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Updated: July 13, 2011 21:04 IST

Cabinet reshuffle won’t improve UPA’s image: Karat

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CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat during a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre
The Hindu
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat during a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre

CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Wednesday said the recent cabinet reshuffle will do little to improve UPA government’s scan-tainted image.

“We are concerned with the government and its policies, and not individuals. The question is whether the rejig will help to boost the image of the government...I don’t think so,” Mr. Karat said when asked for comment on yesterday’s reshuffle.

Criticising the union government for delaying the tabling of the land acquisition bill, Mr. Karat said the government had promised amendments to the existing law which gives lots of powers to the state, and very few rights to farmers and land-owners.

Addressing a press conference here along with CPI leader D. Raja, Mr. Karat said, “We are asking for a completely new law. Land acquisition is a vexed issue and an old colonial law is in existence,” adding that government was yet to reveal the draft bill.

“We also have a view on leaving every thing to the market forces. Until the government informs us what it proposes to do, we cannot comment,” he said.

Mr. Raja accused the government of dithering on several important legislations. “There are 48 official pending bills including the Food bill, Seeds, Biodiversity Regulatory bill, among others,” he said.

Criticising the attempts made in Ratnagiri (Maharashtra) yesterday to disrupt the meeting organised by the Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti (Konkan anti hazardous projects committee), Mr. Karat, without naming state Industries Minister Narayan Rane, said if leaders resorted to such acts, people would sideline them.

Both the communist leaders attended the rally of the Samiti, which is opposed to nuclear power plant in Jaitapur.

To a question on the demand from opposition parties here that Rahul Gandhi should visit Jaitapur, Mr. Karat said other Congress leaders should also visit Jaitapur and understand the genuine grievances of the locals.

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