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PM should think why are we winning: Yechury

By Sheela Bhatt at the CPI-M headquarters in New Delhi
May 11, 2006 14:54 IST
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At 11 am on Thursday, the Communist Party of India-Marxist headquarters in New Delhi did not sport a festive look despite their victories in two states. There were no sweets nor narebaaazi(sloganeering).

When Left parties win, they don't dance or play loud music. They try put their message across.

That's what Brinda Karat and Sitaram Yechury did in front of the cameras for a full two hours.

Both leaders were smiling, but were quite mild in their use of words when they said that the CPI-M has an important role to play in India's politics.

They were making an effort to convey to the media and the country that the Left victory doesn't mean instability at the Centre. The only target of the CPI-M today was the office of the Election Commission.

They were cautious not to spell out their possible hardened political approach in economic matters so that it does not overshadow their historic victory.

Yechury told, "Our victory in the two states is not going to have a destabilising effect. We have a view and we want debate. On all the economic issues, we will put forward our analysis. Let us discuss, that's what we are saying."

"The only difference now will be that we will demand greater attention to the Common Minimum Programme," he said cautiously.

If the government pushes reforms not acceptable to them, then the CPI-M will oppose it, Yechury added.

"The important factor to think in West Bengal is why we are continuously beating the anti-incumbency factor? This is the factor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as economists in India should think about. They should take note that unlike the rest of the country you have 8 per cent growth and an impoverished rural population, in West Bengal growth is taking place by enriching the rural population. This is the difference. This is why we beat the anti-incumbency factor. Eight per cent growth should not be at expense of rural people," he said.

When asked If the election results held any surprises for him, Yechury said, "Yes, the results are better than we thought. In Kerala, we have won because the alternate set of policies we are projecting is acceptable to people. This victory also suggests that Left parties have an important role to play in the country's politics."

He dismissed observers who suggested that West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's moderate image helped the Left to win. "No, no, no. There is nothing called moderate or hardline in the CPI-M. We speak in the same voice and decide collectively," he said.

When asked about the reformists and industrialists' apprehensions he said, "Of course, they should not be afraid of us. We want healthy growth. We want growth that benefits everybody."

Lastly, while speaking on the proposed amendment -- a draft bill in Parliament on issue of the office of profit he said, "The CPI-M wants a parliamentary committee on the issue. We want to fix the definition of office of profit and we want a debate in the country over the issue."

Assembly Election 2006

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Sheela Bhatt at the CPI-M headquarters in New Delhi