In a post-poll scenario in 2014, the onus of weaving together a coalition of parties on a non-Congress, non-BJP platform of alternative economic politicise will lie with the regional parties, veteran Communist Party of India leader AB Bardhan said on Wednesday.
Ahead of the anti-communal convention in Delhi on October 30, the CPI is set to hold a State-wide rally in Patna on Friday against hunger, poverty and corruption.
“The people want alternative economic policies, since those of the Congress and the BJP are the same. Thus, after the elections, the regional parties have the responsibility of forming an alternative coalition. A new combination can come up,” Mr. Badhan told during a press conference here on Wednesday.
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to polarise the general elections as “a war” of prime ministerial candidates Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi (touted to be the Congress’ candidate). But the voters were intelligent and would be voting for policies, he said.
Although the Left considered the Congress to be a secular party, it was not invited to the Delhi convention “to avoid confusion” regarding the fight on welfare issues.
“The Congress is basically secular, but they are in power today and we are fighting them on many issues. We they were kept out of the secularism rally to avoid confusion,” Mr. Bardhan said.
However, asked about the inclusion of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in light of the Muzaffarnagar communal riots, the CPI leader sais his party had been critical of the Uttar Pradesh government’s handling of the situation, “but those who were arrested in the case were from the BJP.”
The Janata Dal (United), SP, Janata Dal (Secular), CPI, CPI (Marxist), Nationalist Congress Party and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are among those who will attend the convention. Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and the chief ministers of Nagaland and Sikkim are also slated to be present.
Asked about forming an alliance in Bihar, Mr. Bardhan said the CPI was thinking about the Rashtriya Janata Dal, but Mr. Prasad’s arrest had altered the scenario.
“But that does not mean we are hostile to Mr. Prasad. Both the RJD and JD (U) are secular,” he said.
Food inflation and economic policies would be the biggest issues in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Badhan said.