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CPI leader's charge against Mamata

By Our Special Correspondent

JAIPUR, OCT. 7. The CPI central committee secretary, Mr. D. Raja, today accused the Union Railway Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, of enacting a ``political drama'' over the increase in oil prices. ``It has been a farcical act on her part. The people of West Bengal can see through it,'' he said charging her of resorting to ``desperate attempts'' to take over Writers Building.

Participating in a Meet-the-Press programme here at the Pink City Press Club,Mr.Raja, who is also the CPI spokesman, said if the withdrawal of Miss Banerjee's resignation was on the basis of any assurance given in writing by the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, to her as she claimed, it should be made public.

``It is not a personal matter between the two. It involves the whole nation,`` he said. Moreover the Government did not take into confidence Parliament and the political parties on the issue,he charged. ``Miss Banerjee has been party to all anti- people decisions of the Vajpayee Government, including the one on hike in oil prices,'' Mr. Raja charged. Her sole motive was to remain in power.''She has no concern for the suffering of the poor,'' he alleged.

Mr. Raja said the Vajpayee Government had failed to set the oil pool account in order. ``There is no long term or short term alternatives planned,'' he said while pointing out that the Centre was obsessed about cutting down subsidies. He termed the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre as,`` narrow-minded and partisan.''

The CPI leader dared the Central Government to use Article 356 in West Bengal. ``We have been in power in West Bengal for the past so many years not on the mercy of these people. They will know it once they touch our government,'' he warned.

Mr. Raja said the CPI and the other Left parties were hopeful of forging an alternative alliance against the BJP-led NDA. He did not rule out a place for the Congress(I) in it when he said,``the Congress still continues to be a secular force. It has to be seen whether it could be a rallying point for those opposed to communal forces.'' He also expressed the view that the NDA constituents like DMK and TDP could not remain with the BJP for too long.

The CPI leader resented the statement of the Union Minister Mr.Venkaiah Naidu in the wake of de-recognition of the CPI(M) as a national party. ``The CPI is still a national party and Mr.Naidu was heard commenting on TV that the two Communist parties had lost their status as national parties and hence the Left movement lost its relevance''.

``The CPI(M) with 33 members is the third largest party in the Lok Sabha and it runs Governments in three States,'' Mr.Raja noted. ``The relevance of the Communist movement is not decided by the Election Commission.''

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