“Strong Left-democratic base must to bring non-Congress, non-BJP forces into our fold”

“The problem for a national Left alternative has been that it has not been able to take advantage of the growing alienation of the people from both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, a result of which has been regional parties gaining in strength,” Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, former West Bengal Chief Minister and senior member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said here on Sunday.

“If the Left alternative has to gain ground in the country it will need to win over the confidence of the people who have been behind the rise of regional parties…There is need for consolidating the Left-democratic foundation, addressing issues that concern the common people instead of looking at parties and their leaders,” Mr. Bhattacharjee told ‘24 Ghanta' in his first interview to a television channel since the defeat of the Left Front in the April-May 2011 Assembly polls in West Bengal.

“It is only if we can strengthen the Left-democratic foundation can we bring to our fold the non-Congress and non-BJP forces,” he asserted.

Pressing issues

Mr. Bhattacharjee pointed out that rather than look at parties (non-Congress and non-BJP) and their leaders to bring them on board it was imperative to focus on issues such as price rise, poverty, unemployment. People, through their experience, will shift their allegiance towards a Left-democratic alternative; there is much disaffection with both the fall-outs of the neo-liberal economic regime as well as with caste and communal politics, he observed.

“Issues related to overcoming the electoral reverses suffered by the party in the 2009 Lok Sabha and the 2011 Assembly polls as well as the ideological line it will adopt against the backdrop of mounting resentment against capitalism across the globe will be key issues to be deliberated at the upcoming congress of the CPI(M) at Kozhikode,” he said.

The reasons behind the electoral setback for the CPI(M) in West Bengal, the mistakes committed that had resulted in its defeat would be discussed at the party congress, Mr. Bhattacharjee said. There were lessons to learn; one was the importance of reaching out to the people and seeking their support when it comes to the question of acquisition of land for industrial projects.

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