Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here on Thursday that while voters across India had decided to oust the Congress from power because of corruption and anti-people policies, the country would be in grave danger if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed a government at the centre.

Addressing an election meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Mr. Sarkar alleged that if the BJP came to power, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) would mount pressure to make India a Hindu nation. The sovereignty and unity of the country would be at stake, and it would disintegrate, he warned.

Calling for the formation of a non-Congress, non-BJP government at the Centre, he said the Left, democratic and secular parties offered the only alternative. Only such a government with a common minimum, pro-people programme to alleviate the problems of the poor, farmers, workers and the middle class would be in the interest of the country and its people, he said.

Mr. Sarkar, a CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, was in Assam to launch the two-day campaign of Uddhab Barman, party candidate for Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to the polls on April 24. Mr. Barman, who is CPI(M) Assam State secretary, won the seat in 1991 and 1996.

The Tripura Chief Minister appealed to voters to elect more candidates of Left parties, which had played a key role in the formation of all non-Congress, non-BJP governments at the Centre. Stating that during ten years of the UPA rule, India had been divided into two — one for the rich and the other for the poor, Mr Sarkar said the people had decided to reject the Congress as they were fed up with massive corruption leading to a loss of Rs. 5.5 lakh crore, skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, a spurt in insurgency and an alarming rise in unemployment to 20 crore.