Left not keen on a Third Front, says Karat

Patna: CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat today said that the left parties were not seized with the issue of forming a third front as an alternative to the UPA and the NDA as of now.

"We are not working on formation of third front as of now as there is no no immediate threat to the UPA government at the Centre," Karat told reporters.

The left front was, however, working on strategies to launch a joint agitation against the "anti-people" policies of the UPA government and rope in like minded parties to put pressure on the central government to roll back the recent decisions including FDI in multi-brand retail, he said.

Prakash Karat said that the Left Front is not interested in a Third Front.

On whether he will invite West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the proposed movement, he alleged that she too had taken many anti-people decisions and was trying to muzzle the voice of opposition in the state.

Karat, however, refused to criticize Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for his alleged inconsistent stand under which he has opposed the FDI in retail and other policy decisions of the UPA government, but did not withdraw support to it.

Karat said that all parties had their own understanding of issues and SP was supporting the UPA government from outside and at the same time working with the left parties on common issues.

The CPI(M) leader advocated debate in Parliament on the FDI in multi-brand retail to nail the government on the issue and said that left front and like-minded parties would formulate their strategies in this regard soon.

Karat said that a crucial meeting of the left parties would take place on 6 October where the strategies would be chalked out to pin down the UPA government on the FDI in retail and other issues in Parliament and outside.

On the land acquisition bill, the CPI(M) leader alleged that a parliamentary committee vetting the bill was trying to weaken the draft proposal apparently to benefit those acquiring land for industrial activities.

The Centre should incorporate a provision to ensure that the opinion of 80 per cent landowners should be taken into account before deciding of acquiring land and there should be hike in compensation and rehabilitation of the affected people, he said.

Karat urged the UPA government to bring the food security bill at the earliest and remove the distinction of BPL and APL to ensure that all needy families get 35 kg foodgrain per month at the rate of Rs 2 per kg.

On his assessment of development in Bihar during the NDA government headed by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Karat said that the masses were dissatisfied with the performance of the state government and discontent was fast simmering among the people.

PTI