not only the BJP and communal forces that have to be defeated but also others who ran governments various times in Bihar in the past but their policies did not really benefit people. We are critical of the policies that have been followed by RJD and JD(U) governments in Bihar as far people's welfare is concerned," he said.
Reddy said the Left Front has been fighting consistently against incumbent JD(U) government on people's issues and added it intends to defeat communalism and casteism.
The leaders said that a decision regarding whom to support in constituencies where Left won't field candidates will be taken after seat-sharing talks amongst the Communist outfits are over. "There is still lot of time for us to decide on that," Yechury said.
Yechury and Reddy were accompanied by CPI national secretary D Raja during the press briefing.