In an article in the CPM’s People’s Democracy, party general secretary Prakash Karat says: “The regional parties constitute the bedrock of this emerging alternative. “
Claiming that the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls will not be a two-way contest between “two leaders, or two parties, or even two alliances”, the CPM has said that recent efforts to bring together the non-Congress secular opposition parties have brought attention to “an alternative pole in Indian politics”.
In an article in the CPM’s People’s Democracy, party general secretary Prakash Karat says: “The regional parties constitute the bedrock of this emerging alternative. When combined with the Left parties, it acquires the shape of an all-India alternative… The state assembly elections in various states have shown the strength of the regional parties, which were able to win substantial support and form governments. These parties… have decided to be part of the non-Congress, non-BJP combination.”
Karat states that the announcement of these parties coming together has “alarmed” the BJP, with its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi labelling the third front as “third rate”. “The reason for such a virulent reaction from the BJP is evident — as long as the electoral battle was framed in terms of ‘Congress versus BJP’ and ‘Modi versus Rahul’, the BJP was riding high on the expectations that all the anti-Congress discontent of the people could be harvested by it. But with the emergence of an electoral alternative to the Congress and the BJP, the whole equation has been upset and the BJP’s hollow claims are being exposed,” he argues.
The article, however, clarifies that the coming together of these parties does not necessarily mean all of them would enter into electoral alliances or seat adjustments, given the very nature of these parties. “Since many of these parties are state based, it is not feasible to have seat adjustments with other constituent parties in other states. But all these parties can pool their strength from their respective states for an all-India combination,” Karat adds.
The CPI alleges that the political class aids corporations in “looting” the country’s natural resources. An editorial in New Age says, “We have been repeatedly asserting that the big scams and scandals involving huge loot of natural and national resources are by-products of the pursuance of the policies of neoliberalism. Corporates loot these resources, ruling politicians facilitate this loot and then they all share the loot.” The editorial comes in the context of the announcement made by Arvind Kejriwal that an FIR would be filed against Murli Deora, M. Veerappa Moily, V.K. Sibal and Mukesh Ambani.
Criticising the media, the editorial says, “After the [then] Delhi chief minister’s announcement (of the FIR), it was hoped that the electronic media that evening would be buzzing with this news. But except one Hindi channel, none even mentioned it as a topic for discussion.”
LOKPAL AND CORRUPTION
An editorial in the CPI(ML)’s ML Update argues that the AAP government’s fall in Delhi over the Jan Lokpal Bill highlights the “unity of the Congress and BJP in seeking to restrict the right of the Delhi government to pass an anti-corruption legislation of its own making.” It emphasises that both the lokpal law enacted by Parliament and the Delhi government’s Jan Lokpal draft have been “silent on the question of bringing corporate corruption under the ambit of the Lokpal legislation”. It refers to the AAP’s announcement of filing an FIR on the issue of gas pricing as a “powerfully symbolic gesture” and says the gas pricing scam “illustrates graphically how price rise and corruption are Siamese twins, born to the policy regime of pro-corporate privatisation.”
Compiled by Ruhi Tewari