"It is a shocking step which is unconstitutional and makes a mockery of parliament", says Karat

Ahead of the Government making its last effort to promulgate a slew of ordinances, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat on Sunday urged President Pranab Mukherjee not to give his nod of approval to what the Left party billed as a ``blatantly anti-democratic and partisan exercise''.

Mr. Karat sent a letter to the President on Sunday morning in which he articulated the CPI(M)'s "strong opposition'' to the move to promulgate ordinances to "suit the ruling party's interests'' after Parliament had been adjourned and on the eve of the election announcement.

"As the President, with the experience and wisdom of having dealt with constitutional and democratic procedures over long years in public life, I am sure you will not countenance any short-sighted and partisan measure which by-passes Constitutional and democratic procedures,'' Mr. Karat said in his letter.

The ordinance overdrive of the Government was also discussed by the Central Committee of the party which concluded its two-day meeting in the Capital on Sunday. "The UPA Government is passing these ordinances just for electoral gains. All such legislation can be taken up only after the new Lok Sabha is constituted,'' a press communique on the CC meeting said.

Convened as the CC meeting was just ahead of the elections, the focus of the meeting was essentially on the poll preparedness of the party. Besides clearing candidates for 25 seats across 13 States, the CC also discussed the draft manifesto and authorised the Polit Bureau to finalise it and release it at the appropriate time.

Releases first list for LS polls

The 13 States where the CPI(M) has fielded candidates do not include any of its three major turfs of West Bengal, Kerala and Triupra. The 13 States are: Assam (3), Gujarat (1), Haryana (3), Himachal Pradesh (2), Jharkhand (2), Karnataka (2), Lakshadweep (1), Madhya Pradesh (2), Maharashtra (3), Odisha (1), Punjab (2), Uttar Pradesh (2) and Uttarakhand (1).

The party will be contesting in 11 of the 25 seats for the first time. These are Hisar and Bhiwani-Mahendergarh in Haryana, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Chikkballapur in Karnataka, Gwalior and Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, Nashik in Maharashtra, Berhampur in Odisha, Ludhiana in Punjab, and Varanasi and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.

Though the party has been pushing for a non-BJP non-Congress alternative, seat adjustments have been given up with the Samajwadi Party refusing to concede any constituency in Uttar Pradesh and another potential ally, the Biju Janata Dal, making it clear that it is still early days to hitch its wagon on to any front. Even in Karnataka, where the CPI(M) and the Janata Dal (Secular) have had a working alliance for a while now, agreement could not be reached on the Chikkballapur seat and both parties will now contest the seat.

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