The neo-liberal policies of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allowed looting of natural resources by big traders, capitalists, and monopolists, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat has said.

Mr. Karat, while inaugurating the culmination of the ‘Kerala Raksha Yatra’ led by CPI (M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on the Kozhikode beach on Wednesday, said it was a time of reckoning for the Congress party and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). He maintained that an alternative policy for the oppressed factions of society was imperative now.

Explaining the CPI(M)’s attempt to form a third alternative at the Centre, Mr. Karat said the party, with the cooperation of 11 other parties, had issued a joint declaration in New Delhi.

“The alternative will look into the protection of a secular order, prevention of divisive forces from coming to power, taking up of pro-people development, and strengthening the federal framework of governance. We will pool in our resources to fight the BJP and Congress,” he added.

On scams

The CPI (M) leader listed three corruption scandals — the 2G scam, which the CAG says is over Rs.1.76 lakh crore; coal block allocation scam, Rs.1.86 lakh crore; and the KG basin gas pricing scandal which reportedly fetched a company Rs.1 lakh crore — and alleged that the UPA was presiding over all the three.

Mr. Karat said the UPA was responsible for the ‘unprecedented rise’ in prices of essential commodities. In 2003, there were only 13 billionaires in India. Now their number was 132. “These people have also profited from the tax concessions,” he said. He said some regional parties in Kerala falsely believed that only the Congress could fight the BJP. “This is a hollow claim,” he said, adding that the Congress was proving to be a divisive force by facilitating the separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.

He came down heavily on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, describing him as the man who presided over the Gujarat riots and made the State a playground for capitalists.

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