KARIMNAGAR: It is time for a third front to emerge in national politics as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP which pursue the same set of anti-people policies, Communist Party of India general secretary AB Bardhan has said.
In an exclusive interview with The New Indian Express on the sidelines of the 24th CPI state conference here, Bardhan touches upon a host of issues _ prospects of a CPM-CPI merger, CBI acting like a puppet in the hands of the Centre, need for talks with Pakistan, Uttar Pradesh elections, etc.
Here are excerpts:
Q: What is your party’s action plan to bring a third front to power?
A: The Congress and BJP follow the same set of antipeople policies.
We want the Congress government to go and, at the same time, do not want the BJP to replace it. Both the parties are working under guidance from foreign powers and ruling the nation alternately. We are devising strategies to join hands with all likeminded democratic parties. Only a third front can protect the country.
Q: Which way is Uttar Pradesh voters’ verdict going to swing?
A: No one can predict election results, but I am quite sure that no single party will get absolute majority in UP to form the government on its own. A coalition government looks inevitable. The CPI fielded 53 candidates and hopes to win enough seats.
Q: Why is CPI’s representation in state Assemblies declining?
A: Casteism and regionalism are the main reasons. Money and muscle power is corrupting our electoral system.
Q: Many well-wishers of the Left parties want a merger of the CPI and CPM. What is your line of thinking?
A: Right now we are not thinking of merger but we will work together and launch joint struggles on issues of importance.
Q: What is CPI’s role in the fight against corruption?
A: We have been fighting against corruption and our representatives are raising the issue in Parliament. We need to bring back the black money stashed abroad. An effective Lok Pal will be of use. Credit should be given to social activist Anna Hazare who launched a big movement against corruption.
Q: How do you view the functioning of the Central Bureau of Investigation?
A:The CBI has become a tool in the hands of the Congress-led UPA government. It should take independent decisions to curb scams. On several issues, the CBI is acting at the dictates of the UPA government. When it had to act on court orders as in the cases of Commonwealth Games and 2G spectrum allotment, it was able to put those involved in the scams behind the bars.
Q: Your party favours creation of Telangana state but your close ally CPM is opposed.
A: Initially, we had thought all Telugu people should reside in one state but realised later that the anti-people policies of the Congress government would never result in a uniform development of the state and regional disparities cannot be eradicated. We favour state’s bifurcation in the best interest of Telugu people.
Q: What is your stand on proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC)?
A:We strongly oppose it as it will encroach upon the rights of states. The Centre must withdraw the proposal and work in coordination with states to fight terrorism.